Many of us who are old enough to remember the day JFK was assassinated still have a soft spot for the Camelot myth of his short presidency. So does Bill O'Reilly. He begins this book about the Kennedy administration and the day of his death with a scene from 22 November 1963 in Brother Carmine Diodati's freshman religion class at his high school and the shocking news announced on the loud speaker. We all remember where we were that day.
I was chatting with my government teacher of only a few years before in the teacher's room at New Bedford High School where I was practice teaching. Mr Garcia, the principal, made the announcement on the PA system and dismissed school early. I don't remember how I got in touch with my sister, who was a student at the high school, but we drove home together and I remember seeing people gathered in a crowd outside the window of a furniture store on Acushnet Avenue watching the news coverage on the store's TV. When we got home we watched TV all weekend and wept over the country's loss and our own.
O'Reilly and his co-author Martin Dugard capture that feeling of being bereft and the sense of unreality we all felt. It wasn't until many years later that much of the information in this book became common knowledge, some of it new to this book. For younger people who don't know the story the way those of us who lived through it do, this may be a good place to get an overview of the story.