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Book Review: ‘Surrounded by Enemies’ by Bryce Zabel

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zabel 1Surrounded by Enemies, by Bryce Zabel, is a look at history with a bit of a twist. Those folks around in 1963 will easily remember the events from an ambush on a motorcade while John Fitzgerald Kennedy was greeting people in Dallas. In fact, nobody who is a fan of Walter Cronkite will ever forget where they were when they heard the well known news anchor break the story of the President’s death.

Zabel seeks to examine a failed attempt. Put simply, how would life be today if Kennedy had made it off the operating table and walked back into the White House fifty years ago? For sure, the top priority would be to figure out who besides Lee Harvey Oswald would have reason to want Kennedy dead. Political enemies are just as likely as personal ones.

This is a book which is not to be taken with a grain of truth. While names are accurate, what happens during the Dallas motorcade is hardly so. Alternative fiction merely presents a working theory with a concept at the end which readers are not required to accept as fact.

History buffs and conspiracy theorists are going to find this book fascinating, for obvious reasons. The concept is an interesting one. The story takes readers into a world which becomes personal to the players involved. Vice President Johnson is there, along with Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren.

Jackie, whose fashions make the most impact as she holds the title of First Lady, requires something of an appearance. Robert Kennedy is drawn forcefully upon the page as he takes on the role of Attorney General.

While the ending might seem a little obivous, it opens the door to how much power could be seen as a threat to some people. Considering JFK held the office of the most powerful politician in the country, the list of potential enemies is numerous.

Readers who wish to know more about Zabel and the books he writes can find more information on his latest website.

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