Friday, February 09, 2018

Christopher Hitchens and JFK

Oliver Stone's film JFK was released at the end of 1991 and gave rise to this overmanned Late Show panel.

Christopher Hitchens and Pierre Salinger (who appears to be in the process of turning into Bernard Ingham) are no longer with us, but Anthony Summers and D.M. Thomas still are.

But the 1990s (my favourite decade) are a long way away and it is a surprise to find that the latter published a novel as recently as 2014.

A couple of thoughts on this clip.

The first is that talking heads make great television as long as their owners are interesting enough.

The second is that I believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the only gunman in Dealey Plaza that day, but if he was put up to it by anyone it was surely the KGB. He had, after all, gone to live in the Soviet Unon and then come back to the USA.

Anyway, the best book I know on Kennedy's assassination (which is probably my first memory) is A Cruel and Shocking Act by Philip Shenon.

Summers' discovery that no one had talked to many of the witnesses in 1963 chimes with the theme of that book.

Meanwhile, Sarah Dunant is going strong as a historical novelist.

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