ABOUT THIS BOOK
Neither a random event nor the act of a lone madman—the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was an appalling and grisly conspiracy. This is the unvarnished story.
With deft investigative skill, David Kaiser shows that the events of November 22, 1963, cannot be understood without fully grasping the two larger stories of which they were a part: the U.S. government’s campaign against organized crime, which began in the late 1950s and accelerated dramatically under Robert Kennedy; and the furtive quest of two administrations—along with a cadre of private interest groups—to eliminate Fidel Castro.
The seeds of conspiracy go back to the Eisenhower administration, which recruited top mobsters in a series of plots to assassinate the Cuban leader. The CIA created a secretive environment in which illicit networks were allowed to expand in dangerous directions. The agency’s links with the Mafia continued in the Kennedy administration, although the President and his closest advisors—engaged in their own efforts to overthrow Castro—thought this skullduggery had ended. Meanwhile, Cuban exiles, right-wing businessmen, and hard-line anti-Communists established ties with virtually anyone deemed capable of taking out the Cuban premier. Inevitably those ties included the mob.
The conspiracy to kill JFK took shape in response to Robert Kennedy’s relentless attacks on organized crime—legal vendettas that often went well beyond the normal practices of law enforcement. Pushed to the wall, mob leaders merely had to look to the networks already in place for a solution. They found it in Lee Harvey Oswald—the ideal character to enact their desperate revenge against the Kennedys.
Comprehensive, detailed, and informed by original sources, The Road to Dallas adds surprising new material to every aspect of the case. It brings to light the complete, frequently shocking, story of the JFK assassination and its aftermath.
Finally a historian, without preconceptions, has looked at the voluminous, once secret documents produced by the CIA, the FBI, and other government agencies in response to the JFK Assassination Records Act of 1992. Kaiser's nuanced conclusions on Oswald's guilt and the ominous issue of conspiracy will command respect from even those who disagree with them. Comprehensive, beautifully crafted, and well-reasoned. An essential addition to the JFK corpus.
-- G. Robert Blakey, Notre Dame Law School, and former Chief Counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations
While plenty of authors have argued that the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans were behind the assassination of President Kennedy, few have done so as convincingly as Naval War College history professor Kaiser...His attention to detail and use of recently released FBI and CIA files put this analysis ahead of many of its fellows...This is a deeply disturbing look at a national tragedy, and Kaiser's sober tone and reasoned analysis may well convince some in the Oswald-was-a-lone-nut camp.
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In the seemingly neverending arms race between the lone-assassin and the conspiracy theorists, Kaiser adds a serious piece of scholarship to the arsenal of those who believe Americans have yet to learn the whole truth about the assassination of JFK.
-- Kirkus Reviews
A scrupulously researched account, which may be one of the best books yet on the assassination...Kaiser posits that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman although he did not act alone: the murder plot was hatched by Mafia bosses Santo Trafficante, John Roselli, and Sam Giancana as revenge for Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's relentless pursuit of the mob and for the vast sums of money they lost when Castro closed Cuba's mob-controlled casinos. Other startling revelations are that Oswald might have been a CIA agent, even though he was promised a large sum of money by the mob to kill Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby killed Oswald on orders from the Mafia, to which Ruby was connected. This detailed, often chilling account stands out among the overwhelming number of assassination books.
-- Karl Helicher Library Journal (starred review)
A thorough recounting of facts interspersed with interpretations and opinions that carry the weight of someone who knows how to analyze history... Kaiser isn't the first to suggest JFK was assassinated by a conspiracy of anti-Castro Cubans upset at Kennedy's failure to eliminate Fidel Castro and a Mafia enraged by the obsession of JFK's attorney general, his brother Robert Kennedy, to attack organized crime. But Kaiser may be the first to reach the depth of reporting the facts that support this theory...It would be hard to imagine anyone but Kennedy assassination scholars and historians not learning something new in Kaiser's book. For fans of Oliver Stone's movie JFK (1991) and JFK assassination junkies, the book is the latest--and perhaps best--view of the historic event.
-- Roman Modrowski Chicago Sun-Times
In The Road to Dallas we see the rare vindication of the lunatic fringe, as Kaiser--who teaches history at the Naval War College--puts forth the first serious historical study to confirm what we've long suspected: that JFK's killing was not the work of a lone madman. Comprehensive and well documented, The Road to Dallas connects the dots from the CIA to Carlos Marcello with convincing thoroughness. If you think you've had enough of grassy-knoll theories, this book will surprise you.
-- Leopold Froehlich Playboy
Historian David Kaiser's meticulously researched new work, The Road to Dallas, about the shocking and clandestine maneuverings of our CIA and FBI under President John F. Kennedy, paints a disturbing portrait of what often goes undetected at the highest levels of government...Kaiser's investigation seems to put to rest the long-held notion put forth by the Warren Report that Oswald acted alone and was simply a nutty gunman. He examines new evidence that lays out Oswald's extensive entanglements with suspicious persons prior to the assassination...Kaiser's fine book destroys any romantic view of world politics we might wish to cling to--and shows us a much darker reality.
-- Elaine Margolin Denver Post
A most interesting book on the JFK killing--much better than almost all the rest...It is 509 pages long, costs $35, and is well worth the time and money...[The] trove of official material has been sifted by some (not as many as one might expect) writers and historians in the intervening years, but by none exhibiting Kaiser‘s dogged approach, application of logic, clear writing style, understandable presentation and impressive analytical ability...This is a dynamite book--understandable, readable and as vivid as the best crime novels. Only this hit job happened. And it changed our world.
-- John Hanchette Niagara Falls Reporter
We may yet one day discover a "smoking gun" that makes all other theories fall away. Until then, Kaiser's book may rise to be the most plausible explanation we are likely to read.
-- Richard Delevan Irish Independent
Kaiser, a respected professional historian at the Naval War College, combed through mounds of previously classified documents to craft an interesting, well-written account of the days leading up to the assassination. Kaiser effectively places the events that transpired in Dallas within the context of contemporary politics. He masterfully tracks the administration's vendetta against organized crime and the numerous Kennedy-era assassination plots against Fidel Castro. The author lucidly argues that the assassination, although carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald, was the culmination of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's crusade against the mob. While this conspiracy theory is not new, the supporting documentation and the captivating account laid out by an established historian makes for some fascinating reading.
-- J. B. Cook Choice
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. Organized Crime in the 1950s
III. Castro Takes Power
IV. Gunning for Fidel
V. The Kennedys Take Over
VI. Operation Mongoose
VII. Organized Crime, 1962
VIII. The Impact of the Missile Crisis
IX. Oswald in Dallas, 1962¿3
X. New Orleans, 1963
XI. The Odio Incident
XII. The Trip to Mexico
XIII. The Kennedy Administration and Cuba, July¿November 1963
XIV. The Government and Organized Crime, 1963
XV. Dallas, October 4¿November 21, 1963
XVI. November 22¿24, 1963
XVII. Disinformation, Confession, Murder, 1963¿76