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.
In an email this week to a group of JFK researchers, Summers explained his rationale for deleting information he had previously published and thought significant. While I don’t agree with his every decision, he has high critical standards and he sticks to them, even if it means revising his own published views. How many JFK authors do that? Not many.
“Omission in this context is in a real sense, commission — and I think though our attention may be largely on the Shenon book at the moment, group members may find this note interesting.
“And some group members will no doubt disagree!
* Dropped from the updated “Not in Your Lifetime” is the alleged episode in Clinton, Louisiana, in which Oswald was apparently sighted in Clinton with Guy Banister and David Ferrie. I long ago went to Clinton myself for the BBC – and interviewed several of the relevant witnesses. They seemed fairly credible at the time. As the entire thing has been demolished in a book by a researcher I respect, Pat Lambert, I have removed the passage from the text and consigned it to a much briefer note. (See p. 553, n.11)
* All references to the work of Cyril Wecht have been dropped. I spoke at a conference he held, and was amazed to hear him ranting from the stage on the subject. Having taken advice from others I do respect on the forensic area of the case, I felt only what seemed firmer should remain.
* The Tippit chapter is altered — in particular with reference to the pistol bullet evidence. See p. 106 of the new edition — re. “ballistics testimony dispels much of the doubt about Oswald’s guilt in the Tippit murder.” (I raise my hat to Dale Myers’ book on the Tippit case. (p. 499 new edition, Note 2)
* Virtually all the stuff in the old Chapter 20 (Double Image in Dallas) has gone. This was, in the old edition, about supposed sightings of an Oswald that may not have been the real Oswald. Now, I do not even now entirely reject the notion that Oswald was impersonated on occasion before the assassination. (What went on in Mexico City remains unresolved.) Too many of the sightings, however, did not belong in the text. You will now find them summarized in the Notes. (Note 9, at p. 578 of the new edition.)
* The celebrated use of the name Oswald in New Orleans, buying jeeps as early as 1961, was writ large in the earlier editions. It now seems less reliable. I thought it must be mentioned, however, because there’s a supporting contemporary document that fits in the case in an interesting way. The Deslatte episode now appears only in the Notes (p. 580, n 10)
*The emphasis on Ferrie has changed, retaining Ferrie’s early association with Oswald in the Civil Air Patrol but reducing the suggestion of his involvement at the time of the assassination. This because of the excellent, focused research on Ferrie by David Blackburst — who has worked just that seam over recent years, demolishing much of the shaky stuff propagated since the Garrison circus.
*Finally, at least in this letter, the dark suggestion that Braden/Brading was guiltily involved in Dallas on the day has gone. I had previously relied to a degree on the reporting of a fellow reporter named Pete Noyes. On closer examination, I felt that — though Braden/Brading (not a nice person) was in Dallas that day — the dark implications that have been drawn were shaky. You won’t find him in the index now.”
11 thoughts on “JFK edited (or the importance of cutting the crap)”
I enjoyed Summers’ book. I found it to be pretty fair but not totally convincing that JFK’s murder was a conspiracy. With that said, I don’t think that Summers’ intent is to persuade people that there was a conspiracy.
Seems like he Is moving more and more to official story of assassination.Disappointing.But,I guess he thinks that will get him acclaim by MSM and book sales by those who buy official story.
This guy really has turned tail. Just look at those unbiased, deeply thoughtful sources he now relies upon: Dale Myers, Pat Lambert, DPD ballistics evidence, etc. While dumping on Cyril Wecht, Peter Noyes, John Armstrong, etc.
What’s most repulsive about the sniffy Mr. Summers is the clear condescension he shows — ala Posner, Russo, Bugliosi, McAdams et. al — toward all the honest, hardworking researchers on the case who do not buy the Lone Nut fairy tale. As if we all are not familiar with Summers’s previous gutter-dragging: his books on Sinatra, Hoover, Nixon. And “Honeytrap.” Such a delicate, careful journalist is he. Right up there with Kitty Kelley.
Perhaps most curious is why this site is pimping so hard for this guy. Where are Morley’s interviews with other 50th Anniversary authors, such as Jim DiEugenio, Vince Palamara, Joe McBride (now there’s a new look at Tippit worth shouting from the rooftops), Patrick Nolan, Lance Moore, Josiah Thompson, Joan Mellen, John Kelin, Sherry Fiester, Jerome Corsi?
Who’s next up for the site? Philip Shenon, no doubt.
Thanks, mitchum22 — you nailed it!!!!
Mr. Shaw. . . an honor. Just finished the update — now there’s a worthy update, thanks to your essay — of Dr. Crenshaw’s book.
“Cover Up” remains one the best books in the canon. Any chance for a reprint?
Hi all, just discovered this wonderful site and interested in the extensive alterations that Summers has made to his original 1980 edition – when it was titled ‘Conspiracy’ – should I hunt down a copy of the aforementioned 1980 edition or the later retitled ‘Not In Your Lifetime’ edition(s), and why?
Amazing how all the apologists come out of the woodwork 50 years later proclaiming to know how it all happened without one shred of scientific evidence. Let the truth seekers continue to shine on….why can’t George HW Bush remember where he was on that fateful day? Strange days indeed…most peculiar momma…whoaa….
The Bolton Ford Incident (the Jeep order mentioned in the article) remains possibly the most telling indicator of a cover-up of LHO’s background:
The order form for the Jeeps listed the purchaser as “Oswald” and the salesman (Deslatte)was told the purchase was for the “Friends of Democratic Cuba”. Deslatte did not identify either man as LHO, which is correct since he was in the USSR at the time.
What makes this interesting is that Guy Banister was on the Board of Directors and LHO’s employer from when he was 15, Gerard Tujague was Vice President of the organization. Interestingly, LHO got the job with Tujague’s company only several months after he joined the Civil Air Patrol unit headed by David Ferrie.
It’s likely LHO met Ferrie, went to work another Anti Castro fanatic (Tujague), joined the Marines, had his name used by the FDC for whatever reason, and then met Banister through Ferrie when he moved back to New Orleans.
Banister is said to have used young men to penetrate left wing groups on college campuses, does LHO and his activities not fit that bill?
Now if only he can come to the truth about Carlos Marcello- that the so-called “Sicilian mafioso” was actually from North Africa!
Marcello was Sicilian as his parents were Sicilian. It matters not where he was born. That’s pretty clear.
I think Braden/Brading deserves at least a footnote for being in the Dal Tex (which lines with all three shots) at the time of the shooting with no real excuse and for staying at the Cabana Hotel the night before where Ruby had visited. On top of his rap sheet, of course.
Either way, it’s good to have authors with standards.