In this, the inaugural episode of Age of Confusion, our voyage into the alternate timeline of history begins on November 22, 1963, as President John F. Kennedy, visiting Dallas, Texas to kick off his 1964 re-election campaign, narrowly avoids the bullets of a sniper perched in the Texas School Book Depository. The attempt itself, its aftermath, its personal and religious resonance for Kennedy and the ultimate fate of his would-be assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, are detailed.
This is the very first episode of the podcast and, by definition, deviates the least from real history. Of course, in real life Kennedy was tragically and prematurely cut down by Oswald’s cowardly act—an event that shaped the consciousness of a generation and completely changed the course of American history in the 1960s. The departure point for our alternate history is that the outcome of this event is different.
Much has been written about the Kennedy assassination. The best book on the subject is Vincent Bugliosi’s mammoth and comprehensive Reclaiming History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy from 2007. A great biography of JFK is An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 by preeminent Presidential historian Robert Dallek who has written extensively on the period. Neither book engages in much speculation about the course of a Kennedy presidency had he lived, though some of Bugliosi’s insights made it into successive episodes.
Next Episode: No Later Than March 14