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Unafraid: A Novel of the Possible by Jeff…
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Unafraid: A Novel of the Possible

by Jeff Golden

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Suppose JFK did not die in Dallas and a relieved and grateful public gave him the political capital to do what he chooses. This is the premise of Unafraid by Jeff Golden. The novel conjectures what Kennedy would have done in both foreign policy (Cuba, Vietnam, Middle East) and domestically. The speeches and explanations the author writes for Kennedy are quite good and made me wonder if he had some background as a political speechwriter.
The point-of-view of the novel is provided by Caroline Kennedy the last surviving member of the family, who is working with a biographer to write the definitive story of his eight years in office. This stepping out of the political narrative works well, giving a personal look at the events and the man.
Unfortunately, as the novel progresses and drastic changes in US policy are detailed, Kennedy seems to become a peg on which to hang the author's ideas and ideology. The reader loses sight of the historical Kennedy.
It is a fascinating premise and worth a look at. ( )
  Oregonreader | Apr 17, 2009 |
A fascinating alternative history: what if JFK had survived the assassination? What worst fears of his enemies might have come to pass? This book is solidly grounded in the history of the 60s - more than will be apparent to most of us - and poignantly reminds us how many hopes were lost in Dallas.

The big assassinations of the 1960s were the most visible signs of a real war: what did that war decide? This alternative history is an important tool for thinking about the changes then.

We live in a world which was shaped by the winners of that internal war: among them Hoover, Johnson, and Nixon. It is important to remember how much we live in the world they made: a world of synchronized news media, of politicians bought by bribes and blackmail, of perpetual war, of political speech circumscribed by endless taboos. We are ruled in secret, and stampeded by fear.

This book is not about the assassination: it is about power, and the nature of a republic. It explores ideas, and not merely facts: the dialogues involving Hoover, or Joe Kennedy, or Fidel Castro, or Martin Luther King are deep. This is well worth reading.
  Patentnonsense | Jun 29, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155571658X, Paperback)

Two dates burn fiercely in the memory of millions of Americans: November 22, 1963 and September 11, 2001. These two tragedies bracket "Unafraid," a story grounded in a simple question: what if the fatal bullet fired on that sunny Dallas afternoon had veered three inches off target?"Unafraid" lays out a compelling answer, rich with the public adventures and private dramas of 20th Century icons--J. Edgar Hoover, Martin Luther King, Fidel Castro, Golda Meir, the Beatles--played out on a transformed world stage. At the center of this parallel history is a leader who blows the sides out of conventional politics with a simple belief: a primary reason that idealistic goals are "impossible" to achieve is that we needlessly decide that they're impossible to achieve.With a tiny imaginary spin of history's wheel, "Unafraid" opens the gates to an America of realistic hope and possibility.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Two dates burn fiercely in the memory of millions of Americans: November 22, 1963, and September 11, 2001. These two tragedies bracket Unafraid, a story grounded in a simple question: What if the fatal bullet fired on that sunny Dallas afternoon had veered three inches off target? Unafraid lays out a compelling answer, rich with the public adventures and private dramas of twentieth-century icons-from J. Edgar Hoover to the Beatles-played out on a transformed world stage. At the center of this parallel history is a leader who blows the sides out of conventional politics with the simple belief that the primary reason idealistic goals are "impossible" to achieve is that we have needlessly decided that they are. With a tiny imaginary spin of history's wheel, Unafraid opens the gates to an America of realistic hope and possibility.… (more)

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