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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Smith sinks ever lower into paranoia, 16 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Kennedys: The Conspiracy to Destroy a Dynasty (Paperback)
Matthew Smith is clearly a man who has an obsession with the Kennedy brothers and Marilyn Monroe. Smith cannot accept that the deaths of three of his heroes and the political ruin of another were random events in a violent and unpredictable world; Smith wants them all to be `connected'. Smith wants and needs `a narrative' to `explain' events that, in reality, have no unifying explanation at all. Smith wants a nice, tight package that his emotions can handle; an `overarching explanation of all things'.

Smith is well equipped to construct a `narrative' - both for himself and his likeminded readership. He is a script/screen-writer and, as such, has the requisite imagination to fashion books like this from shards of disparate `evidence' and highly dubious `sources'.

Smith doesn't so much connect the dots as imagine them.

An obvious example here is the way that the author `explains what really happened at Chappaquidick`. Ted Kennedy wasn't even in the car according to the professor. Even though Ted himself admitted that he was, Smith says that Ted is wrong. Smith trots out the perennial Anti- Castro Cubans and the evergreen CIA as the real culprits in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. She was mere collateral according professor Smith - just as J. D. Tippit and Lee Oswald were 'expendable' in Dallas and Sirhan was sacrificed in L. A. five years later.
Smith speculates that this evil alliance actually got someone to phone Ted up to tell him that Chappaquidick had been a `warning' and that, perhaps he should cease and desist his political ambitions. (pp.266 & 270).
The nutty professor's evidence for any and all of the above? None, zero, zilch, niente and squat. He just makes it all up.

Smith's idols die hard. They are too great to be felled by the random acts of deranged young men who are highly charged by political zeal. Professor Smith won't entertain such a thought. Monroe was too beautiful to die by her own hand. (I don't buy the `suicide' verdict either, by the way, I'm in favour of the `misadventure' conclusion).
People like Ted Kennedy don't have `car accidents', they are too nice and promise so much. The world would make no sense at all if these things `just happened', would it?

Professor Matthew Smith offers his `explanation' of 'why' two Kennedy bothers and Monroe all died and why one brother was allowed to live-on politically neutered. The deaths of Joe Junior and John Junior - separated by fifty-five years - may yet be within the compass of a man like Smith, whose boundless imagination offers some hope of a unifying theory for everything that has ever happened in the world.

Barry
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