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Download The Death of a President: November 20-November 25 epub

by William Raymond Manchester

The author of the bestsellers American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964 and The Last Lion offers a compelling account of President John F. Kennedy's last six days--the only record authorized by the Kennedy family--written with remarkable detail and immediacy, and with an intimacy that is unparalleled in the literature.
Download The Death of a President: November 20-November 25 epub
ISBN: 0883659565
ISBN13: 978-0883659564
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Author: William Raymond Manchester
Language: English
Publisher: Bbs Pub Corp (November 1, 1996)
Pages: 736 pages
ePUB size: 1968 kb
FB2 size: 1597 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 979
Other Formats: azw mbr lrf rtf

William Manchester's tome on the Kennedy assassination, brings items to light that were not known at the time of the Warren Commission. Manchester's review of Air Force One's radio transmissions transcripts for the 2 hour seventeen minute flight are revealling in the communications between the Whitehouse and AF-1. An excellent read. Recommended for the serious Kennedy Assassination researcher.
There is probably more seemingly innocuous detail in this book than many present-day readers want to wade through, but after the first 50 pages or so that detail becomes pay dirt - gold nuggets worth all the prior drudgery. Turns out that the details matter. I am fascinated with the book and the drama. Though I was only 6 years old when it all happened, living in Arlington, Virginia, I saw JFK walk in front of me Memorial Day weekend, and attended the funeral 6 months later. The book takes me back to that state of disbelief that struck everyone, only then I was too little to understand. 50 years on, I am surprised by an awareness of how uniformly stunned and grieved the entire country was. Even though JFK had many who despised him, the country was wounded to a degree that seems unlikely anymore by the assassination of a single man. The book is a journey back in time, not just to an event, but to a time that seems lost forever.
An excellent behind the scenes, moment-to-moment description of what happened before the President went to Dallas, why he went anyway, all the details of his arrival and movements from Houston to Dallas, the motorcade, the shooting, the race to and what happened inside Parkland Hospital, how Kennedy's body got back to Air Force One, LBJ's assumption of power and why he was sworn in before the plane ever left the ground, the tension between Kennedy's intimates and staff and LBJ's, the flight home, the hours inside the Family quarters at Bethesda hospital during the autopsy, the hours and days in the White House and the Capitol while the President lay in State, the funeral, the choosing of and burial at Arlington, and all of the players involved, major - including Lee Harvey Oswald - and minor, from beginning to end.

Suffice it to say, if you're conspiracy-minded the fact that Oswald is always considered the assassin without doubt or further consideration will leave a bad taste in your mouth, but given the Kennedy family's official acceptance of his guilt it's still the only volume about the assassination that will place you, a silent and invisible witness, inside the scene every step of the way.

I'd always been intrigued as to why the Kennedy family, particularly Jacqueline and Robert on her behalf, had such a problem with Manchester's account to go to incredible lengths to suppress if not disappear it altogether. On the one hand, given its intimate nature and Mrs. Kennedy's notorious demands for privacy, I can understand why she may have wanted certain things left out that perhaps she felt weren't anyone's business for fear of diluting her own haunted experience, or that compromised the President's legacy in some way.

On the other hand, it's a treasure of intrinsic historical quality that no one interested in Kennedy's assassination should leave unread. It's essential and important documentation of one of the most significant events of the 20th Century.
This past November, I got caught up in the 50th anniversay of President Kennedy's death. I, like most people, had read a book or two about the different theories of his killing in Dallas on 11/22/63. I was looking for more of a historical viewpoint. In reading the forward for "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historical Conversation" which was written by Caroline Kennedy, she mentioned Mr. Manchester's book. In review of this book, I found the historical view I was looking for. It is not a "grassy knoll, 2nd gunmen" conspiracy book. Based on Mr. Manchester's own words in his Forward, he was asked by the Kennedy family to write the book just a few months after the funeral. He interviewed at length all cabinet members, the Kennedy family members, White House butlers and staff, Secret Service agents, the President's advisers and friends. He also visited and interviewed Parkland Hospital staff.
The author starts two days before Dallas with the President and First Lady throwing a cocktail party for the Supreme Court Judges. The author points out how party members danced and laughed in the East Room of the White House that night. Within 48 hours most of them would return to that same East Room to view the dead president's coffin lying in State. Manchester provides insider details as to why the trip to Texas was necessary and how many of the President's friends and cabinet members advised him not to go due to the hatred that was surrounding Texas and most notably Dallas. The Vice President, being a Texan, evidently couldn't settle State party disputes that were getting out of hand and putting a black eye on a possible 2nd term for the President. The author provides first person accounts of what they saw and heard at the time of the shooting. He also provides details as to what actually happened in Parkland upon arrival after the shooting. After the President is brought back to Washington the author then shifts the story to planning of the State funeral. I found it interesting that Bobby Kennedy and other State officials thought the casket should be left open while lying in State. It wasn't until Bobby viewed the President again in private that he advised against an open casket. The cosmetic appearance of the President made him appear to be "a wax figure". Manchester does go a little overboad with his descriptions of how other parts of the country were in mourning. Although very informative, after a few pages the point was made. The book is rather long with over 650 pages (paperback). However, if you understand the historical impact of the events which took place that weekend in Nov 1963, then you will find the answers to how the Arlington plot was selected, how the eternal flame was built, and how a State funeral was planned in 2 days, very interesting.