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Virtual history, according to the authors, is historical projection based on scrupulous analysis of actual historical documents to determine the likely path a leader would have taken had he or she remained in power. Blight and Janet Lang (coauthors, The Fog of War: Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara) and David A. Welch (coauthor, The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History) are political scientists who have long studied JFK's policies. This book is the result of a 2005 conference they led at which scholars and presidential officials of the Vietnam era, among them Frances FitzGerald, James Galbraith, and Bill Moyers, rigorously debated recently declassified documents, some of which are included in the appendix. The authors provide introductions to each chapter, but the panelists' conversations make up the lion's share of the text, with the resulting if not unanimous consensus being that JFK would not have taken the country into the Vietnam War. Why? Because, in part, he was confident about his views although he encouraged dissent from his hawkish advisers, and he recognized the possible nuclear outcome that could have resulted from escalating the conflict. The participants conclude that it does make a difference whom we elect President. Diplomatic historians and Vietnam War specialists will find this work informative and at times exhilarating; recommended for academic collections.