Neither a random event nor the act of a lone madman--the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was an appalling and grisly conspiracy. This is the unvarnished story.
With deft investigative skill, David Kaiser shows that the events of November 22, 1963, cannot be understood without fully grasping the two larger stories of which they were a part: the U.S. government's campaign against organized crime, which began in the late 1950s and accelerated dramatically under Robert Kennedy; and the furtive quest of two administrations--along with a cadre of private interest groups--to eliminate Fidel Castro.
The seeds of conspiracy go back to the Eisenhower administration, which recruited top mobsters in a series of plots to assassinate the Cuban leader. The CIA created a secretive environment in which illicit networks were allowed to expand in dangerous directions. The agency's links with the Mafia continued in the Kennedy administration, although the President and his closest advisors--engaged in their own efforts to overthrow Castro--thought this skullduggery had ended. Meanwhile, Cuban exiles, right-wing businessmen, and hard-line anti-Communists established ties with virtually anyone deemed capable of taking out the Cuban premier. Inevitably those ties included the mob.
The conspiracy to kill JFK took shape in response to Robert Kennedy's relentless attacks on organized crime--legal vendettas that often went well beyond the normal practices of law enforcement. Pushed to the wall, mob leaders merely had to look to the networks already in place for a solution. They found it in Lee Harvey Oswald--the ideal character to enact their desperate revenge against the Kennedys.
Comprehensive, detailed, and informed by original sources, The Road to Dallas adds surprising new material to every aspect of the case. It brings to light the complete, frequently shocking, story of the JFK assassination and its aftermath.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Part I: Criminals, Cubans, Kennedys, and the CIA
1. Organized Crime in the 1950s
2. Castro Takes Power
3. The CIA Enlists the Mob
4. The Kennedys Take Over
5. Operation Mongoose
6. Crusaders and Gangsters
7 The Mob Enlists the CIA
Part II: Lee Harvey Oswald
8. A Defector Returns
9. The Big Easy
10. Oswald Exposed
11. The Odio Incident
12. Journey to Mexico
Part III: Converging Paths
13. Making Everyone Unhappy about Cuba
14. Turning Up the Heat
15. Countdown to Catastrophe
16. Three days in November
17. Keeping Secrets
Note on Sources
What People are Saying About This
Finally a historian, without preconceptions, has looked at the voluminous, once secret documents produced by the CIA, the FBI, and other government agencies in response to the JFK Assassination Records Act of 1992. Kaiser's nuanced conclusions on Oswald's guilt and the ominous issue of conspiracy will command respect from even those who disagree with them. Comprehensive, beautifully crafted, and well-reasoned. An essential addition to the JFK corpus.
G. Robert Blakey, Notre Dame Law School, and former Chief Counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations