Nation: THE MANCHESTER BOOK: Despite Flaws & Errors, a Story That Is Larger Then Life or Death

AFTER the Kennedys invited William Manchester in February 1964 to write an account of the assassination, Bobby Kennedy thought that the author might whip through his work before the 1964 election campaign; after all, the tragic ground had already been covered by others. Jacqueline Kennedy thought the book would wind up "bound in black and put away in dark library shelves." The publisher, Harper & Row, did not dream of a first printing of 600,000, or of "the bestseller of the century," as it is now freely described. Few foresaw that The Death of a President would become not only a...

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