James DiEugenio's "Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood" is in part a rebuttal to Vincent Bugliosi's massive disinformation tome, "Reclaiming History," a hopelessly futile defense of the thoroughly discredited Warren Report. Numerous books, from Sylvia Meagher's "Accessories After the Fact" and Mark Lane's "Rush to Judgment" to Walt Brown's "The Warren Omission" and Gerald McKnight's "Breach of Trust" have indisputably exposed the Report as a fraud.
In view of this, only a person with a gigantic ego could even begin to think that he could resurrect the Warren Report from oblivion. Vincent Bugliosi was once known as the fearless district attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson and subsequently reaped fame and fortune from his chronicle of the case entitled "Helter Skelter" (even though a first year law student could have successfully convicted Manson and his murderous lunatics).
With such a reputation, Bugliosi must have thought that his name alone would validate the Warren Report and thus effectively destroy the credibility of the critics, despite the monumental evidence that they have amassed proving irrefutably that there was a conspiracy. Of course, Vince knew that his book would receive the support of the government lapdogs in the mainstream media and was probably certain that it would forever silence those danged researchers who had the nasty habit of uncovering the unvarnished truth about the crime of the century.
Unfortunately for Bugliosi, such distinguished researchers as David Mantik, Jim Fetzer, Allan Eaglesham, Michael Green, Gary Aguilar, William Davy and a host of others very quickly exposed the innumerable fallacies of his book. But these critics served as only a prelude to Jim DiEugenio's nuclear devastation of Vince's paperweight.
DiEugenio meticulously dissects Bugliosi's book chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, all with factual data and documentation to support his merciless destruction of Vince's folly. Jim exposes Bugliosi's omissions, distortions, fabrications, inaccuracies and misrepresentations so thoroughly that the former prosecutor should hide his head in shame. Indeed, it is tempting to almost feel sorry for Vince. That is, until it is remembered how he sarcastically ridiculed, belittled, attacked and maligned everyone who disagreed with his fraudulent thesis.
In addition to being an erudite rebuttal to Bugliosi, Jim's book provides unassailable facts surrounding the assassination and the subsequent cover-up. He also provides incisive analysis on why the establishment is still so committed to maintaining the Warren Report's lies. He exposes the corruption at the core of the Warren Commission, beginning with the ineptitude of Earl Warren, who was the chairman in name only. The actual powers of the Commission were Allen Dulles, John McCloy and Gerald Ford. And he shows why these three men, along with evil ogre behind the scenes, J. Edgar Hoover, comprise "four of the most repellant characters in postwar American history."
But exposing Bugliosi's preconceived agenda is only one part of DiEugenio's book. It is also an exposé of just why self-appointed historian Tom Hanks and his production partner Gary Goetzman attempted to salvage Bugliosi's balderdash by purchasing film rights and making a ten-part miniseries for HBO. Jim shows why this attempt failed and eventually led to the film "Parkland." Prior to this less ambitious but equally deceptive piece of celluloid waste, Hanks also produced and starred in "Charley Wilson's War," which glorified a perfidious congressman whose CIA-condoned policies led to catastrophic results in Afghanistan and in the United States. Jim's comprehensive history of the historical facts shows just how dishonest and untruthful that movie was.
DiEugenio exposes Hank, along with his close friend Stephen Spielberg and other Hollywood celebrities, as pompous elitist allies of what is essentially a brutal hegemony. The Old Hollywood that produced Oliver Stone's 1991 film "JFK" was replaced by the New Hollywood. Stone's movie infuriated the powerbrokers because it dared to challenge the government's official report on the assassination. Other provocative movies portrayed the CIA as a criminal organization with unbridled power. The Agency was determined to change that image - and to change Hollywood as well. Thus, in 1996, former CIA agent Chase Brandon became the Agency's official liaison to Hollywood and subsequently persuaded studio moguls and celebrities to rehabilitate the Agency's tarnished image. Jim fully illustrates the ways and means by which Brandon succeeded in making the film capitol a subservient lackey of the Establishment.
DiEugenio illustrates why Oliver Stone would never be able to make "JFK" in the New Hollywood. The manner in which the Establishment castigated Stone was a warning to all filmmakers what would happen to them if they dared to follow in his footsteps. Thus we have Hanks and Goetzman meekly obeying the government's dictates. They paved the way for another great thinker, Leonardo DiCaprio, who with his father will make a government-sanctioned mob-did-it movie based upon another absurdly deceptive book about the assassination. Jim's meeting with Georgio DiCaprio reveals the rampant ignorance behind still another attempt to conceal the truth about the tragedy.
However, despite books like Bugliosi's and movies like "Parkland," truth will out, thanks to indefatigable researchers. Jim's book follows closely on the heels of two other terrific accomplishments. Joseph McBride's "Into the Nightmare," the result of three decades of research and investigation, is a landmark work that is as informative as it is passionate. And Walt Brown's essential CD Rom, "The Master Analytic Chronology of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy" is a monumental achievement that encapsulates everything anyone might need to know about the assassination.
"Reclaiming Parkland" exposes the truth about the culture of corruption responsible for so much of the New Hollywood's product as well as the deceit represented by toadies like Bugliosi and Hanks. It is an indispensable and informative book that reveals the extent of the corruption of America and of Hollywood.