A review from THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE (Sunday, 31 May 1998),
         with a circulation of half a million readers for Sunday editions.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         BOOKS SECTION:

         "Another round of JFK theories"

         "Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out On The Death Of JFK"
         Edited by James H. Fetzer. Catfeet Press.

         By Paul Rosenberg

         Just mention the word "conspiracy," and a chorus of pundits 
         larger than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will respond, "Oliver
         Stone!" as if that said it all. Yes, there was the movie
         "JFK," and then there are books like "Assassination Science:
         Experts Speak Out on the Death of JFK," edited by James H.
         Fetzer, a University of Minnesota philosophy professor,
         author and editor of numerous books on the philosophy of
         science and related fields.

         It contains articles by doctors, lawyers and professors,
         along with researchers who've spent years studying specific
         aspects of the Kennedy Assassination.

         This book addresses two major concerns with one eye on the
         subject, the other on lapses of logic and methodology. First
         is substantial contradictions in medical evidence, some of
         which indicates shots fired from in front. 
         This material was gathered in response to articles in the
         Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which
         claimed to prove the lone-assassin theory.

         Fetzer and others critique both the articles and JAMA's
         high-handed stonewalling of the objections raised, including
         those of Dr. Charles Crenshaw, a doctor attending President
         Kennedy at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, who eventually sued
         JAMA for slander.

         Some early documents from Parkland doctors indicate a head
         wound inflicted from the front. And David Mantic [sic], who
         holds a Ph.D. in physics, offers corroborating arguments
         undermining the credibility of the autopsy pathologists (who
         had no experience with gunshot victims) with a list of 16
         errors or inconsistencies. 
         
         The second subject is a recent development---questioning the
         legitimacy of the Zapruder film of the assassination. It's a
         step even many Warren Commission critics are reluctant to
         take. Nonetheless, there are numerous eyewitness statements
         that agree with each other, but not with the film. It's
         difficult to assess the mass of evidence presented that the
         film has been altered, but it seems obvious that serious
         questions have been raised that Warren Report defenders
         continue to ignore.

         "Assassination Science" is disturbing for what it reveals
         about the breakdown of rational discourse, particularly the
         shoddy reasoning and shabby conduct of powerful Warren Report
         defenders.

         The postscript by historian Ronald F. White, which provides
         a masterful overview of the problems involved, moves well 
         beyond finger-pointing. He focuses on philosophical assump-
         tions and professional and institutional shortcomings---not
         least of which is that lawyers, trained to build cases,
         directed the Warren Commission investigation, establishing
         a framework fundamentally at odds with scientific inquiry.

         This isn't an easy book to read, digest or come to terms
         with. Few questions are answered, many are raised. Given
         the seriousness of the subject, that's just the way it
         should be.

         Paul Rosenberg is a free-lance writer in California

         [END] 

 

 

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