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The Memoirs of JFK imagines that John Fitzgerald Kennedy survived Dallas, that he served two terms and then wrote a flawed memoir in which he failed to confront many of the questions that had arisen in the aftermath of the assassination attempt. A worried publisher sends a seasoned ghostwriter to try to persuade President Kennedy to deal with these omissions. Their combat is the engine of this novel; Kennedy ultimately tells all, then all but destroys the man who made him bare his soul.

Although The Memoirs of JFK is an invention, both its factual aspects and post-assassination conjectures are informed by the author’s interviews with some 50 sources—many of them members of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s administration, some of them journalists he favored, a few of them close friends. No one, of course, can know for certain what decisions Kennedy would have taken, but given the nature of the man and his expressed intent, the world described in the novel is one we might well have lived in had he survived Dallas.

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