JFK Assassination Sidebar:
Books, Videos, Websites
By Harold Frost
“Rush to Judgment” by Mark Lane (1966). A seminal critique of the Warren Commission, important as a historical artifact, but superseded now among conspiracy students by such books as “Cover-Up” and “Not In Your Lifetime” (see below).
“The Death of a President” by William Manchester (1967) is one of the best non-fiction books of the 20th century. A later edition carries a new foreword by Manchester. See here for the remarkable story behind the writing and publication of the book, including the disturbing fact that the Kennedy clan has allowed it to go out of print.
“Accessories After the Fact” by Sylvia Meagher (1967). An important early criticism of the Warren Commission; sluggishly written.
“On the Trail of the Assassins” by Jim Garrison (1988) is highly readable but riddled with inaccuracies and recklessness. See also “JFK: The Book of the Film” by Oliver Stone et al. (1992). Also, see “False Witness: The Real Story of Jim Garrison’s Investigation and Oliver Stone’s Film JFK” by Patricia Lambert (1999). Lambert is a conspiratorialist, but she mops up the floor with Garrison and Stone.
“Case Closed” by Gerald Posner (1993). A thorough investigation concluding Oswald acted alone. Contains a few errors but demolishes numerous canards.
“Pictures of the Pain” by Richard B. Trask (1994). Examination of photographic evidence from Dealey Plaza and beyond.
“Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery” by Norman Mailer (1995). An intense examination of, and speculation about, Oswald’s inner workings; for more on this topic see “The Mind of Oswald” by Diane Holloway (2000) and the novel “Libra” by Don DeLillo (1990).
“11/22/63: A Novel” by Stephen King (2011). What was America like in the late 1950s and early ’60s? What was the vibe of Friday, November 22, 1963? King’s masterpiece.
“Cover-Up” by Stewart Galanor (1998) is a concise introduction to the conspiratorialist interpretation, steering clear of minutia and of material that has been debunked over the years.
“Not in Your Lifetime” by Anthony Summers (1998 updated edition). Regarded by some as the best conspiratorialist work.
“Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy” by John H. Davis (1989). “One of the best books on this theory” – i.e., the theory that Marcello killed JFK – according to G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel to the 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations.
“Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America” by Robert Alan Goldberg (2001). Useful historical perspective. See also “Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia” edited by Peter Knight (2003). Knight comments, “Conspiracy theories (and, from time to time, actual conspiracies) have played a vital role in shaping the course of American history.”
“Someone Would Have Talked” by Larry Hancock (2003).
“Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK” by Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann (2005).
The DVD “Oswald’s Ghost” directed by Robert Stone (2007) is about the lingering effects of the assassination.
“JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters” by James Douglass (2008).
“Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” (2008) by Vincent Bugliosi. This is the edited version of Bugliosi’s massive and comprehensive “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” (2007). Bugliosi, one of America’s best prosecutors, devoted many years of his life to the case.
“A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination” by Philip Shenon (2013). Very solid reporting.
YouTube has many videos on the assassination. For example: “The JFK Assassination: 72 Hours That Changed America” and “Debunking JFK Conspiracy Theories.”
Wikipedia has some good articles on the event and its aftermath. See for example “John F. Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Theories.”