The road to Dallas, like the road to 9/11, is full of pot holes, pitfalls, dead ends and misdirected sign posts, yet David Kaiser manages to steer a clear course towards his preconceived goal, that President Kennedy was the victim of rogue mobsters and a few Cubans with no direct ties to the CIA.
A well crafted, easy read, David Kaiser's The Road To Dallas - The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge and London, 2008) places the assassination in its proper context - within the Cuba, mob and CIA matrix.
Because Kaiser is an eminent historian, and Belknap/Harvard is a highly respected press, his conclusion that the President was killed by a conspiracy of mobsters and renegade Cubans (without any help from the CIA) is still a radical departure for both mainstream history and reputable publishers.
Although this is not the first book on the touchy subject of the JFK assassination by an historian (See: Michael Kurtz, Prof. McKnight), it is certainly more controversial (See McAdams, Holland "Road to Nowhere" at Washingtondecoded.com), and is an important addition to the library of JFK assassination literature.
Rather than disuade other academically inclined historians from venturing into the JFK assassination realm, I applaud David Kaiser for making Dealey Plaza an historical destination, though I think he issued his attributive judgement a bit prematurely.
One of the problems with addressing the JFK assassination as history is the fact that the murder of the President is not yet history, but still an unsolved homicide.
In even treating it as history before all the cards are on the table only hedges the bets as to how this thing will eventually play out.
At first, when I learned Kaiser was affiliated with the Naval War College and Harvard Press, I thought that he might have used his connections to get access to Lee Harvey Oswald's ONI records, or his Harvard ties to ferrett out the role of the Harvard Russian Research Institute in monitoring Oswald in Russia. But alas, neither issue is even delt with by Kaiser, who devotes all of a few paragraphs to Oswald's time behind the iron curtain, and focuses more on Kennedy and the mob and Oswald and the Cubans.
In stepping backwards to embrace organized crime as the culpret, Kaiser may be reaching too far, though he puts many of the key players on the game board and accurately designates their roles. The most important aspects of what he has to say however, are not his conclusions, which can be shown to be false, but the tidbits he provides and questions he raises that support the need to have a full national security review of what really happend in Dallas.