VirtualJFK.com: Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived, explores this question: “Would the U.S. have escalated the war in Vietnam if Kennedy was not assassinated in 1963? With insight and erudition, the film traces JFK’s presidency Πa 1,000-day term plagued with tense political stand-offs Ϡthrough rare and previously-unseen archival footage, offering nuanced accounts of the former president’s political decisions and, by extension, his probable response to the escalating conflict in Vietnam. Featuring unprecedented access into the leadership style of one of the nation’s most important leaders, Virtual JFK sheds new light on the man who helped avoid war in six crises and did not live to save America from the devastating war in Vietnam.” First two minutes of the film below:
A companion book, Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived, draws from “oral testimony of key decision-makers, scholars, and declassified documents. The book, which is co-authored by James G. Blight, janet M. Lang, and David A. Welch,…makes use of newly deciphered audio tapes made secretly by both Kennedy and his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in addition to other recently declassified documentary material and oral testimony from their 2005 critical oral history conference. Top scholars of the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies, and of the war in Vietnam, participated at the conference, as well as former administration officials.”
The Amazon.com page for the book states: “It Matters Who Is President―Then and Now
“At the heart of this provocative book lies the fundamental question: Does it matter who is president on issues of war and peace? The Vietnam War was one of the most catastrophic and bloody in living memory, and its lessons take on resonance in light of America’s devastating involvement in Iraq. Tackling head-on the most controversial and debated “what if” in U.S. foreign policy, this unique work explores what President John F. Kennedy would have done in Vietnam if he had not been assassinated in 1963. Drawing on a wealth of recently declassified documents, frank oral testimony of White House officials from both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and the analysis of top historians, this book presents compelling evidence that JFK was ready to end U.S. involvement well before the conflict escalated. With vivid immediacy, readers will feel they are in the president’s war room as the debates raged that forever changed the course of American history―and continue to affect us profoundly today as the shadows of Vietnam stretch into Iraq.”
JFK: A President Betrayed, a 2013 documentary available on Netflix, presents evidence Kennedy was determined to get out of Vietnam, and sought negotiations with Soviet leader Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro.