The Politics of Deception: J.F.K.’s Secret Decisions on Vietnam, Civil Rights, and Cuba

Patrick J. Sloyan. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-03059-7
President Kennedy regularly misled the American public, writes veteran journalist Sloyan in this collection of painful, well-documented, and no longer controversial incidents from his last year in office. Dissatisfied with the heavy-handed leadership of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem, J.F.K secretly approved the 1963 coup, and Sloyan agrees with most observers that “Kennedy’s order to get rid of Diem was the real beginning of the American war in Vietnam.” His hostility to the civil rights movement included smearing Martin Luther King Jr. by circulating FBI wiretaps of his sexual encounters. By comparison, his ongoing efforts to murder Fidel Castro may seem silly—but only because they failed. Nevertheless, Sloyan points out that J.F.K.’s deception may have saved the world in 1962. Infuriated at American missiles in Turkey, Soviet Premier Krushchev installed his own in Cuba and then offered to withdraw them if Kennedy did the same. Since many Americans would have preferred war to “capitulating” to Communism, they were fed the story of a courageous J.F.K. going “eyeball to eyeball” with Krushchev. Dogged by crises, Kennedy often took advantage of a traditional but disreputable presidential tactic, and Sloyan delivers an engrossing, squirm-inducing account. Agent: Ronald Goldfarb, Goldfarb & Assoc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 02/10/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-250-03060-3
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