Last night I finished The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson. The first part, which I read last week, was pretty basic stuff about JFK's life and presidency. I was not that impressed, any student could find these events, Kennedy's family life, World War II, the Bay of Pigs, the March on Washington, well recorded in any history textbook or encyclopedia. But last night I dove into the hard part, the trip to Dallas in November, 1963. It is very hard to read, knowing what comes next, but Swanson has done an excellent job distilling what is essential from his adult work, and telling a strong story, even when we all know the end. His portrait of Lee Oswald is well crafted, and his empathy for every character is powerful. The only part I felt left me hanging was his coverage of Jack Ruby. It felt to me like he did not want to let the story of Oswald's murder to overshadow the story of Kennedy's, but at the same time I would have liked just a little more on Ruby.
I read the book on my Kindle, part on the iPad, and part on the Paperwhite, and at first I found the moving photos and captions and the strange white space that can be created sometimes a bit distracting. But the photos are high quality, and I like being able to see them full page, so I think the kindle version is fine.