tv Book Discussion on Dallas 1963 CSPAN December 24, 2013 8:15pm-9:01pm EST
it's the heart of everything they are and everything they were and everything they hoped they would he. >> do you have your eye on the next project yet? >> we do. we are going back to the future to world war ii. i don't want to give too much away but let's just say that dirty dozen unbroken. >> thanks very much for your time. >> thank you. >> from 18th annual texas book festival in boston historians describe with the city of dallas was like in the days and months before president john f. kennedy was assassinated there. this is about 40 minutes. >> i would like to welcome you all here to meet the authors of "dallas 1963". bill minutaglio and steve davis. steve is a curator at the went with collections heads texas state university and the author of several other books including
texas literary outlaws. bill is a clinical professor of journalism at the university of texas of boston. he has written biographies including one of george w. bush and one of molly ivins. so i just wanted to start, i have read a couple of your recent interviews last week, bill and when you were on npr you describe how in the early 60's dallas had become one of the most singular cities on the planet earth. i was just wondering if you could start i explaining what you meant by that? >> sure. i think in the annals of american history and i'm a little biased to speak in such broad terms as we wrote a book about dallas called dallas 1963 but in the years prior to the assassination president kennedy, it seemed like there was no other place like that city certainly in america. but we had were a handful of people, people who lived above
the cloud over a very popular people who work in forming the confederacy really have anti-kennedy ferber that had pushed the thinking there in some way to a fanatical fringe and i want to underscore right from the beginning that there were tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people in dallas who either loves president kennedy or at the minimum respected his office. our book is about a handful of people who happen to have access to a microphone metaphor we speaking and they hijacked the microphone and created a toxic environment like nothing we have ever known in history. >> when i was reading the book i was struck by how distinct this was from other accounts of the time and i think that's in part because of the style in which you wrote it. for those of you who are not yet familiar with the book they use present tense throughout and the level of detail is almost
cinematic at times. i'm wondering about your choice using present tense and whether it was hard to sustain knowing you needed to be providing that level of detail at all points? go ahead. >> okay. well, what we had in dallas was a pretty intense environment where you had for example the publisher of the "dallas morning news" going into the white house and telling him to his face, we need a man on horseback to lead this country and to many of us in texas think you are writing a tricycle. we have the congressman from dallas leading a mob protested against lyndon johnson when he was jfk's running mate. some of you may have heard a lot of people who warned kennedy not to go to dallas before that fateful trip in 1963, you may
have heard john f. kennedy sage jacklin that morning while we are headed into -- and what bill and i are trying to do is to present a portrait of the environment in dallas. when you delve into each of these stories and some of them are quite fascinating you have the wealthiest men in the world, h. l. hunt bankrolling a radio program that was devoted to taking down john f. kennedy and when kennedy propose to have the medicare program hl hunt's radio announcers came on the air hundreds of stations across the country billions of listeners telling them that this will lead to government -- will make the present day medical czar which i think is a russian word, czar. every american citizen so i finally get to answer your question. when you have this kind of intensity like we saw in dallas we wanted to immerse ourselves
in the readers and the environment as much as possible so that is why we made that decision. >> i was going to ask this question but you kind of led me to it, which is there was a recent blogger for "the new yorker" who identified the continuity of the leaps between 1963 as you described and the present so when you bring up health care i feel like that is why the audience was laughing a little bit. i was just kind of wondering in these ideas about the continuity of leaves and some of the extreme radicals being connected with senators and congressman and multimillionaires who have influence on the country if that resonated with you? >> yeah, of course it did eventually. i was in detroit michigan last week and probably got my biggest laugh out there when i told folks i had a tv that has a picture and a picture of you know what i mean. you could have one channel on
the main tv and at the bottom you had another channel showing. what i like to do for fun as i tell folks in detroit was have "msnbc" on one channel and fox on the other so it looks like i'm actually having a debate with people on extreme spectrums. i make one person bigger and smaller. i'm easily ward i guess at the point of it is what we discovered is there were a cute pair of. i hope this doesn't seem like an averted lyrical statement that we lived somewhat in a political iced environment that can sometimes create gridlock. maybe you've seen it in the news lately and what we are seeing was the exact same thing in 1963. i have seen folks come up to us on part of our book tour and say you have changed part of your book title. people still yell at each other and have dialogue and conversation.
i think if there is a consequence. our contention is the worth of that polarization and the real public manifestation of the outer edge of it was born in dallas texas of all places but it was spearheaded by a number of people who have the money, the will and frankly at the end of the day the hatred of president kennedy. not everybody wanted to underscore that but a handful of people who felt some vitriol. they assumed they could be agents of change in leaving this attack against kennedy. he would introduce government that -- death panels and on and on and on. he was de-quilt that he was writing caroline's tricycle. there's a little bit of that as we accuse presidents and i write a little bit about george w. bush. he was assailed quite a bit as well. it seems like we lived in it
polarized age in our contention is that it began in some ways in dallas. >> let me add to that too that what you saw with kennedy is people weren't just as agreeing politically. they were calling him make traitor and accusing him of treason. basically they were calling for his execution. that is why the cover of our book is a play on the wanted poster. thousands of these posters were distributed in dallas on the day of kennedys arrival. they said wanted for treason and that all the charges against him. that idea downed accusing your opponent of being un-american manifested itself in how it's gone national today. >> just to speak to that kind of toxic environment that existed in dallas at the time which many people were well aware of nationally, reading your book it had this air of inevitability. i realized partly as readers we
know what happens at the end of the story but also it seemed that there seemed to be real signals that an assassination attempt was possible or even likely. people would try to stop him from visiting and discussing the potential for assassination that morning. i just wonder if you felt like people who were apprised of that environment were less surprised or if it was a different kind of surprised and the nation as a whole we distort the remember this event as being this big shock to the nation. it probably wasn't that shocking to everyone. >> that's a great question and it's always good to flatter the host but it's a really great question. what we saw was incredible evidence particularly in 1963 itself. our book begins in 1960 with an outsized moment in downtown dallas where what is called a mink coat mob 300 wealthiest people in dallas basically accosted senator johnson and lady bird johnson in downtown
dallas and one of the finest hotels and literally began attacking them because they were afraid of a kennedy white house. it made national news and it was on national tv and some historians suggest that this unruly mob of people that tried to hit lady bird johnson's signr lady bird johnson a very gentile and elegant person. the images from that event broad cassoutt of dallas cause people to vote in sympathy for the kennedy johnson ticketing that catapulted them into the white house. they were so opposed to this group. in 1963 in january several months before kennedy came dr. martin luther king made a visit to dallas but it's not widely known by historians and i think you try to amplify it in the book.
he had been warned to stay away from dallas and he decided decided to give a speech essentially about unity and maybe ending the polarization in america and the bomb threat was lodged against him. not long after that the leading potential head of the anti-kennedy movement in america who had been booted out of the military by kennedy accused of brainwashing his troops and reading john birch society literature, a few months after the threat the attempted assassination general walker was almost assassinated in dallas by lee harvey oswald. he went to general walker's house and put a gun on the fence and tried to kill general walker 1963 just kept getting more and more hot. neiman marcus the famous store downtown in downtown dallas a lot of you know i'm probably the finest store in this part of the country was coated with
swastikas. folks were coming out in putting graffiti and swastikas on buildings around the town. a holocaust survivor in the spring of 63 and found the cross burning on his lawn in dallas and it culminated a month before kennedy came to dallas with the united nations ambassador adlai stevenson being attacked by another mob in dallas. a very distinct anger minority. he escaped with his life. there's some evidence that the head of neiman marcus might have saved his life literally rubbing the united nations ambassador and pulling him away from the crowd who is hell-bent on doing violence. he threw him in the car and they made their getaway in downtown dallas. the united nation's ambassador turned to stanley marcus and set are these the animals? there were signs and kennedy was being warned not to come to dallas both by people on the ground in texas and members of the staff. >> and let me at to this
question. i think everybody was shocked by that and the dallas police department after the news broke that kennedy had been shot, the switchboard was flooded with calls from housewives in dallas and they were all calling and sobbing. each of them confessing that she was sure her husband had been the one that killed the president. [laughter] and let me save too about the mob. illinois had a wonderful time excavating the story. there is a lot of good evidence that the 1960 election turned on this moment. the person he who led that mob was dallas congressman bruce alger and he had his own picket sign that day. it said lbj sold out to yankee socialist. when the mob backfired and caused a huge outpouring of sympathy for linda and lady bird it's hard to give sympathy
towards london but people were very sympathetic toward lady bird bird. we talk about the impact of the election once nixon became president there is an oval office recording of him talking to one of his -- and he says we lost texas in 1960 because of that congressman in dallas. [laughter] >> he was an extremely stride and member of congress, may be most famous for being a lone member of congress to vote against a surplus milk over them for needy children in america and it turned out in this time period there was a surplus of leftover milk and the decision in washington about what to do with it. some folks propose why we give it to needy children and he voted against the only member on either side of the aisle. he was such a socialist that it was tantamount to communism. >> you spent a lot of time
developing these right-wing characters and i was struck by the irony that he was killed by a communist. there was this city where the tension seems to be between the kennedy administration and the right-wing but then there's this kind of loan person throughout the book that is representing the extreme left. i was just kind of wondering how you thought that made sense in terms of the place and time? >> i will take a swing in that and another great question. i keep shamelessly flattering you but yeah the great irony or the anomaly is that we are writing about is a group of people that were extremists particularly from the right wing who were against kennedy and viewed him as a socialist, communist and by the way a roman catholic. we talked a little bit today about islamaphobia. there was a catholic phobia in dallas at the time. the leader of the largest baptist congregation in america
had a first baptist church that believed kennedy was proposing integration which he thought was a form of socialism as well and he practiced this exotic dark heart religion that was called catholicism. so they were very suspicious and anti-kennedy but it is absolutely unequivocally true that someone from the left-wing extreme kill president kennedy. this goes to your very question question -- very good question earlier. why do we do impressive tents? we wanted to give you a sense of what it was like to be in dallas and the moment as this fear and anxiety something far beyond ambivalence began welling up. and that back story of dallas as in the nation was integration. people everywhere do not handle this. we believe and i never use the
word inspire but i would maintain and i'm hardly an armchair psychologist. we have to believe in some way that someone who is a malleable and questionable may be wanted to make his move market history. someone like harvey -- lee harvey oswald ayub then -- in the sense that he could be an agent of change he saw the other people this powerful minority, he saw the world's richest man a gel hunt to lift in dallas lead an attack and yet lee harvey oswald felt that he could be a player on the world stage as well. he really did. i think he was influenced by what happened. >> if i can add too that if oswald was a communist who was a terrible communist.
this was a guy who defected to the soviet union. he came back to the united states. he despise people who are members of the working class which also i think goes with what communism is all about. when you look at who oswald was and the environment he was then you can see that he was kind of a misfit rate he was looking for a place to fit in and he had above average intelligence. he believed he was about to do something great with his life and he kept trying to find a place to plug himself then and never really did. >> if i may add in april of 1963 and this was exiled little bit to the corners of history, oswald did try to kill someone else in dallas and we spend a lot of our book re-creating that scene. it was an early harbinger of things to come.
>> i think the style made it so that it had to be a factual account and he didn't get into questions of whether oswald did or didn't. the nature of the book didn't have to address if there was kind of a conspiracy theory about this and there was tension over this and i'm wondering just to get on top of the inevitable obvious question that relates the conspiracy theory but i just wonder if there is a consciousness to that choice to step out of that argument or for something that's very black and white to you having that immersed into the material? >> we did not write a conspiracy book and did not set out to really go into that round. we believe we have such a dramatic story to tell and it had become lost in history for two generations. we kept occupy by telling stories of these people. that is a realm we didn't even need to enter into. >> i don't know.
i think some folks feel kennedy fatigue and forgive me for saying this as it relates to conspiracy theories and it sometimes seems like a circular discussion. again it was a conscious plan of attack in terms of reporting to the story that we think we maintain having been told this narrative of the cinematic welling, this compounding forceful energy that was going on in dallas and trying to capture that and restless onto the page. i don't want to give away the endings and i wanted to buy copies of course but we don't linger on the assassination. >> i might go ahead and give away the ending. the last words john kennedy heard came from the governor's wife who turned to him and said he can't say that dallas doesn't love you mr. president. >> i'm just going to and this portion of that with one last
question because i can't resist asking it and then open it up to the audience. actually in the same npr interview that i mentioned bill mentioned the trip you took to moscow a few years ago. you said you were from dallas and the response you got was about the kennedy shooting and i wondered if you can tell us what it means to dallas presently that there is this memory internationally? >> i used to work for the "dallas morning news." i had a big window for which if i crane my neck a little bit like this i could see the assassination point when i first moved to dallas a long time ago when they were building the pyramids. i lived a few blocks away from the assassination site. i could walk life every morning. it was always there and those of you that are from dallas no it is in the dna and something you can avoid. its right in the middle of the city and you can drive right
idea. i always felt it should be hermetically sealed in some way with the bubble over it. i was covering an assignment for the "dallas morning news" in moscow, not moscow texas, the other one and i had just met some folks there who said where you from? i said i'm from dallas, dallas texas. the first thing they did was raise, they did this and then squeeze the trigger and then said kennedy, kennedy, kennedy over and over again. this is a long way from dallas and it really registered with me. i remember interviewing and talking with the great late author david halberstam. he told me in almost a jocular way i carefully like the dallas cowboys. i thought he had another personal preference but he said they are from the city where the president was killed. this was many years later. i think the city has recovered a
lot and have eloquently addressed it. there's a beautiful museum there. if you haven't been there please go. it took a long time for the city to figure out how to heal and to move forward. and i think to grapple with the sense that we probably shouldn't let people in either extreme hijacked the microphone. >> thank you francie my questions and i want to open up to the audience now. if anyone has a question if you could just line up behind his microphone in the center. >> will you just speak a little bit about wa criswell? i loved the book. >> we are not related.
i wanted to notify everybody here. >> we talked about this sort of confederacy of people in dallas who were leading this charge and one of those was wa criswell, the first baptist church the largest baptist church congregation in the country. go over there to earlier the issues of integration in dallas. criswell came out vociferously against it. he called those who wanted to integrate dirty infidels dying from the neck up. this was a spiritual leader in dallas. when john kennedy was running his bill mentioned the attacks on his religion became really of paramount importance during the campaign. kennedy actually had to come to texas to face those charges and
that is when the houston ministers did such a great job. it was wa criswell that was leading those attacks on kennedy. he gave a sermon where he said if kennedy is elected it will be the end of america as we know it wilma longer have religious freedom and one of criswell's parishoners was hl hunt who paid for 200,000 copies of that sermon to be printed and distributed to other ministers so these were people who were having a big impact on things. >> thanks. i have to say i'm a little bit concerned about the way he answered -- [inaudible] [inaudible]
[inaudible] [inaudible] the way he would have been exposed to extremism was essentially a kl r.d. the radio station. i wanted you, i wondered what you thought about. >> that's a great question. oswalt considered himself a politically aware person and he did live in several places. he came back to dallas a couple of different times during the
period where writing about and we didn't know why he moved to dallas. one time after general walker had been arrested on john kennedy's personal orders for sedition and insurrection after leaving in anti-integration rally that cause people to die. oswalt certainly was aware of that news of general walker and he really paid by the bit of attention to what walker was doing politically. he'll talked earlier about the mob that attacked adlai stevenson. the night before that event general walker had his own kind of gathering in the same building the dallas memorial auditorium. that is where they gave them instructions on what to do on the night the adlai stevenson came. went adlai was speaking to people in this auditorium there was a banner behind him the said well, adelaide -- adlai. halfway through the program somebody flipped a rope and the
banner pulled down to read u.n. front. oswalt was there when general walker was given instructions to the people and was very interested in what was happening in dallas. >> dallas. >> was just wondering, and i haven't read the book yet and i'm certainly going to, these days whenever people say something crazy it turns out they are always from texas. [laughter] it makes me insane and i just want to say no, no i'm from austin. [applause] the question is as you are researching this book was dallas really an isolated part of this kind of craziness or where their national trends in the same direction? >> there were certainly trends. by the way i found myself people
were saying you are from texas and it's your fault. and i mean everything. i kept saying it's not our fault and i don't know what you mean. i have lived in austin and dallas and san antonio and even abilene. there were other outposts. all around the country. we objectified our own state and people objectified us in a way. yet there was great resistance to kennedy all around even in new york and the city of houston a very vigorous anti-kennedy movement. so it was everywhere. asking why i concentrate on dallas, hl hunt have a lot of disposable income and spend millions of his own dollars creating a radio station that was primarily dedicated to attacking kennedy and it reached
10 million listeners. he maintained the birth of extremist radio in america in dallas. it was the consequence of the money. ted delete the publisher of the "dallas morning news" was one of the most respected and powerful publishers in america and the analysis he used of the paper that i once worked for. >> you have probably thought a lot about this. what are the parallels between what happened in 1963 or the early 60's and today? what can we learn from that period of time and apply it to today? >> well i think when you read the book is easy to draw your own conclusions. that's not something we really stress in the book but once we went out talking about it it's been the overwhelming reaction we have had from people. it sounds just like today and certainly you see i guess a couple of years ago i saw the
big billboard that said socialist. he would see those things in the "dallas morning news" in those years. did you bring the flag, bill? general walker -- were famous for demonstrating a nation in distress. the upside down american flag. >> general walker in dallas on at lovely side of town. in front of his house he had a giant flag pole and the fluid upside down in suggestion that the united states was essentially under attack a nation under duress. we have been around places in texas where folks are flying the flag this way today right out. in fact not too far from where we are sitting. >> i will mention when i leave
the state i tell people i'm from the austin area. [applause] i have a neighbor who flies his flag like that. >> i grew up in dallas and i was there that morning and saw everybody. a lot of my memories are after that period of time. i am curious and i don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist but i have read a lot of books. i am wondering how you address all the ballistics in your book and what kind of expert to use. that was one of his big strong points throughout his book was there had to be in extra gun. >> you now the end of part luck and before the assassination. we don't need to go into that part of the story which has been exhaustively covered and we were
trying something very different from ours story. we have something in her book that would cleverly called post-credits where we did it as an intentional narrative. it was introduced when we called the protagonist and her book probably seven or eight of them in the end of the book. the narrative itself really ends with shots bringing out in that and we have other section where we tell what happened to folks. what happened to them subsequently over time. many of them could understand where those folks it gone. to add to what steve said we don't really address the ballistics. >> my question was actually kind of what you were just talking about. in dallas today there is a citizens commission that kind of fines candidates and endorse candidates for city council and
i was just wondering, are the people active in this period bu cover, is that the legacy that they left behind? >> yes. [laughter] i'm not being flippant. and like many cities there is a citizens counsel, the dallas citizens counsel in the composed of very civic minded folks who really wanted to improve life in the city and would meet regularly in downtown and have breakfast meetings to chart the course of the city. some folks felt it was exclusionary and they had enlightened selves interest motivations. there is still a dallas citizens counsel in town and they still reads -- meet regularly and offer suggestions i will put it that way about the faith and the future of the city.
>> and the book your descriptions about stanley marcus and his anguish at what happened in the city where he was trying to bring a lot of art and culture too, i was wondering if he could talk a little bit about sort of the aftermath for him before the story nationally? >> i will go first and let go finish. stanley was one of the great heroes in dallas. this is the man had asian for the city of an international cosmopolitan place. the 1960s began as the most famous person in dallas. he was in the newspaper every week visiting royalty. he sponsored organizations like the dallas world affairs on international topics. he was chair of the united nations dave which is how he ended up inviting adlai stevenson to come to the city and spread rationality as he would call it. it was fascinating to go through
his archives because you could see how he felt about what was happening in the city and its efforts to change things. he sent a letter to the publisher the "dallas morning news" explaining why he thought the paper was contributing to this climate of absolutism and where it was steering the city wrong. and on the matters of integration neiman markets in the early 1960s was segregated just like every other local place in dallas. stanley marcus had to be careful about getting too far ahead of the city but behind-the-scenes you could see them pushing everybody else towards the integration. i would also mention quickly that stanley marcus and lyndon johnson were both kind of quiet civil rights supporters. they worked together free going to advance that topic and when we had this mink coat mob those were stanley marcus' best customers attacking lyndon johnson and yet that walked past him to join lbj this rally.
he lost a lot of customers. >> i have not read your book but it sounds great and i'm going to pick it up later today. how much of this is related to the john birch society? obviously there is a big element of that in california but how much of it is bad and how much of it is kind of confederate sort of southern? it seems like maybe this scene in dallas completed the two and i'm kind of curious if that is the case or if it's more of an internationalist or did it mix with this kind of southern? >> there was a strong impulse in dallas in some corners to protect what are politely today called southern traditions. dallas had been, again this is
exiled in the corners of history as well but dallas at one time had been the national head waters of the ku klux klan. they were very vigorous in public raids in the city and again in history if i had to guess without knowing i would have placed the headquarters somewhere else in the united states in deeply southern state but dallas had, it was founded in large part by former soldiers from the confederacy and relocated during the grandest public monuments. at that time the confederacy, there was a beautiful confederate cemetery, giant statute of robert e. lee in dallas. that is not making it all that distinctive but i think it informed things in dallas at a high level. it has just been ratcheted up again especially after brown v. board of education essentially ordering schools to be integrated and dallas needed
to do something. dallas needed to be the firing ball against a lot of these things to protect the pro-southern traditions. >> one last question. >> i haven't read the book and it raises some interesting questions in my mind. the primary one of course is come, is there any solid evidence that the climate in dallas and i don't mean the heat of the summer but the climate in dallas direct would lead to the assassination? >> no, i don't think that question is settled at all and we don't maintain that. really what our book is trying to do is a lot of people blamed dallas for kennedy's assassination. that's just a fact. people decades afterwards lamed dallas. what we wanted to do was to explain why people felt that way about dallas and that is why we went back and looked at this climate that developed in the city.
it was really a unique place. >> is that it? [laughter] >> i think so. [applause] >> thank you for your questions. bill and steve will be at the signing tent and if you have additional questions. for those of you who have been dying to know who i am during this panel i forgot to introduce myself. i am jessica grogan and i also the book on the 60s that is at the festival this weekend and you can find that in the tent as well. thanks. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> top down is the name of the book the novel of the kennedy assassination and joining us on booktv is the author, jim lehrer. mr. mayor and novel about the kennedy assassination. >> that's right. it's based on an experience i had on november 22, 1963. i was a reporter for the dallas times news which was the afternoon newspaper in dallas. i had an experience on that day as did everybody else involved not only the coverage but involved in that day. it's stuck in my head and in my craw for 50 years. i used it as a seed for a novel which was about the bubble top whether it was or was not at any given time on the presidential limousine that day and what consequences that might've had. and the secret service agent who
was overcome by guilt, fictional secret service agent overcome by guilt over what happened that day so that's what it's all about great spare you featured in the book is a reporter? >> the narrator is a reporter and he was a dallas newspaper reporter. on that day he didn't do exactly what he did with some modifications. after that it was strictly fiction. sure it's based on my experiences as a newspaper man in texas and that journalists generally but it's fiction. >> where were you that day? >> my assignment that day was the kennedys were only going to be in dallas for three hours. it was an event and i worked for an afternoon paper so that was a huge thing. the entire city staff was involved in the coverage of the kennedys. it was the biggest story we had in dallas in a long time. my assignment was to cover the
arrival and the motorcade and then stay there until he came back and then report on the departure. as it turned out i got the word in a restaurant at the airport after i had reported every morsel i knew about the departure and i went inside to have lunch with some other guys. the media came in screaming and crying and said oh my.they have shot kennedy and connolly too. i ran to the phone and called the hospital and the police station. that was my day and for the next several months i did nothing but kennedy assassination investigation stories. >> writing top-down, was a cathartic? >> you know i think it was. i hadn't intended it to be. i wasn't thinking and cathartic terms and a certain he wasn't thinking about the 50th anniversary. that was my publisher's idea.
you could've come out earlier but it was just a story i wanted to tell. i finally decided it was time to tell it. maybe probably i will think about your question later and answer it later. i didn't see it as cathartic when i wrote it. i didn't see this cathartic when it published at the maybe it was. >> this is your 15th book? >> this is my 21st novel, 24th book. >> how a semiretirement for you? >> well retirement is a word that doesn't mean anything to me because i'm as busy now as they ever was. i just don't do the show anymore. that's like saying i don't get wet when it rains anymore. it's a huge deal in my life. every day no matter what at 6:00 eastern time i would have a tie on and up to the caller and have my hair combed and now i don't have to do that anymore. what it means even when i was doing the news hour i was
writing plays as well as novels. now i just have more space between offense. i'm still writing and i have more space and more time to spend with my kids and my grandkids. i know that's a cliché but in my case it really is true. so i am the happiest nonretired retiree that i know. >> jim lehrer's most recent novel is top-down, a novel of the kennedy assassination. this is booktv booktv on c-span2. ..