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Excerpts from a lecture on MC by Alan Scheflin

Allen L. Barker alb at datafilter.com
Thu Dec 9 23:18:26 EST 2004

The reaction in
Iran helped give us Reagan-Bush. The rest, as they say, is

In comparing the two books, one is immediately struck by a
difference in approach. Whatever the shortcomings of the
Rockefeller book, there is a minimal reliance on questionable
sources. And the concentration on individual lives very seldom
extends into a pervasive search for sex and scandal. This
difference extends to even the photos chosen for the two books.
The Rockefeller book is fairly conventional with wide or half
page group shots or portraits. In the Kennedy book, even the one
page of group shots are tiny prints. The rest are wallet-sized
head shots that when leafed through, give the impression of mug

The accompanying text is suitable to the photo layout. There
seems to me to be both a macro and micro plan to the book. The
overall plan is to make Joe Kennedy a sort of manipulating
overseer to his sons and, at the same time, make him into a
status-seeking iconoclast whose beliefs and sympathies are contra
to those of America. The problem with this is dual. First, it is
the typical "like father, like son" blanket which reeks of guilt,
not just by association, but by birth. Second, the blatant ploy
does not stand scrutiny because what makes John and Robert
Kennedy so fascinating is how different their politics and
economics were from Joe Kennedy's and how fast the 

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