Cabarrus library’s book discussion revives debates over JFK assassination
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Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

Cabarrus library’s book discussion revives debates over JFK assassination

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- ZACH MORTON
After 50 years, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy still intrigues a lot of people. Various books and commentaries have been written on the subject, including most recently “Killing Kennedy,” by Bill O’Reilly, among others.

This Friday, Nov. 22, will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though a lot of time has passed, many theories abound as to what really happened that day in Dallas.

Recently, the Cabarrus County Public Library hosted a discussion of one of the most recent books about the assassination, “Killing Kennedy,” by conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly.

The host, reference librarian John Eury, shared his thoughts on the assassination and where people can look to learn more.

Q: What do you think is still so intriguing about the Kennedy assassination?

A: Probably the fact that, in some people’s minds, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. It was just so shocking that it happened and people saw it on television. When things like this had happened in the past, you would hear about it secondhand. But this happened immediately, and television had only been around for a (few) years, and people could see it happening. Even those who didn’t vote for Kennedy could feel it was a terrible loss and tragedy that happened literally in front of our eyes.

Q: What is so intriguing about all the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination?

A: I think a lot of that is chalked up to the times. After his assassination, a lot of things about American society started to unravel. Things that we took for granted. There (were) also a lot of problems in the country after that, like civil rights, Vietnam and how that unfolded. People lost trust in their institutions of government and society. And when the Warren Commission said it was Oswald (alone) who killed Kennedy, that didn’t seem plausible with a lot of people. And some of his conspiracy (theories) are more outlandish, and others seem to have a grain of truth.

Q: What about “Killing Kennedy” is different from other books on the subject?

A: It is presented more on just the facts. It kind of lays it out and doesn’t go into a lot of historical explanation. It gives you kind of an immediate feel as to what it felt like and those days when it happened.

Q: What are some other good books people can read about the assassination?

A: “Case Closed,” by Gerald Posner. “End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” by James Swanson. “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination,” by Philip Shenon. And “Crossfire,” by Jim Marrs.

Q: Do you think people have become more receptive to the idea that Oswald was a lone gunman as time has gone by, or do you think disbelief in that conclusion has grown more?

A: I don’t know. I think that so many issues are there and different opinions people have – and very strong opinions – that (there are still) those who are inclined to think about a conspiracy behind it, or that there may be something else behind it that someone is not telling the whole truth. Whereas … those who think it sounds plausible there was a lone gunman, they still believe it was Oswald who was the assassin. So even though … all these books … have come out this year and in the past that argue for Oswald or for conspiracy of some kind, I think that people’s minds are so this or that that it’s pretty hard to (gauge) either way … how much new ground is being broken.

Zach Morton is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Zach? Email him at zacharymorton@mac.com.

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