New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson’s 3,441 word story about the myriad books written about John F. Kennedy went up on the Times site today. The piece, which will be the cover of Sunday’s Times Book Review, is pegged to the 50th anniversary of the assassination exactly a month from today.
In it, Ms. Abramson writes of an “elusive” president who “remains all but impossible to pin down.” Was he a great leader or a lightweight? And of course, when it comes to the 35th president, even the details of his death are hard to pin down.
“Many of the theories have been circulating for decades and have now found new life on the Internet, in Web sites febrile with unfiltered and at times unhinged musings,” she writes (and what better illustration is there than the fact that a quick Google search already turns up some conspiracy theories about which J.F.K books Ms. Abramson omitted in her article).
“Of course the Kennedy fixation is hardly limited to the digital world. An estimated 40,000 books about him have been published since his death, and this anniversary year has loosed another vast outpouring,” she continues. (In a sidebar, Ms. Abramson selects a sampling of her favorites).
Although a longform article may not be excessive by the standards of the literature that has been written about John F. Kennedy, it is still considerably lengthy.
Good thing the Times posted the piece on Tuesday. There is plenty of time until Sunday.