A Cruel and Shocking Act

A Cruel and Shocking Act

The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination

Book - 2013
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"Groundbreaking new history of the Kennedy assassination, investigative reporter and bestselling author Phil Shenon writes the ultimate inside account of what has become the most controversial murder investigation of the 20th century, the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Based on groundbreaking research, deep reporting, and unprecedented access, the book is character driven, dialogue rich, with facts and incidents that will stun and surprise."-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805094206
0805094202
Characteristics: 625 pages, 32 pages of unnumbered plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Thorp, Gene

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bwinlr
Oct 30, 2017

I'm 300 pages into this 546-page book, and I'm beginning to wonder if this has been worth the time I've spent so far reading it. So many books have been written about the murder of JFK, that I was curious if this book would offer anything new. Not really, at least at this point.

The different angle that the author takes in this book is that he looks at the event through the eyes of the young staff lawyers who served on the Warren Commission. It doesn't paint a particularly favorable view of the powerful men (J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Helms, James Angleton, Gerald Ford, Earl Warren, etc.) who were directly involved in the investigation. Some of their efforts were simply petty (Hoover seemed most concerned about any information getting out that reflected badly on the FBI, and him), and others a bit more nefarious.

This is a gossipy sort of book that will appeal to folks who want a closer look at the machinations of politicians trying to protect their reputations, rather than a serious book exploring many of the curious events surrounding the assassination. For that, I would recommend James W. Douglas's excellent 2008 book, "JFK and the Unspeakable." Well-researched with facts that can actually be corroborated, it is a book for intelligent readers who disdain the semi-hysterical works by too many other authors attempting to profit from this very sad moment in history.

Oct 31: A Postscript:
I read another 50+ pages last night, and finally decided I had no interest in completing the book. That's a big deal for me, actually. The earlier comments still apply. Folks who read things like "People" magazine might enjoy this book. Me, not so much.

c
captqrunch
Nov 13, 2016

Granted, I only skimmed this tome. It appeared though to be an extended ad hominem attack against critics of the Warren Commission and witnesses whose stories conflict with the official account (which absurdity Mr Shennon appears to accept unconditionally). Disinfo at this late date? Sure looks like it. Apparently, Operation Mockingbird is still going strong. If you are a student of the most historiographically complex event of the 20th century, look elsewhere: there's nothing new here.

a
alpha1two
Jun 27, 2016

an engrossing look at how the Warren Commission was created and what they discovered, and didn't discover, during their investigation into the Kennedy assassination.

s
StarGladiator
Nov 06, 2013

Yet another bizarre and misleading recently published book on the JFK assassination (the majority of which were financed or underwritten by hedge funds, most peculiar since these books were money losers? ?) which assures us a debunked misinformational psy op (an imposter, who was purported to have been Lee Oswald, and his trip to the American embassy in Mexico City - - this has been disproven so many times it has become an unworthy subject). I am unfamiliar with this writer, but feel reasonably certain should I research him he will have followed the usual pattern of the disinformation types. Nothing groundbreaking in this time-waster, simply more murky obfuscation instead of facts!

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