Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hellhound on his Trail

Just finished this one up as an audiobook about the hunt for Martin Luther King’s killer in 1968. Very interesting book. Only two small quibbles later.

The book takes you back to a very important year in our country’s history.

Johnson decided not to run for re-election. That rarely happens with a sitting President. Of course as the book notes, King was assassinated. Within a few months, so was Bobby Kennedy. George Wallace mounted a credible campaign as a 3rd party candidate for President (and we made fun of Ross Perot?!) – don’t get me wrong, Wallace was an awful segregationist and I’m surprised he did as well as he did. Just a seminal year in our history that he could even run for office and garner as much support as he did.

I was 16 years old in 1968 and should have been paying more attention. This book helped remind me of a lot.

It is fascinating to read that the FBI was able to do so much without our taken-for-granted-CSI-on-TV-type technology. Also amazed overall that James Earl Ray was finally caught (twice!)

Maybe some of this plays into all sorts of conspiracy theories.

Wish someone else had narrated. Normally I like it when authors voice their own works – they know where they intend emphasis etc. and for me add something to the read but in Sides case – whenever he tries to affect a particular accent or other speech pattern – it draws attention to that and takes me away from the content for a moment.

2nd nit-pick. He mentions in 1968 that the FBI went on a plane in Memphis carrying James Earl Ray and used a videocamera to record that. There were certainly videocameras in use by 1968 but mostly inside TV stations and at live sporting events. Most recording (as far as I can tell) was still handled by film cameras. Like I said, a nit-pick.

Worth a read or listen. I think the paperback version is out now.

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