Award-Winning Author Releases 'Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?'

Award-Winning Author Releases 'Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?'

If JFK had survived the assassination attempt on November 22, 1963, he would still have had to fight for his political life as his enemies tried to finish what they started in Texas.

That's the provocative premise of Bryce Zabel's controversial new novel, "Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?", available through Amazon and other retailers as a trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook.

"Even though the public never knew it then, President Kennedy was living one scandalous headline away from disaster," says Zabel. "If he escaped Dallas unscathed, his presidency might still have been threatened by his enemies attacking him by exposing his risky private behavior.

"As difficult as it is to imagine, Kennedy might even have faced impeachment," concludes Zabel, an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter who spent a decade meticulously researching the 35th president's fabled life and tragic death.

In Zabel's fast-paced "alternate history" of the Sixties, John F. Kennedy's dark personal and political secrets lead to shocking but plausible plot surprises.

"Investigations triggered by the attempt on Kennedy's life would not have been colored by respect and grieving for a martyred President as they were in our timeline," says Zabel. "They could easily have lead to published revelations of the President's extramarital affairs, secret medical ailments and covert actions. In such an environment, a bruising political battle could have had his foes clamoring for impeachment."

In time for the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, the award-winning Hollywood screenwriter/producer cleverly portrays the twists that history would have taken if the shots missed - and JFK (and his attorney-general brother Bobby) fought back against the forces out to destroy him.

"Had he survived, Kennedy would have woken up on November 23rd knowing that somebody had tried to execute him in broad daylight on a public street," argues Zabel. "Life would not have returned to normal not for the Kennedy administration nor for the forces that tried to murder him."

Zabel's novel takes its inspiration from the large majority of Americans who have always believed JFK died as a result of a conspiracy and continue to feel that way even today. If JFK survived Dallas, he believes, "John and Bobby Kennedy might well have become the nation's first conspiracy theorists. They would have considered numerous suspects from rogue elements of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, U.S. military and even the Soviet Union and both pro- and anti-Castro Cubans."

"Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?" is cleverly presented as a commemorative 50th-anniversary retrospective assembled by contemporaneous journalists on the staff of a fictitious newsmagazine, Top Story. Its narrative incorporates artfully designed faux-magazine covers depicting scenes from this parallel universe, including JFK with the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

The novel's iconic cast of 1960s luminaries also features Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Neil Armstrong, Cassius Clay, Marilyn Monroe, Lee Harvey Oswald, F. Lee Bailey, Lenny Bruce, and J. Edgar Hoover, among others.

Zabel is creator of NBC's Emmy Award-winning "Dark Skies" and four other primetime TV series, a recent Chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and a former CNN correspondent.

"Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?" an alternate-history novel by Bryce Zabel, is available as a Mill City Press trade paperback online and in bookstores; as a Publish Green eBook through Kindle, iBook, Nook and other vendors; and as an audiobook narrated by Edd Hall ("The Tonight Show").


"Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?" has received rave notices from top writers in film, TV and print:

  • Screenwriter/producer Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter, Twilight film series): "'Surrounded by Enemies' is an exhilarating ride, full of twists and turns that never were, but surely could have been."
  • Screenwriter/producer Damon Lindelof (Lost, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness): "I have some experience with shattered timelines and altered realities, but this one kept me guessing every page."
  • Prolific alternate-history author Harry Turtledove (How Few Remain, Guns of the South) wrote the Foreword: "A whacking good story... building from what we know about what really did go on. Hold on to your hats, folks. You're in for quite a ride."


  • Creator of NBC's Emmy Award-winning "Dark Skies," which dramatized the Kennedy years and beyond, and four other primetime television series;
  • Served as elected chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys);
  • Winner of the Writers Guild of America award for his Hallmark miniseries "Pandemic";
  • Co-author, "A.D. After Disclosure," a Barnes & Noble "New & Noteworthy" selection, now in its fourth printing;
  • Former CNN correspondent and winner of multiple awards for investigative reporting.

(NOTE to MEDIA: Author is available for interviews, speaking engagements and panel discussions related to the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. Review copies of his book are available upon request.)

CONTACT: Jerry Lazar, IfJFKLived(at)gmail(dot)com, 323.821.5525