Matt Towery

But to a new generation, grapefruit can be sour and not so juicy. And for that generation comes Bill O'Reilly with this, a gift of a "sweeter grapefruit." Killing Kennedy may have the disadvantage of not having cooperation from the many family members, governmental officials, doctors, witnesses and others integral to the story of November 1963, most of whom are no longer with us. But it has the advantage that comes nearly fifty years later -- that of many more facts and legitimate stories having emerged both about the assassination and President Kennedy.

O'Reilly's book about the Kennedy assassination still describes in detail the immediate days prior to the shooting, the assassination itself and the days to follow. But his book goes a step further by describing moments of importance throughout the Kennedy administration as well as providing a glimpse at the very personal side of Kennedy the man -- at both moments of great strength and at moments of all too human frailty. And these moments are placed in unique perspective, often noting how many days or months from a particular time of significance the young president has left to live.

Like O'Reilly's hugely successful Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, the book reads more like a compelling novel. And the "juicy parts" revealed are not filled with the same old descriptions of JFK infidelities or Cuban Missile Crisis heroics. Instead,

O'Reilly presents untold moments in the histories of Kennedy's administration, such as an indirect warning he gave personally to Martin Luther King, Jr. over King's own alleged personal behavior and its risk to the civil rights effort. Also included are the more personal portrayals, such as the worried and grieving Kennedy during the premature birth of a son who would soon die just months before his father.

For those who finally want to put both the Kennedy assassination and the turbulent events of the years leading up to it into a fresh, fast moving, and accurate perspective, try sampling this new and more refreshing serving of "grapefruit." My third copy of Manchester's version finally disintegrated, telling me it is time for a welcome and fresh addition.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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