cover image Deep Politics and the Death of JFK

Deep Politics and the Death of JFK

Peter Dale Scott. University of California Press, $45 (424pp) ISBN 978-0-520-08410-0

Scott, a poet, an English professor at UC Berkeley and a long-time investigator into the impact of drugs on U.S. foreign policy in Asia and Central America, has been examining the issues surrounding the John Kennedy assassination for many years. His thoughtful, extremely (and sometimes excessively) detailed book promises more than it actually delivers. Scott's thesis is that under the surface of everyday politics is an often sinister mingling of business and criminal interests that sometimes coincide with the national interest as perceived by the military and intelligence communities; and that such a combination lay behind JFK's shooting. This is hardly a new concept, although Scott broadens the scope of the shadowy business villains considerably beyond the usual military-industrial complex to include fruit companies and law firms. His drawing of suggestive links is tireless--he is a great synthesizer--but since the ``facts'' on which he relies are often the result of other people's not necessarily accurate reporting, the whole structure has a ramshackle feel. The book's most useful feature is a careful discussion of how U.S. Vietnam policy changed abruptly after Kennedy's death. (Oct. )