My reaction to a critical review of my latest book

First of all, no b.s.: the response to my latest book has been truly outstanding- authors, researchers and “regular folk” agree with me that this one is my best to date, etc. In case you think I am too biased, I can honestly state that the reaction to my second book (admittedly a REFERENCE book on the JFK assassination medical evidence) has been positive-to-mixed: those who don’t like it that much did not like the format of the book AS a reference book.

I normally do not do this…however, since this gentleman today is a fan of my first book (Mark Costa), I felt the need to address his critical review (my comments in bold). Here is his review:

“I preordered the book and was looking forward to it especially after reading the early reviews [renowned authors Flip De Mey, Phil Nelson, David Wayne and several others who have not posted formal reviews are big fans]. As someone who has the author’s previous books [thank you], I was deeply disappointed. There is just not that much “meat” to it. Yes, there are countless quotes from former agents about FDR JFK Truman etc but they are usually things like “I liked FDR” “I liked Truman he knew my name” or “LBJ was nasty” [with all due respect, this is far off the mark…Mark. Many of the agents quoted go into specific detail about security-related items of interest, have new things to say and, even when they are “just” talking about human-interest items, they often conveyed more than “I liked FDR”–GIVE ME A BREAK lol!]. There are really few real details or should I say TALES as the title suggests [I am speechless on this one. I respectfully disagree]. The chapter on the death of Agent Shipman is interesting but the author really stretches it to suggest something sinister when there is just no real evidence other than the agent was buried quickly and the White House made no mention of the fact [well, there is MORE than just that…and acknowledging just those two items is tantamount to the old tacky joke “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” Those two items are of major importance and, again, there is more to the story than that]. There is a chapter about Hillary Clinton’s Uncle that no one knows — there is a reason no one knows — first, the agent was not her uncle but cousin [which I acknowledge BUT prominent people, including an agent that guarded Bill and Hillary and Hillary’s BROTHER also called him her uncle. It is common for people to think of that lineage as an uncle or “kinda uncle”, to use the vernacular…and him being her first cousin IS still a big deal- it’s not like that lessens his importance, not to mention his being a prominent agent of some note], and there was no mention of him by the Clinton’s because there is nothing to talk about — nothing to see here move along [again, I disagree, as do a large number of readers…and a prominent agent, Hillary’s brother, and a couple other people]!!! If you have the author’s previous books then you have the info you need, especially his first book which he mentions on numerous occasions in this book [I appreciate the shout out to my first book but I disagree big time: the new book GREATLY expands and documents items that were mentioned in passing and/or lost in the shuffle, as well as including chapters containing information not to be found in that first book]. And course if you have his books and visit his website you know that he has an ongoing “feud” with former agent Jerry Blaine author of the “Kennedy Detail” [no real argument there, but remember: feuds are two-way streets]. Blaine seems to be the agent that spread the erroneous story about JFK ordering agents off the back of the car in Dallas. This has led many to believe that JFK was responsible for his own assassination [correct]. The author goes into detail once again of why Blaine is wrong — but he goes on and on and on and on and on about it — to the point that it is becoming annoying. We get it !!! Blaine lied !! Move on [I had MORE to offer in the way of debunking Blaine’s work, so this chapter was very important, even IF it treads similar waters. Also, keep in mind a CRUCIAL factor: my books are in the minor leagues of publishing, while Blaine and Hill are in the major leagues; it is not as if a whole slew of average citizens are much aware of my previous work, etc. “Re-litigating the case” is sometimes a necessary evil…and, to be fair, Hill’s books are very repetitious re: 11/22/63]. The author includes many photos of newspaper articles about the service. Unfortunately, these are mostly dark and blurry and one needs a microscope to read them [keeping in mind the point about being on a small publishing house, I can read the articles just fine, although I do concede a few images could be a little larger/ clearer…but the point(s) being offered are clear enough to understand]. And then there is the short story about Al Capone’s car. This is a myth, the car was never used and there is plenty of evidence of this on the internet [well, I was merely straight reporting what The Washington Post reported back in 1976 AND what SAIC of the FDR White House Detail, Mike Reilly, reported in his 1947 book. Also, the OFFICIAL SECRET SERVICE WEBSITE states that FDR used the Al Capone vehicle…so perhaps take the “internet” with a grain of salt]  The author provides a photo of agents standing on the “car”. But this photo actually shows the 1939 Lincoln limousine known as the Sunshine Special which was built in 1939 — Al was in Alcatraz going on 5 years by then. The Sunshine Special can be seen at the henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan — I know, I used to live near there and viewed the car on numerous occasions. This error is amazing, the author did not recognize one of the most famous limos in Presidential history ?? Makes one stop and think [nothing sinister LOL- just a caption error 🙂 I am much aware of the Sunshine Special]. I recommend the author’s first book “Survivor’s Guilt” instead.

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About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and supboena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda and The Not-So-Secret Service. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 120 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel, C-SPAN, A COUP IN CAMELOT, KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT, National Geographic, PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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