The used book scalpers must be a little distraught with the release of Paris Flammonde's The Kennedy Coups d' Etat, a mammoth revision of Flammonde's earlier classic, The Kennedy Conspiracy (Meredith Press: New York, 1969). For years, used copies of that long out-of-print volume were being hawked by book resellers for hundreds of dollars. Now with the release of a revised and massively expanded Kennedy Conspiracy the prices for the earlier work could begin to descend from those stratospheric heights.
That earlier tome was subtitled "An Uncommissioned Report on the Jim Garrison Investigation," and indeed was the only contemporary study to portray New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and his assassination inquiry in any kind of positive, objective light. However, calling Flammonde's newest work a revision of that previous report is hardly doing it justice. Rather, it is an epic three-volume expansion (a fourth volume consisting entirely of an index is on the horizon) modifying his earlier book while collecting new material on the JFK and RFK assassinations to add context. Indeed, in what has to be the longest subtitle in this field, Flammonde's full title reads: Assassination of America. The Kennedy's Coup d'Etat. The End of an Era, and Examination of the Jim Garrison Investigations, and the Effects on the Growing Totalitarianism in the Expanding Hegemonic American Empire. Adding further to its already hefty girth, Flammonde has included 30 appendices, covering everything from biographies of the numerous Warren Commission critics to a virtual encyclopedia of major (and some minor) figures in the case. Add in the hundreds of illustrations, documents and photographs and the three books total over 1,400 pages.
Volume 1 is titled "The Deaths in Dallas" and includes introductions by Cyril Wecht, William Turner and Jim Marrs, numerous chapters on Oswald, Ruby, Tippit and other familiar personae, as well as chapters devoted to the ballistic, medical and graphical evidence. Although there appears to be little in the way of new, primary research directly attributable to Flammonde, he nonetheless makes good use of much of the latest developments and evidence in the case.
The second volume "The Masques of New Orleans," is essentially the revision and expansion of The Kennedy Conspiracy, focusing on the Garrison investigation and the subsequent trial of Clay Shaw. As with Volume 1, Flammonde uses much of the latest research in the field (including this author's) to enhance his previous groundbreaking investigation. Flammonde spent months (years?) in New Orleans interviewing numerous witnesses and principals associated with the Shaw case and doing much "on the ground" (and groundbreaking) research. Indeed, that "older" information still stands on its own and seems remarkably fresh despite the passage of 40 years. For example, Flammonde's treatment of the shady Swiss/Italian "trade organization", PERMINDEX/Centro Mondiale Commerciale, was state of the art in 1967. It still stands the test of time today and begs for further research into that firm's connections to numerous political murders.
Marshalling all of this new (and old) information, Book 3, "Barren Harvest," has Flammonde theorizing as to who had the means, motive and opportunity to commit this regicide. As previously noted, this volume closes out with the numerous appendices that cover 30 different subjects -- some of the best being a history of the Old Catholic Church (which Ferrie and others had connections to), as well as numerous invaluable reference tools.
Paris Flammonde, who spent years in radio and television production (he was the longtime producer of the popular, long-running Long John Nebel Show), is part of a vanishing breed -- a cultured intellectual whose wit and intellect is reflected in his prose.
The work is not without its fair share of errors, omissions and typos and could have used a good proofreader. (For instance, researcher and author Jim Marrs is frequently referred to as "Bill Marrs," and the cover calls the work a "Projected Encyclopedic Narrative." Since the work is now published, it doesn't make much sense to call it "projected.") Also, the aforementioned writing style may put off some of the more academically inclined readers, but these are nitpicks that in no way detract from the overall significance of this fine work.
All of this notable discourse comes at a cost, though. The hefty price tag of $125 could put off the more budget-minded, but in terms of value received for your money, it's a bargain.