JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters By James W. Douglass
This book led Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to visit the assassination site in Dallas for the first time more than four decades after the event, and it was written in a highly personal, even mystical style that included a tremendous amount of research. Douglass analyzes Lee Harvey Oswald’s ties to American intelligence agencies in particular, and writes in a very approachable way that appeals to both laypeople and academics. He offers insight into not only how but also why Kennedy was assassinated, as well as why the assassination is still relevant to study today.
On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy By Jim Garrison
In this issue, the late New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison conducted the only criminal case in which someone was tried in court for conspiring to assassinate Kennedy. In the late 1960s, he faced death threats, prosecution, infiltration, dirty tricks, and more. He describes what happened to him and why he primarily blamed US intelligence officials and agents for the “coup d’etat.” His book served as a major inspiration for director Oliver Stone’s 1991 picture JFK, in which Garrison played Justice Earl Warren in a small role.
Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy By Jim Marrs
Marrs, a veteran Texas journalist who began teaching a course on the assassination at UT-Arlington in 1976 and saw his comprehensive work published a year after Garrison’s book, was a veteran Texas journalist who began teaching a course on the assassination at UT-Arlington in 1976 and saw his comprehensive work published a year after Garrison’s book. Stone also drew heavily on Marrs’ novel for his film. Unlike Garrison, Marrs avoided putting the killing on a single group, instead speculating on the roles of organized crime, anti-Castro Cubans, the military-industrial complex, oilmen, bankers, political opponents, and others. Before Carroll & Graf accepted Marrs’ work, which went on to become a best-seller, it was rejected by 25 prominent publishers. One of the earliest works to link the many supposed conspiratorial groups was this one.
Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years By David Talbot
Talbot, the founder of the groundbreaking web magazine Salon, breaks new ground in this book, detailing how Robert Kennedy surreptitiously investigated his brother’s assassination before being slain himself in 1968. The book strikes a solid mix between presenting facts and writing in an intriguing style that brings the political challenges of that chaotic period to life, based on 150 interviews with Kennedy relatives and administration officials. Not only did Robert Kennedy mistrust the CIA, but also organized crime and anti-Castro Cuban exiles who allegedly collaborated. Talbot’s work is great in demonstrating the connections and explaining why some of the same sources may have plotted against RFK.
Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery By Norman Mailer
There are several books that claim Oswald was the lone assassin, but Mailer’s is arguably the most open-minded and persuasive. Rather than bringing out authors of more conspiratorial publications by name, Mailer stays focused on Oswald’s unexplained time in Russia. The book discovers new data concerning Oswald’s period in Russia based on interviews with former associates and research conducted in Russia. While Mailer claimed that Oswald killed Kennedy to shock the world and seal his position in history, he leaves the door open to other prospective gunmen in Dallas, if only inadvertently.
Six Seconds In Dallas, by Josiah Thompson.
Thompson was the first author to examine the Warren Commission’s evidence with attention and objectivity, spotting inconsistencies and pointing out analytical flaws. Thompson’s investigation led him to feel that the Commission made a mistake and that there was plenty of evidence suggesting Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. Thompson’s evidence was utilized as the basis for nearly every conspiracy novel. There is no need to read another book. It’s just him.
Libra, by Don DeLillo.
Why did Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate President John F. Kennedy?
He never said anything negative about the man. Oswald’s motive remains the most legitimate of all the unsolved questions concerning the killing. (It’s legitimate, but it has no bearing on his culpability.) The evidence that he was looking for publicity, to redress complaints against the US, that he was mentally disturbed and violent, as well as all the proof that he actually killed the victim, is more than enough.) DeLillo concocts a scenario that imagines what would have happened if Oswald had been involved in a conspiracy. Although Libra is a work of fiction, it portrays Oswald in a unique, fascinating, and even credible light.
Reclaiming History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Vincent Buglioisi.
This is the longest book I’ve ever read, as well as the most comprehensive reference work on the assassination. In fact, it may be the world’s longest book devoted to a single historical event. All 1,648 pages were handwritten by Vincent Buglioisi of Helter Skelter renown, and subsequently typed in by his secretary. His painstaking reporting ties together the loose ends of numerous unsolved problems, and his writing neatly skewers less nimble minds.
Mrs Kennedy and Me, by Clint Hill.
Hill is the Secret Service agent who rushed onto the presidential limousine, was nearly shot, was spattered with JFK’s brain goo, then covered and secured Jackie Kennedy during the frantic ride from Dealy Plaza to Parkland. Yes, he still believes he could have responded faster. Hill’s account, together with a companion book, Five Days in November, is arguably the closest one can get to reliving the actual event.
Not in Your Lifetime By Anthony Summers
After years of anticipation, classified records about the killing of John F. Kennedy were eventually made public this year. But why had they been kept hidden in the first place? Who were they protecting, and why are the people of the United States still waiting for answers? Summer’s popular book, which presents a fair perspective of the events surrounding JFK’s assassination, revolves around these questions. Given Trump’s reluctance to provide the remaining undisclosed materials, Not in Your Lifetime is particularly timely.