James Fetzer, a retired professor of philosophy from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is the very picture of a conspiracy theorist, from his dubious haircut to his hectoring tone to his assured command of facts. Professsor Fetzer recently offered his most detailed JFK conspiracy theory yet in Veterans Today, He purports to identify, by name, the six men who allegedly fired gunshots at President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
The lavish detail of Fetzer’s allegations evokes one of the finest pieces of JFK journalism ever published — in the Onion. Fetzer’s is an American tale: a posse of six-shooters joins the army of Dealey Plaza gunmen.
Anthony Summers, author of a new edition of his JFK book, “Not In Your Lifetime,” has a letter in the current issue of the New Yorker, responding to critic Adam Gopnik’s recent JFK essay. Summers questions the magazine’s faith in the lone gunman theory, firmly but politely, while dismissing far-fetched conspiracy theories that only confuse people.
Summers closes with a reasonable question;
In a post-script to his Q&A interview with JFK Facts, Anthony Summers talks about another important feature of his book, “Not in Your Lifetime“: what he deleted from the previous edition.
Anthony Summers, biographer and former BBC correspondent, has been writing about JFK’s assassination for three decades for publications ranging from The Times of London to Vanity Fair. In my possibly biased opinion, I think his book, “Not In Your Lifetime,” is the best single volume on the JFK assassination and its confusing investigatory aftermath.
I sent him some questions by email and he responded as follows:
JFKFacts: You started reporting on the JFK story in the late 1970s. You were one of the first professional journalists to look deeply into the JFK assassination story. What did you discover?
Anthony Summers: At the time of the assassination occurred, I’d been a student at Oxford. I had reporting ambitions, and Dallas was almost the first real story I covered. I’d been working for a TV program during the vacations, and the program’s editor phoned within an hour of the assassination – it was early evening in the UK – to say he was gathering a team and chartering a plane to Texas. Could I drop everything and come?
The new edition of Anthony Summers’s JFK book, “Not In Your Lifetime,” reports that a man held in a Cuban jail in the 1970s heard from a CIA-supported exile that a mutual friend confessed he was a gunman in Dealey Plaza, according to a story in the British Daily Mail.
The former PBS anchor told Diane Rehm he expects that someday somebody will talk about their role in a JFK assassination conspiracy. But as JFK researcher Larry Hancock reported here in January, somebody did talk.
His name was John Martino.
Updated with new reporting
I recommend Anthony Summers “Not in Your Lifetime,” which has been updated and reissued this week. I think it is the best single introduction to the JFK assassination story.
Summers is a veteran journalist and accomplished biographer whose work has appeared in BBC and Vanity Fair and other publications with high editorial standards and big audiences. He combines story telling skills with a relentless focus on sifting the evidence, eliminating the dubious, and identifying what is new and important.
“What some people don’t get is that the JFK story is about justice.”