I've had a strange year with my novel, "A Disturbance of Fate"
(Seven Locks, 2003), which is an alternative history about Robert F. Kennedy surviving the assassination attempt and becoming president instead of Nixon. The book was supposed to have been released by ibooks, Inc. as a soft cover in the spring of this year--then ibooks filed for bankruptcy on February 22, 2006.
It took me from that point until the end of October 2006 to confirm, with ibooks' bankruptcy trustee, that I was again the owner of the book's soft cover rights (I own all the other rights). Unfortunately, ibooks' distributor has been slow in alerting retail bookstores to de-list the soft cover version, which had the cheesy title of "The Mantle of Camelot." Ugh! ibooks created that odious title without my persmission and in contravention of my contract with them. Thank goodness I now have an agent, Noah Lukeman
, who is going to be taking my book around to larger publishers for publishing the soft cover, with the original name intact!
And now for a shameless plug
: Amazon Shorts
is planning to publish my essay next week entitled "How Bobby Kennedy wins the 1968 election," which is my more scholarly (as opposed to novelesque) response to those who believe Robert Kennedy could not have won the election had he not been killed in June 1968. In this, I am challenging the views of respected historian Ronald Steel's "In Love with Night: The American Romance with Robert Kennedy" (Simon & Schuster, 2000).
Ironically, for once, my book saga appears to have decent timing because...now, there is a movie being released this week entitled "Bobby"
, which appears to be far less about Robert Kennedy than about people inside the Ambassador Hotel on the night Robert Kennedy was shot. The clips look pretty good, but I admit to initially having had this sinking feeling that the film resembled the film, "California Suite"
--except with RFK as a prop. While I tend to discount most film critics, who prefer violence and cynicism to sentiment, it appears, so far, some critics
are not overwhelmed by the film. Here
, however, is a positive review of "Bobby."
My folks have become upset with "Bobby" director-writer Emilio Estevez because he is supposedly telling interviewers on shows like "Inside Hollywood" that he doesn't know how to answer the "What if RFK lived?" question. My Italian-American Mom yells at the television set, and I quote without the epithets (!), "You know
! Your father has had my son's book for four years--and you probably came up with your idea only after
you saw my son's book!" Sigh. For the record, Estevez has said elsewhere that he came up with his idea before 2002, which is when I personally put the first third of my manuscript in the gracious hands of Martin Sheen--but Mom is not buying that at all. So, I just tell my Mom, be happy for Emilio. Don't hold a grudge against him because he wrote his own very different story and didn't make a miniseries or movie out of my book. I, for example, will always love Estevez for "Repo Man"
and "The Breakfast Club,"
and that's enough for me. Plus, he is genuine
in wanting people to know about the legacy of Robert Kennedy.WAS BOBBY'S ASSASSINATION THE RESULT OF A CONSPIRACY?
Maybe, but still less than likely from a legalistic perspective.
Yesterday morning, my friend Pamela sent me a link to this
article in the Guardian that claims there were CIA operatives, who hated RFK for not being tough enough in trying to overthrow Castro, who were at the Ambassador the night Sirhan fired the bullets from his gun at RFK. If true, this is significant for those who believe RFK's murder was the result of two or more people engaged in a criminal enterprise (the legal definition of "conspiracy."). Unfortunately, at this point, I have no way of verifying the author's information, and the author provides no sources as to what video or film he is looking at to verify the identity of the CIA operatives who were there that tragic evening.
The conclusion of the Guardian article contradicts what is a definitive book, by Dan E. Moldea
, entitled "The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy"
. Moleda, who is one of the finest investigative journalists in the nation, found insufficient evidence of a conspiracy to kill RFK. Moldea also answers the other
statements the Guardian writer made regarding Sirhan and the assassination, which the writer, perhaps for lack of space, failed to provide for his readers.*
*DISCLOSURE: Moleda strongly endorsed my novel when it was released--his blurb is on the back cover of the book. I did not know Moldea before writing the book and was honored when he was willing to read the book and give his opinion of it. We have since become friendly and correspond every once in awhile by email.
Anyway, Moldea has always had credibility with me because of his fearless and accurate writings about organized crime, as well as his persuasive evidence concerning the involvement of "the Mob" in the murder of President Jack Kennedy. Robert Blakey, who was lead counsel for the House Committee in 1978 investigating the murders of John and Bob Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., is now of the view that John Kennedy's assassination was a "Mob hit." He reached this conclusion after viewing the evidence assembled by Moldea.
As for the Guardian article, I can say that none of the individuals mentioned in the Guardian article are mentioned in Moldea's index of names at the end of Moldea's book on RFK. I also don't recall mention of these folks, other than perhaps Morales, in Phil Melanson's
work. Melanson, unlike Moldea, had concluded there was more than one person involved and more than one person with a gun to kill RFK.
My personal view has been that there is evidence consistent with a conspiracy, but that evidence can be reasonably interpreted against
a finding of a conspiracy. Also, to make the conspiracy case that exonerates Sirhan requires a belief that Sirhan was hypnotized into shooting at Kennedy--sort of a "Manchurian Candidate." Is that sufficiently realistic? For me, I tend to doubt such things. On the other hand, since I do believe Jack Kennedy was likely killed as a result of two or more people seeking to murder him, the natural consequence is to ask whether there was a conspiracy to kill RFK, too--especially since RFK was deeply involved in the Castro assassination attempts, which included the CIA working with the Mob. Plus, it was Bobby who double-crossed the Mob with high profile prosecutions of Mob figures--and who then double crossed those in the CIA who wanted another invasion of Cuba to overthrow Castro. Again, the Guardian article writer states the assassins he is identifying are connected with the CIA-Mob-Cuba policies of the US government from the late 1950s through mid-1960s.
Still, I tend to be very wary of anyone who says they know who ordered RFK's murder, such as the author of this
book, or the articles identified on this
web site. If one is interested in the subject of RFK's assassination, I would start with Moldea and then go to Melanson, who I believe is the best pro-conspiracy position writer out there. Melanson, who recently passed away
from cancer, was a respected political science professor at one of the University of Massachusetts colleges, and, among such conspiracy writers, was most judicious in his analyses--though Moldea told me Melanson was quite rude to Moldea in a debate they had some years ago on the subject of the RFK assassination. Melanson was also going to endorse my book when it was being released, but then, at literally the last minute, told my publisher he only endorses "non-fiction" books. After speaking with Moldea about his debate with Melanson sometime after my book was released, I now tend to speculate that my publisher probably inadvertently caused Melanson to back away after telling Melanson that Moldea was also going to endorse the book. Oh well. Such are the breaks, though perhaps the "Bobby" movie will inspire someone to seek a visual presentation of my work. It is the "what if" that some of these reviewers were hoping to see.
Meanwhile, I am not quitting my day job...