If Kennedy Lived

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

As the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination nears, Jeff Greenfield, longtime news analyst and correspondent, talks current politics and offers another "alternate history" of the Cold War in his new novel If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History (Putnam, 2013).

Event: Jeff Greenfield | 92nd St Y 8:15 pm | Information


Jeff Greenfield

Comments [14]

Craig Clark from cliffside park nj

greenfield works as a shill for the msm-obfuscation-machine--instead of doing real journalism into the investigation of an unsolved murder, ol' jeff ol' boy takes our attention into the fantasy world of 'what if'? the real matter is who committed the crime and why. there is a very strong and secure cabal still in place that is implicated, but why should journalists or your programming director care about that?

Nov. 18 2013 12:08 PM
PJ From NJ from New Jersey

I wonder if my mom and dad would have still gotten together if Kennedy had lived. I wonder if the whole Pop Rocks candy craze would have been necessary. Would Full House have been such a popular TV show? Would Elvis have died on the toilet? Maybe in the shower?

This was such a ridiculous segment that I had to turn it off!!! I'm glad I didn't hear this live or I might have turned off the radio and missed the wonderful and important words of Dr. Henry Louis Gates.

Can't believe I renewed my WNYC membership on the same day this fool was peddling his nonsense.

Oct. 25 2013 12:08 PM
Keira from what if "New Amsterdam"

This is only different by degree from "what if Napoleon had an F16 at Waterloo".

Oct. 22 2013 02:03 PM
Bob in NYC from E. Harlem

Exploitative efforts to cash in on 50th anniversary of JFK assassination are a cynical "hot 3rd rail" to me, including Greenfield's speculative take on "what if" JFK survived after heartbreaking 11/22/1963, and totally offensive Bill O'Reilly/DuGard "Killing Kennedy" book & 11/10 movie. Maybe if released far from 50th anniversary, more credible authors/historians likely to give sincere effort at analyzing genuine JFK/RFK/MLK/LBJ legacy and "what if" scenarios. I was 5 years old on 11/22/1963 and remember day as if yesterday, as very upset man rushed into my parents' grocery store, saying something I was too young to process, thinking he said something horrible and bloody just happened, comprehended by me as something nearby. Only years later did I understand true nature of that day, especially after a then Boys' Club trip at age 8 took me on a life-inspiring day to the Hayden Planetarium. All things JFK came to life for me, especially his speech(paraphrase) "We choose to go to the this decade...not because it is easy, but because it is hard", giving me a singular and enduring lifetime passion for astronomy and space exploration. I started Cessna 150 pilot lessons at age 14 (because Neil Armstrong learned to fly before he learned to drive) and planned to join college Air Force ROTC program and try to become Air Force test pilot. Gave that up only due to being an only child needing to be within quick reach of my mother dying of cancer. Instead went to nearby SUNY Stony Brook as a physics major, with good friends founded & presided over Stony Brook's first Astronomy Club, supplementing monthly faculty community lectures with rooftop telescope viewing. Okay, TMI about me, only adding that '60s JFK/RFK/MLK/LBJ leadership also made me a lifetime Democrat voter, with only occasional GOP votes. Even as a secure man, I still feel like crying at all 11/22/1963 anniversaries & other such references, along with traumatic memories of MLK and RFK assassinations. Thanks to Brian for usual skilled and inquisitive interview of Greenfield, exploring validity of Greenfield's subjective "what if" claims. Too bad I can't get to 92nd Street Y appearance of Greenfield with IMO more trustworthy Michael Beschloss (sp?). Be vigilant about upcoming 11/22 "retrospectives".

Oct. 22 2013 11:57 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

What if Senator Robert Kennedy, JFKs brother, had not been assassinated five years later by a "palestinian"?

Oct. 22 2013 11:07 AM
Tom in Brooklyn

I think historical fantasy such as Mr. Greenfield has written belongs on some other station. Read or watch Chomsky's account, based on now-public government records, of what Kennedy was up to in Vietnam even before the massive American troop buildups.

Oct. 22 2013 10:29 AM
kikakiki26 from wall street/harlem

This guy was sooo one-sided he is everywhere, he was on morning joe and CNN this morning and each time he took time from HIS historical prespective to bash the current president. History will have its chance to present how this presidents fared. But right now he is the present still to your history, sir.

Oct. 22 2013 10:28 AM

Look at the economics -- like I always almost do --

1963, GDP $654B, minimum wage $1.25/hr. 1968, GDP $970B, minimum wage $1.60.

National income goes up by 48% yet wages (and average income was generally twice minimum wage) by only 28%.

This sets the model for what happen for much of the next four decades.

Oct. 22 2013 10:24 AM
antonio from baySide

Does the author believe the whole trajectory of the Democrat party would have remained the same? Remember President Clinton met JFK as a youngster; that would have certainly changed President Clintons life...

Oct. 22 2013 10:17 AM

Would the same forces that twisted LBJ's arm into Vietnam have worked on JFK? Pro'bly. BUT...with no Nixon, the peace conference in 1968 would have concluded successfully and we would have been out with half the dead.

Did you see any of Oliver Stones' documentary 'The Untold History of the United States'? The historical 'What if' that is central to that 10 hour recap of 20th century history is 'What if FDR's original choice, Henry Wallace, had been the Vice President in 1944?' Doubtful if USA would have dropped atomic weapons to end WWII. Doubtful if Cold War escalates. Doubtful we'd have a military-industrial complex that consumes 40% of government budget. (add DoD together with intelligence services to get $1.2T)

Oct. 22 2013 10:15 AM

Very fascinating discussion. According to Mr. Greenfield's alternative history, I wonder how RFK would've fared had JFK survived.

Oct. 22 2013 10:13 AM
Robert from NYC

Literary license?!!! My butt, I don't believe anything Jeff Greenfield says. He enjoys having his say and telling it like he likes it to be (like Doris .... Goodwin). I think he sits around daydreaming about how things should and could have been then puts it on paper as if it were fact. Please make this a quick interview. Although it is enjoyable as listening to a storyteller.

Oct. 22 2013 10:13 AM
Antonio from baySide

What does the author think of 'Virtual JFK'?

Oct. 22 2013 10:10 AM
jmd from Manahattan

Some say had the bubble top remained, all four occupants would have been killed or seriously wounded by chards of untemepered glass. Then again, Oswald may have refrained from firing at all......WE WILL NEVER KNOW

Oct. 22 2013 10:10 AM

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