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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why does the myth persist.?
I have never understood the abiding mainly uncritical fascination with the Kennedys, and this book has enough evidence to convince anyone of the family's malign influence on modern politics.
The Kennedy's rise benefitted from the early TV age,and fully exploited it's power to dazzle an undiscerning and unconcerned electorate . This corrosive effect has persisted up...
Published on 23 Sept. 2009 by P. HEATH

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting expose, lacking in sources, but worth reading!
Hersh obviously knows something (or lots of things) about Camelot not meant for public consumption. Although the book introduces some new information, few knowledgeable readers will find substantial new ground here. The best of the book is probably Hersh's recounts of Secret Service inside philoandering of the Kennedy White House. The weakest part has got to be Hersh's...
Published on 15 Jun. 1998


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Hersh's Book Tells Just Half the Tragic History., 5 Dec. 1997
By A Customer
Now let me see if I got this straight--John F. Kennedy was hated in greater or lesser degrees by the following: 1) a host of CIA "advisors" along with hundreds of Cuban exiles----for JFK's command failure to give the final go-ahead for the bomber strikes necessary to give crucial air support for a successful landing on the beach at the Bay of Pigs for CIA-backed Cuban exiles in their attempt to overthrow the Castro brothers; 2) the Castro brothers----for John and Robert Kennedy's relentless attempts to remove the Castros from power in part so the US Mafia could restore its casino gambling empire to the island; 3) the Mafia----for JFK's double-doublecross in not getting the Justice Department to back-off in pursuing the Mob after the Mob provided critical support (after Chicago Mobster Sam Giancana was approached by patriarch Joe Kennedy) to get JFK the votes he needed to win the 1960 presidential race, and for JFK's failure to get rid of Castro so the Mob could reestablish lucrative casinos which had been shut down on Cuba when Fidel Castro overthrew the Mafia-backed Battista regime; 4) Members of the Joint Chiefs of the US military----for JFK's utter failures as a commander-in-chief by his placing the US (and the world) in harm's way through the unnecessary use of nuclear brinkmanship against the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and for then caving-in to the Soviets by giving-up stategic nuclear missiles stationed in Turkey; 5) Lyndon B. Johnson----out of personal jealousy for JFK's popularity, and for Kennedy's freezing-out LBJ from any position of power in the Kennedy White House; and 6) J. Edgar Hoover----also out of personal jealousy of JFK, and in response to JFK's personal distaste and disdain for Hoover. It would appear to this reader that Mr. Hersh's marvelous investigative coup leaves unspoken the remaining weighty mass of the JFK tragedy--that being the answer to the question of Who (or Whom) would have wanted this President dead, and Who (or Whom) would have had the means to accomplish this end. Judging from the stew of highly dangerous groups and powerful individuals above, there is certainly no dearth of willing agents with the necessary means for such executive action (and it is now getting harder and harder to swallow the Warren Commission's lone gunman/magic bullet theory). It is a tragedy of history for which we are all still paying in one way or another, and one which has thus far regrettably taken an unbelievable 34 years to ferret out (so much for the investigative fortitute of the major US news organizations). Were Kennedy and his crew "The best and the brightest"?. I don't think so anymore.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Forensic dissection of the John Kennedy Presidency, 9 Feb. 2015
By 
Og Oggilby "Og Oggilby" (North London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Side of Camelot (Paperback)
Fifty years on from the assassination of US President John F Kennedy, there can now be few illusions about this flawed individual that have not been thoroughly shattered. Seymour Hersh's 'The Dark Side of Camelot' is one of the finest, most frank and unsentimental assessments of the Kennedy presidency. Mob links, Kennedy's almost maniacally reckless philandering, Jack and Bobby Kennedy's all-encompassing obsession with the Castro regime and how to overthrow it (including the frequently ludicrous plots on Castro's life - from exploding cigars, poisoning, and most risible of all, the proposed attempt to stage the Second Coming of Christ in Cuba), the myth of the Cuban missile crisis, and Kennedy's part in it, and the complex familial relationships, especially the demagogic figure of Joseph Kennedy, the family patriarch, bootlegger and would-be appeaser of Hitler, and the mother, Rose Kennedy. It is a modern fairy tale - hence the 'Camelot' reference - but John Kennedy comes across as far less Regal, but much more human, after reading this book. One of the finest political works of the last thirty years, of that there is no doubt.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camelot should be called Oz., 22 Dec. 1997
By A Customer
The on-line reviews of the book are telling: The ones attacking & debunking the book don't provide any substance. They attack the author, they call it sleaze, etc. But not one of them takes issue with the contents of the book, which is what a review should do. To those of you who still are seduced by the Kennedy mystique, I challenge you to find anything substantively wrong with Mr. Hersh's thesis: That JFK, because of his debauched personal life compromised his country in ways we couldn't heretofore imagine. A more apt metaphor for his administration should have been Oz rather than Camelot. And shame on all the people all these years who knew what was behind the curtain, but yet continue to propogate the lie. Unfortunately, there are enough people still out there who try to defend the indefensible, but they distort the debate by avoiding the issues and point out, among other things, problems the author had in compiling the book. Mr. Hersh took great care in researching his book, and that's why the "Marilyn Papers" didn't make it. He was honest enought and thorough enough to make sure only the truth got in. We need to judge the book by it's actual, not it's potential, contents. I wonder what Entertainment Weekly has said in the past about books regarding Richard Nixon? Do they defend him? Call those books sleaze? I doubt it. He was not an attractive man, and his sins are well-documented and easy to believe. But attack the handsome JFK... Ah, pop culture. The air-heads leading the air-heads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exposing Camelot's Golden Boy, 20 Nov. 1997
By A Customer
Finally a book that exposes the truths about the deceit, depravity, and debauchery of Camelot. It is criminal that tens of thousands of lives were sacrificed in Vietnam to prove the manhood of the Boy Wonder. Too bad his manhood was not to be found during the Bay of Pigs Liberation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror and secrecy, 30 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Dark Side of Camelot (Paperback)
This is a profoundly shocking and depressing book it's a deep look at. Power and control in American politics. The real villan of the piece is the presidents father .an unelected corrupt ruthless person. What is so worrying is the amount of power that is secret . A classic !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars its just disgustingly horrible., 21 Jan. 2015
By 
Miss Troke "jackripper" (Chesterfield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Side of Camelot (Paperback)
very good quality. it arrived on time. no problems. great value for money!

too bad the man who wrote this book was found out to be full of s***. there are tons of BETTER books on the kennedys out there.
please don't buy this one! lol!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best thrillers I've ever read., 13 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This book straddles the line between James Bond and Tom Clancy.It is packed with money,sex,politics,and some classic cloak and dagger.There are also suprising revelations and riveting anecdotes. I didn't know that Richard Nixon took a bribe from Nicolae Malaxa, a Romanian metallurgist who had connections with the Nazi and Communist party. Malaxa,according to Hersh, was using Nixon to get permanent status in the U.S.,because the immigration authority's were reluctant to let him in. Only a handful of C.I.A officials knew about this bribe. This flies in the face of Nixon's anti-communist credentials.If this were made public,Eisenhower would had dropped Nixon off the ticket as his running mate. Nixons career would had been destroyed,plus the democrats might had waged a counter-offensive against the McCarthyite's. Little wonder why Eisenhower had mixed feelings about Nixon. Hersh would had enhanced his credibility if he included a snapshot of this check,{it was deposited in a Whittier bank},in the photo section. The sexual stuff was serious and hilarious. After reading this book I've become convinced that Kennedy suffered from a severe sexual addiction.It's a condition brought on by genetic's,socialization{i.e. Joe Kennedy},cortisone treatments, and Kennedy's failure to seek treatment for this problem. It's like a drug addict getting a fix of cocaine.In Kennedy's case he was getting his fix from prostitutes and girlfriends. On the other hand I busted a gut when I read the part about Kennedy rushing out of the swimming pool with a bloody mary in his hand, after he found out that Jacqueline was on her way back from a trip. The secret service agents account of the orgy at Bing Crosbys mansion had me rolling over; particularly the part when Dave Powers grabbed some of Crosby's clothes and then plunged in the pool with them, much to Kennedy's amusement. One of Hersh's finest moments was his description of the West VIrginia campaign. It's a depressing one for those who believe in America's unbridled democracy. Hersh tells how the Kennedys poured poured millions into the hands of county sheriff's and local committeeman to put their man at the top of the slate. This account is based on interviews with the sheriffs and the local polticians whowere involved with the pay-offs. One sheriff shocked the Kennedy's when he needed only a few thousand dollars,when some of the sheriffs were pocketing 50,000 dollars. The chapter on the Bay of Pigs could stand more detail, but the anecdotes take up some of the slack.Hersh reveals that four pilots of the Alabama National Guard disregarded Kennedy's cancellation of a second air strike. They took off from Nicaragua in B-26's and bombed Castro. At this part I got a bit disappointed in Hersh. He said the pilots did considerable damage before they were shot down and captured. Yet he didn't describe what kind of damage they did. I liked Hersh's explanation of why Kennedy canceled a second strike.It appears to be one of the few places that Hersh veers away from his overwhelming negativism of Kennedy. Here he paints a somewhat sympathetic picture of a young president caught between a rock and a hard place. If Kennedy does'nt go through with the invasion the right wing Republicans would had accused kennedy of being soft on communism. That would give them more impetus to stall Kennedy's domestic legislation. On the other hand a second strike would tip the Russians off to America's involvement, and Khruschev would had been pressured by hard liners in the Kremlin to call off a summit with Kennedy. That would be a major foreign policy blow for Kennedy. Thus the invasion minus the second air strike. Kennedy risked failure,but at least he would have his summit. He could also minimize fallout from the conservative republicans. Cold hard political calculation. Kennedy was more of a poltical animal than the idealist he's mythologized as. Yet Hersh failed to take Berlin into account. If Kennedy moved full throttle into Cuba, Russia probably would had retaliated in Berlin. Kennedy would be compelled to send armored divisions into Berlin. He'd had faced a two front war in Berlin and Cuba.Not an auspicious start for the new frontier. The best part of the book for me was the breakdown in arms between America and Russia. I could not get enough of this. Hersh shows that notwithstanding the 134 warheads Khrushchev sent to Cuba, the U.S. still maintained an overwhelming superiority, with 3000 nuclear warheads,compared to Russiia's paltry 250 warheads and 40 missile launchers. Still,Hersh shows that by having medium ranged missiles in Cuba,Russia had the capability of destroying places like Washington D.C. Hersh shows that though Kennedy looked tough to his associates,he consistently compromised via a backchannel to the Soviets.One example is the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khruschev was not as humialiated as the American public was lead to believe.He not only got a guarantee that America would not invade Cuba,{in return for removing the missiles from Cuba},but he got a secret deal on the removal of Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Strategically this was not a major concession. The Jupiter's were unreliable. Anyway the U.S. could take out the Russians with land and submarine based missiles. Politically,it was another story, if the Jupiter trade were made public the right wing would had cried foul, and Kennedy's public relations coup post missile crisis would had been tarnished. This is probably the first Kennedy book I've ever read that includes actual accounts of Judith Exner ferrying money from Kennedy to mobster Sam Giancana.One item that blew me away was the part when the security chief of General Dynamics tried to bug Exner's apartment,so he could get enough dirt on Kennedy and Exner to blackmail the administration into selecting GD over Boeing to build the TFX fighter. To say that this book is a definitive account of the Kennedy's would be a mistake. It's too biased. For example,Robert Kennedy is depicted as a ruthless one dimensional person.There is some truth in this. He did push obsessively for Castro's murder, behaving more like a mobster than an attorney general.On the other hand,Hersh ignores Robert Kennedy's role in the civil rights movement. Nonetheless the book is too well researched to ignore.It is packed with interviews, footnotes, and Hersh sometimes refer to other well written books about Kennedy. To those who feel heavily disillusioned about Kenndy because of this book,well I have two words of consolation.NO#1,no person in this world can live up to our ideals.NO#2 often the reality about a person is much more interesting than the myth. Disconcerting, yes, but also quite compelling. Kennedy should be accepted as the complex person he really was than the myth we Americans have shouldered him with. Thank you for reading this commentary.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shag-a-thon, 5 Aug. 2008
By 
Ms. K. Hall (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Side of Camelot (Paperback)
How we weren't all blown to smithereens while JFK, RFK, and Teddy were skinny-dipping in the White House pool with Fiddle and Faddle and assorted other White House dollybirds, East European prostitutes and assorted starlets is, quite simply, a miracle. Although the amount of shagging that went on every single day is truly astounding, what is really disturbing is the arrogance that the brothers had in thinking that they knew everything about foreign policy (they didn't...) and therefore just went over the heads or behind the backs of anyone with any knowledge at all and did deals with the Russians and the mob to get what they wanted. And my God did they do some dodgy deals ... No one comes off looking very good after reading this book. Is it all true? Who knows. That's the thing. You just can't be sure. I think reading this in conjunction with other books about the Kennedy presidency is the only way to get the whole picture.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well researched book. Not a muckraker., 26 Nov. 1997
By A Customer
People see what they want to see, especially when the press colludes to present a false image as with JFK. This book is valuable; it sets history right and shows the real face of Camelot: corruption. The most telling exposure in the book is not Kennedy's sexual excursions. No, it concerns the fate of the four Alabama National Guard pilots, who when Kennedy failed to support the Bay of Pigs invasion with a second air strike, provided air support on their own. They were shot down and killed after doing severe damage to the Cuban defenses. Fearing exposure of US complicity, the Kennedy brothers refused pensions to the families. They relented only when an oil magnate ( approached by one of the wives) threatened to go to the newspapers. The Kennedy's were cold, self-centered egoists, who only cared for their own prosperity, with no feeling for those who sacrificed for them or the country. They were not true leaders, just users and power addicts. This book shows us the truth.
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2.0 out of 5 stars it is not an easy read. Laudably, 17 Dec. 2014
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Whilst the book reveals the dark secrets of the Kennedy machine, it is not an easy read. Laudably, the author takes great pains to provide the evidence to back up his claims but for the general reader, these become tedious. Furthermore, in presenting the detailed evidence, a whole host of names are thrown at the reader, many being relevant for only a paragraph or two. I would recommend the book to a serious student but not to a reader such as myself with simply an interest in Kennedy.
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The Dark Side of Camelot
The Dark Side of Camelot by Seymour Hersh (Paperback - 2 Feb. 1998)
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