Back Channel The Kennedy Years
Inside the John F. Kennedy White House

About Back Channel The Kennedy Years

This is the first book of a remarkable memoir of a Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy. Known familiarly as Bertie Mac, he reported directly to the President and his office was in the West Wing of the White House. Prior to achieving that position, he had been betrayed by his own government - the United States - and handed over to the Soviets. He was tortured in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow before being covertly rescued by two high ranking Soviet Generals (at great risk to themselves) who wanted to convey information directly to the White House to try to avert a nuclear confrontation they believed to be imminent. They believed that he would be a uniquely reliable conduit of information between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as he deeply mistrusted both governments and therefore had absolutely no motivation to "color" any information he might transmit. Bertie Mac coined the term "Back Channel" and served as a direct communication link between the White House and the Kremlin during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bertie Mac is a patriot, a soldier, a spy and an assassin. He served in all four roles during his time under President Kennedy - who became his friend and confidant. You will see the Soviet Union, the White House, Camelot, Vietnam and the conspirators behind the assassination of the President in a very new light and watch history as it was being made.

Bertie Mac served under and reported to nine U.S. Presidents. This book is the first in the series. It is heavily documented with photocopies of documents which, though now declassified, originally bore the very highest of security classifications - Top Secret/ Sensitive/ Eyes Only. The documents are indisputably authentic and reveal the real facts that the American (and world) public never knew. Back Channel recounts the first stage of a totally fascinating journey.

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About the Author,

William Bertram MacFarland never sought - or even imagined - a role as a Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy. Even less did he imagine continuing in the role of Special Assistant to the President in eight subsequent administrations. His degrees from Duke University were in Mathematics and Physics (Quantum Mechanics) but fate and the U.S. Government extinguished any hope of a career in those fields. He slowly became a friend and confidant of President Kennedy in his (unsought) role as Special Assistant and tried in vain (and in disgust) to resign his position when President Kennedy was assassinated - but President Johnson would not accept it. The knowledge and "back channel" contacts that he had accumulated - and continued to accumulate as his career progressed - made him uniquely valuable to a long line of Presidents.

His 50 year access to the highest levels of nine Administrations and the highly classified materials that they generated make him uniquely qualified to relate these riviting and spellbinding memoirs. His reputation as being totally incorruptible is not necessarily a good thing in government and the only thing that has saved him from assassination by officials in his own government is a vast collection of documents accumulated over the entirety of his career which resides in a safe deposit box in a Western European country - the key to which is held by a well known law firm in that country. Should he die under suspicious circumstances, those documents will be released to the public - at a horrific cost to hundreds of individuals and indeed, to the nation as a whole.

He describes himself as a "patriot, a soldier, a spy and an assassin." The description does not do him full justice. He was involved in intergovernmental intrigues at the highest levels and as a superbly trained and conditioned special operative he was an amalgam of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jack Ryan. He is surely one of the American "cousins" described by John Le Carré. Bertie never sought glory or recognition for his contributions. He did what he did purely from love of country. He is a true American hero - who will forever remain anonymous and in the shadows.

"Back Channel: The Kennedy Years is an eye-opening memoir about the Kennedy administration from an insider's view. This fascinating book..."

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