The Book On Perot?

GERALD POSNER, WHOSE 1993 best-seller Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK proved to all but the most dedicated conspiracy theorists-and Oliver Stone-that Oswald acted alone, came to Dallas for the August political confab put on by Ross Perot and United We Stand. But the New York journalist didn’t make the trek to hear Phil Gramm’s 11,000th telling of the Dickey Flatt story. Posner has been here five times this year and will likely be back before the end of the year, when he’s scheduled to deliver an as-yet untitled man- uscript on Perot and third-party politics to his publisher, Random House.

At the end of the 1992 presidential campaign, Posner wanted to write a book about the inside story of the fight between Bill Clinton and George Bush, using Perot’s bizarre on-again, off-again campaign to talk about third-party politics. But at the time, Random House thought Perots bid was little more than a footnote to history, an opinion that changed as jockeying for the 1996 election began, and the Republicans’ “Contract With America” echoed several of Perot’s ideas. But Posner, after hearing fascinating anecdotes from Perot’s colleagues, began to shift the focus of the book, making it more of a biography of Perot.

After a couple of hundred interviews in a half-dozen cities from Dallas to London, (where Posner talked to Ken Follett, author of On Wings of Eagles, a book about the rescue of Perot’s employees in Iran), Posner says he’s happy about the “pleasant amount of access” he’s had to Perot’s friends and colleagues. Posner, who has not yet talked to Perot, says he plans to ask for an interview later this fall, Meanwhile, Perot-watchers everywhere will wait to see what happens when the master grassy-knollogist meets a billionaire who believes in some conspiracies of his own.

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