ONE HISTORIAN'S VIEW: SHODDY WORK

COLUMBIA'S ALAN BRINKLEY SAYS HERSH'S HISTORY IS NOT NEW, AND HIS FRESH ALLEGATIONS ARE POORLY SOURCED

Efforts to expose what Seymour Hersh calls the dark side of Camelot began even before the idea of an American Camelot was born. On the day John Kennedy died, the best-selling nonfiction book in the U.S. was, as it had been for several months, Victor Lasky's J.F.K.: The Man and the Myth, a withering attack on the character and competence of the President. The attacks have continued, and escalated, ever since--in books by historians; in memoirs of friends, associates and acquaintances of Kennedy and his family; in gossip columns and tabloids; and at times in official documents belatedly released. Together, these...