Few events in world history have impacted the American psyche quite as profoundly as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In the past half century close to 1,500 books have been written on the subject, including the Amazon.com Bestseller,Before History Dies, by Jacob Carter. The new book, which has received numerous glowing reviews by both lay readers and Kennedy experts, has now earned an addition honor: it has been accepted into the Reading Room at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
The Museum, which chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. It presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history and strives to be an impartial, multi-generational destination and forum for exploring the memory and effects of the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, through sharing his legacy and its impact on an ever-changing global society.
“I’m thankful and honored that the Sixth Floor Museum chose to add my book to their library,” Carter says. “I believe it will be a valuable addition to the museum’s collection because it has the particular goal of educating young people about the importance of JFK’s assassination. My hope is that one day soon, a young man or woman will pick it out for research and grasp the main message of the book; that JFK’s assassination still effects us today.”
The JFK assassination is an event that has baffled, intrigued and frustrated legions of investigators, legislators and ordinary citizens for more than half a century. Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Was there a conspiracy? If so, who were the players? Who stood to gain, and who stood to lose?
While it is certainly prime fodder for imaginative story-telling, (such as the popular HULU series11.22.63) the Kennedy assassination represents much more to the American psyche than just a good murder mystery. It ushered in an era of distrust of government and an often lethargic and apathetic view among young people.
Carter has his own opinions about who was responsible for the most high-profile murder of the 20th century, and about the event’s impact on his generation. Yet in his Amazon.com bestselling book, Before History Dies, he allows the people who were witnesses to history being made to speak with their own voices. Instead of picking a side and defending it, Carter presents compelling evidence from both the “Lone Gunman” and the “Conspiracy Theory” camps, and encourages readers to make up their own minds.
“I believe the JFK assassination still matters and it effects our worldview today,” Carter says. “It matters because history should be a vital subject to study, yet in an age where my generation seems hell bent on pragmatism, the study of our past has lost its flavor. I see a tragic pattern: A historic event occurs, but history can be twisted and manipulated through the passage of time. History is first rewritten and then utterly forgotten, robbing people of the ability to either understand or learn from their past. It’s a scary thing to witness.”
“That is why I wrote, Before History Dies. I wanted younger people to understand the Kennedy assassination and all of the facts surrounding it.”
November 22 marks the anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Two days later, his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was gunned down on national television by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner with suspected ties to the Mob, sparking speculations of conspiracy at the highest levels.
The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that there was no conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy, either domestic or international. However, the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations came to a different conclusion, declaring that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime.
More than half a century has passed since those fateful events, yet so many questions remain unanswered. Lone gunman? Conspiracy? And then there is that one big question:
Does it still matter?
The answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes!” according to Jacob M. Carter, author of the new book, Before History Dies.
“Our country has never fully recovered from that event,” Carter muses. “Why? Perhaps it’s because we as a country don’t believe this case was ever given an honest investigation. Today it is common to distrust our elected officials. Many of us are apathetic about politics and perhaps with good reason. If I could point to a moment in American history that launched us on the path to our modern skepticism, it would be the Kennedy assassination. I believe this is why it still matters today.”
In Before History Dies Carter interviews more than a dozen experts of the JFK assassination, giving equal time to advocates of both the Lone Assassin theory and the Conspiracy theory, but ultimately leaves the decision on the world’s greatest whodunit to the reader.