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Preserving Their Legacy shocks, entertains, informs and impresses at the same time. The biggest surprise is that it is the most relevant book I have ever read because the political divisions of the 1960's were simply a form of the "us" versus "them" mentality that dominated the Bush years.

After reading the book, it became obvious that the only difference between then and now is that nationalism has transmuted. In the 1960's, domestic Cold War politics came to be dominated by conflicts like the Vietnam War. Today, the blanket suggestion that violence is acceptable because the United States is hunting down terrorists is potentially just another guise to justify more violence.

The 1960's claimed the lives of the best and the brightest in the name of the national security, and that is a lesson that has clearly not been learned. It is difficult to comprehend the validity of the parallels that Preserving Their Legacy draws because Mat Wilson covers unexplored territory. For example, he proves that Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy and Richard Nixon were all in on the plot to have Kennedy killed, the reason being that nationalism demanded the prosecution of the Vietnam War.

Consequently the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was essentially the death of the debate on whether to go to war in Vietnam. When Kennedy died, his effort to apply logic and reason to the process of examining ethical propositions died with him. Consequently, going to war was not questioned, it was justified by deploying machiavellian tactics.

The history that Preserving Their Legacy exposed made me feel like I was reading about the Bush years and the unbridled hubris which is responsible for the Iraq War. I pictured Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld at the helm and I wondered: What would they do if Kennedy was their President? Bush was their chosen puppet, but what if he began to sound and to act like President John F. Kennedy? The question is not entirely rhetorical because if election 2000 was not stolen and President Al Gore appointed Paul Wellstone to be his Secretary of State, it is difficult to believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq. It was the silencing of people like Paul Wellstone and elevating the political prospects of Cheney and Rumsfeld which is responsible for the death of the debate over the need to invade Iraq, and that is what forces historical parallels which have been obscurred through deception. Even the CIA had claimed that Sadaam Hussein could be contained and controlled without war. What authority did Cheney and Rumsfeld exercise to claim otherwise?

We have ignored the fact that the tribal instincts that got us into the Vietnam war are not unlike those that made the invasion of Iraq inevitable. Preserving Their Legacy helped me understand that the Kennedy Assassination, the Bush/Gore showdown and the current struggle of the Obama Administration are inextricably linked. Our choices are consequently very clear. We can either continue to duplicate and expand upon the mayhem of the past or we can seek to pave the road to a more productive future.

It is this timeless relevance which makes Preserving Their Legacy currently significant and I highly recommend it for that and many other reasons, including the fact that people like Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Ernest Hemingway, the Kennedys and the like (key subjects of book) will always be relevant in my mind.

You can read Preserving Their Legacy right now.


NEXT: Review the historical documents that inspired Preserving Their Legacy.
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Robin Williams and his daughter
 
 

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