In today’s Washington Post, Larry Sabato responds to last week’s negative review of his book “The Kennedy Half-Century” by Rutgers historian David Greenberg. Greenberg’s peevish response about “assassination buffs” reveals what really irks him:
Sabato has an open mind about the causes of JFK’s assassination and the vast majority of Americans don’t buy Greenberg’s interpretation of November 22, 1963.
Greenberg seems both threatened by and disdainful of the new evidence that has emerged since Oliver Stone’s movie, which documents what Phil Shenon rightly calls “the secret history of the Kennedy assassination.”
The majority of sane American citizens who don’t believe the official theory of a lone gunman look for a more credible explanation in the historical record that the CIA and FBI and other government agencies long suppressed and that Stone’s movie forced into public view.
Oddly for a historian, Greenberg seem uninterested, if not ignorant, of what has been revealed about this secret history in recent years. He seems unaware of continuing CIA secrecy around certain JFK files.
Greenberg needs to catch up on recent JFK scholarship. As I noted in the Atlantic.com in 2010:
“Since 2000, five tenured academic historians have published books on JFK’s assassination. Four of the five concluded that a conspiracy was behind the 35th president’s murder.
“David Kaiser, a diplomatic historian at the Naval War College, and the author of a 2008 book, ‘The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,’ concluded that Kennedy was killed in plot involving organized crime figures. Michael Kurtz of Southeastern Louisiana University came to a similar conclusion in his 2006 book, ‘The JFK Assassination Debates: Lone Gunman Versus Conspiracy.’
“In a 2005 book,’Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why,’ Gerald McKnight of Hood College suggested that a high-level plot involving senior U.S. intelligence officials was probably responsible for the president’s death. In his 2003 book about the photographic evidence, ‘The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK’s Assassination,’ David Wrone of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point argued that the famous amateur film footage of the assassination proves that Kennedy was hit by gunfire from two different directions. Wrone did not advocate a theory of who was responsible.
“A fifth historian, Robert Dallek of UCLA, wrote a 2003 biography of Kennedy, ‘An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963.’ While not about the assassination as such, Dallek’s book embraced the Warren Commission’s lone-gunman finding, relying on Gerald Posner’s outdated 1994 anti-conspiratorial best-seller ‘Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK.'”