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JULY 24

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It’s hard to imagine Marlin Fitzwater or Dee Dee Myers ever becoming respected statespeople. But just as everything that touches John Kennedy’s Camelot turns to Ivy, former JFK flack Pierre Salinger transformed his proximity to America’s royalty into a public-relations and infotainment career (as ABC’s Paris correspondent). But earlier this year, Salinger (pictured at right) tarnished his establishment image by helping to publicize a crackpot Internet theory about the TWA Flight 800 disaster. Just about everyone who had investigated the crash called his hypothesis (that the plane was downed by a friendly-fire missile) rubbish. So now comes a book that seems designed to restore his Kennedy-era luster: John F. Kennedy, Commander in Chief: A Profile in Leadership lies somewhere between a children’s primer (it is, in size and shape, basically a picture book) and a bloviated personal memoir (“I will never forget his speech…”). He concludes—surprise!—that had his boss lived, he would have ushered in “a new statesmanship,” whatever that means. Listen to Salinger vomit up his past at 6 p.m. at the Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (John Cloud)