Synopses & Reviews
From one of the countrys most brilliant political commentators, the bestselling author of Then Everything Changed, an extraordinary, thought-provoking look at Kennedys presidencyafter November 22, 1963.
November 22, 1963: JFK does not die. What would happen to his life, his presidency, his country, his world?
In Then Everything Changed, Jeff Greenfield created an utterly compelling” (Joe Klein), riveting” (The New York Times), eye-opening” (Peggy Noonan), captivating” (Doris Kearns Goodwin) exploration of three modern alternate histories, with the kind of political insight and imagination only he possesses” (David Gregory). Based on memoirs, histories, oral histories, fresh reporting, and his own knowledge of the players, the book looked at the tiny hinges of historyand the extraordinary changes that would have resulted if they had gone another way.
Now he presents his most compelling narrative of all about the historical event that has riveted us for fifty years. What if Kennedy were not killed that fateful day? What would the 1964 campaign have looked like? Would changes have been made to the ticket? How would Kennedy, in his second term, have approached Vietnam, civil rights, the Cold War? With Hoover as an enemy, would his indiscreet private life finally have become public? Would his health issues have become so severe as to literally cripple his presidency? And what small turns of fate in the days and years before Dallas might have kept him from ever reaching the White House in the first place?
As with Then Everything Changed, the answers Greenfield provides and the scenarios he develops are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. It is a tour de force of American political history.
Praise for Then Everything Changed
"Political junkies always play the 'what-if' game. Jeff Greenfield has taken it and turned it into something else entirely - a trio of thought-provoking, interesting, and downright clever scenarios which remind us just how much individuals do matter."
"Jeff Greenfield is a wonderful story-teller and a keen student of politics. A powerful what-if book that seems painfully, tantalizingly real."
-Evan Thomas, Author, The War Lovers, Sea of Thunder, and Robert Kennedy: His Life
"Filled with fresh revelations and brilliant speculation, Jeff Greenfield's alternative history is so detailed and persuasive - and the behavior of its protagonists so utterly believable - that it feels like reality itself. This is a remarkable feat of insight, imagination, and storytelling."
-Richard North Patterson
Praise for Jeff Greenfield
“Shrewdly written, often riveting, gripping…Thanks to Mr. Greenfields own familiarity with American politics and a lot of energetic research, he turns these twists of fate into accelerating historical snowballs that rumble through our recent history, altering the social landscape in ways both small and large.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Not only thoughtful and sophisticated, but marked by the authors enthusiasm. Greenfield is having fun here, and you can feel it on every page. His scenarios are relentlessly grounded in plausibility. This is a book political junkies will adore.”—Bryan Burrough, The Washington Post
“Satisfying, entertaining, insightful. The key to Greenfields success is that he knows his politics and the strengths and weaknesses of leaders. Greenfields storytelling is compelling and his research superb.”—The Miami Herald
“Historians have long been tantalized by the what-ifs of history. In the hands of this tremendously gifted storyteller, Then Everything Changed will captivate the reader every step along the way.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin
“You expect intelligence and a devilish sense of humor and a profound knowledge of political history from Jeff Greenfield. But there is a deeper, haunting quality to this book as well. By adding a simple twist of fate, Greenfield brings fresh - and exhilarating - insights to the history of our times.”—Joe Klein, columnist, Time magazine
“Jeff Greenfield has taken the ‘what-if game and turned it into something else entirely - a trio of thought-provoking, interesting, and downright clever scenarios that remind us just how much individuals do matter.”—Bob Schieffer, moderator, Face the Nation
A brilliant and brilliantly entertaining tour de force of American politics from one of journalism's most acclaimed commentators.
History turns on a dime. A missed meeting, a different choice of words, and the outcome changes dramatically. Nowhere is this truer than in the field where Jeff Greenfield has spent most of his working life, American politics, and in three dramatic narratives based on memoirs, histories, oral histories, fresh reporting with journalists and key participants, and Greenfield's own knowledge of the principal players, he shows just how extraordinary those changes would have been.
These things are true: In December 1960, a suicide bomber paused fatefully when he saw the young president-elect's wife and daughter come to the door to wave goodbye...In June 1968, RFK declared victory in California, and then instead of talking to people in another ballroom, as intended, was hustled off through the kitchen...In October 1976, President Gerald Ford made a critical gaffe in a debate against Jimmy Carter, turning the tide in an election that had been rapidly narrowing.
But what if it had gone the other way? The scenarios that Greenfield depicts are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. You will never think about recent American history in the same way again.
"Published simultaneously in Canada"--T.p. verso.
You will never think about recent American history in the same way again.
These things are true:
- In December 1960, a suicide bomber paused when he saw the young President-elect John F. Kennedy's family come to the door to wave good-bye....
- In June 1968, Robert F. Kennedy declared victory in California, and then instead of heading to another ballroom, as intended, was hustled off through the kitchen....
- In October 1976, President Ford made a critical gaffe in a debate against Jimmy Carter, turning the tide in an election that had been rapidly narrowing.
But what if they had gone the other way? In three narratives based on memoirs, oral histories, fresh reporting with key participants, and his own knowledge of the principal players, Jeff Greenfield explores how accidents of fate could have altered the course of history. The scenarios that Greenfield depicts are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible.
About the Author
Jeff Greenfield is a multiple Emmy Award-winning analyst and has been a commentator for ABC, CNN, and CBS. He has worked as a columnist for Time magazine and as a writer for Harper's and the New York Times Magazine. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books. He worked in politics as a Senate aide, a speechwriter for such men as Senator Robert F. Kennedy and New York mayor John Lindsay, and a political strategist. Greenfield has observed and engaged in the last forty years of American politics more than most men, and he knows just how easily the history of those years could have been completely different.