JFK Bibliography

In the years since JFK's assassination, a veritable flood of books relating to the crime have appeared, ranging from apologias for the Warren Commission, to eloquent damnations of same. The Bibliography presented here is not comprehensive; really it's just of list of most of the books those of us at Fair Play have read on the subject, with short descriptions of each. The presence of a book on this list does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of that particular work.

The listings are alphabetical by title.


Accessories After the Fact, by Sylvia Meagher
1967. A meticulous analysis of the Warren Commission Report. Meagher was in the second wave of Warren critics, and her book is probably the best of its time. While Accessories is now a tad dated, it remains a strong indictment of the Warren Commission and an extremely valuable work. Meagher also researched and published the Subject Index to the Report and Hearings and Exhibits of the Warren Commission, and a Master Index with Gary Owens that also covers HSCA material.

Act of Treason, by Mark North
1992. This book argues that Kennedy was killed by the Marcello crime syndicate, and that J. Edgar Hoover learned of the plot but did nothing to prevent it.

After the Assassination: A Positive Appraisal of the Warren Report, by John Sparrow
1967. This thin volume by a renowned professor proves that academic qualifications are no substitute for knowledge of the documents. (From David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond, edited by Paul Hoch, Peter Dale Scott, and Russell Stetler
1976. A collection of essays on different aspects of the JFK assassination, both pro-conspiracy and con. Also includes sections on the slayings of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, with a section on Arthur Bremer (George Wallace's assailant) thrown in for good measure.

The Assassins, by John Kaplan
1967. Kaplan's magazine article first appeared in The American Scholar. It is an error-ridden and emotionally suffused attempt by a law professor to attack critics of the Warren Commission findings who he sees as assassins of truth. Why this article would establish Kaplan, as it did, as a national authority on the Warren Commission is incomprehensible. (From David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

Best Evidence, by David Lifton
1980. One of the more controversial books on the assassination. In brief, it is Lifton's thesis that Kennedy's body was hijacked by unknown conspirators between Dallas and Bethesda Naval Hospital on November 22, 1963, and surgically altered so it would support the lone gunman theory.

Betrayal, by Robert D. Morrow
1976. Former CIA contract employee Robert Morrow details (in semi-fictionalized form) his involvement with several key events in the secret war against Castro, including the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion and a government-sanctioned counterfeiting operation designed to destablize the Cuban economy. He describes the procurement of rifles and specialized communication gear that was later used, he claims, in the JFK assassination.

Case Closed, by Gerald Posner
1993. Posner's book was a boon to Warren supporters when it appeared during the summer of 1993. The former wall street lawyer ties the JFK case into a nice little package. A good half of this book is devoted to the life of Lee Oswald. Posner got great publicity from the mainstream press, but has been largely discredited as far as most serious researchers are concerned. He remains something of a hero to Warren diehards.

Case Open, by Harold Weisberg
1994. This entry by Harold Weisberg is an answer to Gerald Posner's Case Closed. Like all of Weisberg's published writing, Case Open is difficult to read, being replete with convoluted sentences that sometimes require several passes. Then there is the author's open contempt for his subject, expressed in such memorable phrases as "kissers of official ass like Posner." Case Open may not be the best antidote to Case Closed, but it will do for now.

A Citizen's Dissent, by Mark Lane
1968. A follow-up to Rush to Judgment. Lane describes his efforts to publicize his findings in the Kennedy case, in the face of official disdain. Some interesting minutia.

Conspiracies, Cover-Ups, and Crimes, by Jonathan Vankin
1992. A book looking at various conspiracy theories, and on a grand scale. Does anything ever happen that is not a conspiracy? This book is actually an interesting look at conspiracies and those who believe in them, and not an endorsement of any particular mindset; regarding Kennedy, it contains (among other things) some interesting information on Kerry Thornley. Thornley was Lee Oswald's "Marine buddy" and himself a budding author at the time of the assassination. He actually wrote a book (unpublished) inspired in part by Oswald, before the assassination (!!) and another one (published) after it, the latter entitled Oswald.

Conspiracy, by Anthony Summers
A comprehensive study of the case, first published in 1980, and updated several times. The 1992 edition contains a preface written during the publicity leading up to Oliver Stone's JFK; the author is not a Stone booster. Summers' book is a dispassionate examination of the assassination and its aftermath. While by no means conclusive, Conspiracy points to the strong possibility that the crime was planned by renegade CIA types (including, perhaps, William Harvey) and carried out by members of organized crime, with Lee Harvey Oswald as designated fall guy. Lots of compelling information on the mysterious "Maurice Bishop," especially in the latest edition.

Conspiracy of One, by Jim Moore
1989. A latter-day Scavengers and Critics. Moore's book is another apology for the Warren Commission, but it's not worth the paper it's printed on. Someone had the gall to subtitle this nasty little volume "The definitive book on the assassination," but the first edition didn't even have an index. A 1992 paperback edition added one.

Conspiracy of Silence, by Dr Charles Crenshaw
1992. Crenshaw was one of the doctors in Parkland Hospital involved in the desperate attempts to save JFK. He says in his book that the Parkland doctors tacitly agreed to a "conspiracy of silence" ... that is, to not talk about the fact Kennedy's body had wounds obviously inflicted from a gunman firing from the front.

Contract on America, by David E. Schiem
1988. This work by David Scheim details the alleged involvement of organized crime in the killing of JFK, in particular New Orleans mobster Carlos Marcello. Schiem's research into the pre-assassination behavior of Jack Ruby and others is engrossing. From his detailed rundown of suspicious Jack Ruby phone calls, to the strange intertwining of David Ferrie and Marcello, Schiem makes a pretty good case. But curiously absent from this work is any mention of the intelligence agencies. Schiem is on the board of James Lesar's Assassination Archives Research Center in Washington D.C.

Coup d' Etat in America, by Michael Canfield and A. J. Weberman
1975, reissued in 1992. What Coup d' Etat in America does more than anything else is provide an in-depth look at the links between the Watergate affair and the JFK assassination. The authors use photographs with acetate overlays to demonstrate that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis may have been in Dealey Plaza masquerading as homeless men. Canfield's bizarre interview with Sturgis and Weberman's insights into super-mercenary Gerry Patrick Hemming round out a tantalizing book replete with details and documentation. Also included are aspects of Silvio Odio as well as a good case for Oswald's affiliation with the CIA. The reissued version contains new information, including E. Howard Hunt's libel suit for twelve million dollars against the authors.

Cover-Up, by J. Gary Shaw with Larry Ray Harris
1976 (Reprinted in 1992). An excellent primer on the JFK case. Cover-up takes a broad overview of the assassination; it is packed with essential data and many photographs. Author Shaw says humbly that the book "is for the average citizen. It is not written for the critics..." but it is a worthy addition to any collection.

Crime of the Century, by Michael L. Kurtz
1982. This book's gimmick is that it tells the story of the assassination "from a historian's perspective." Generally it seems pretty accurate in terms of its facts. The author pooh-poohs the idea of Oswald having a connection to any intelligence agency, saying there is no credible evidence of such. Kurtz believes JFK was killed by a plot originating in Havana. It's an odd thing about Kurtz--he appeared on PBS' Frontline in November 1993, displaying first hand knowledge that Lee Oswald knew Guy Banister--claiming he saw them together in that little restaurant in the 544 Camp Street building. The question was not asked--but how the hell would Kurtz remember that? How would he remember Oswald, who should have been just another face in the crowd at the time? Did Kurtz know Banister?

Crossfire, by Jim Marrs
1989. An encyclopedic overview of the JFK case, which concludes the Military-Industrial Complex probably did Kennedy in. One of two books used by Oliver Stone in making the movie JFK. Harrison Livingstone says (in Killing the Truth) that in writing Crossfire, Marrs ripped off parts of High Treason. Only his hairdresser knows for sure.

The Day Kennedy was Shot, by Jim Bishop
Arguably the most error-ridden and factually distorted book on the assassination. David R. Wrone states, in his bibliography, that after tabulating (in just three chapters) "one hundred instances of major factual error, acute distortion of evidence, and omission of facts contrary to the author's argument," he stopped counting.

Deadly Secrets, by Warren Hinckle and William Turner
1992. An account of the CIA's secret war against the Castro regime, which many feel culminated in the assassination of JFK. Deadly Secrets was originally published as The Fish Is Red in 1981.

Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, by Peter Dale Scott
1993. Scott argues that JFK's assassination was a function of "the deep political system," which he defines as "those political practices and arrangements...which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged." Deep stuff.

Destiny Betrayed, by James DiEugenio
1993. A round-up of most of what's known on the assassination, plus an examination of the Garrison investigation. This book rallies to the defense of the late District Attorney. It also has some cool pictures.

Factors in the Death of President Kennedy, by John K. Lattimer
1966. This oft-cited article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Warren apologists love it; it's a urologist's opinion upholding the Warren Commission findings while completely ignoring testimony and evidence contrary to his desired argument. For example, Lattimer stipulates that the defective scope on the rifle allegedly used by Oswald actually helped him hit the President by compensating for poor marksmanship. He produces no unbiased figures and calculations to prove this. He ignores testimony and evidence of a defective bolt, a defective trigger, an apparent absence of an ammunition clip, and a cartridge case with a dent too deep to hold a bullet. (From David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

Farewell America, by "James Hepburn"
1968. This curious book describes, seemingly from an insider's point of view, a plot to kill Kennedy that was hatched by ultra-right wing elements within the United States. The principal villains are Texas oilmen. Though appearing under the the byline "James Hepburn," Farewell America is believed to have been written by members of General Charles De Gaulle's intelligence squad, at the behest of Robert Kennedy. How trustworthy is it? We don't know, but it's definitely a collector's item.

Final Disclosure, by David W. Belin
1988. The official story, presented by WC attorney (and now staunch WC defender) David Belin. Final Disclosure is interesting if for no other reason than it is an insider's account of the case. Belin takes the reader on a wild ride through pedestrian explanations of a number of things, from Oswald's bus transfer to his infamous "curtain rods" story. The JFK assassination actually only comprises about half of the book; the remainder is devoted to investigations of the CIA's plot to kill Castro and how this was covered up by some rather high-placed officials in the Kennedy administration. Belin also wrote November 22, 1963: You are the Jury.

First Hand Knowledge, by Robert D. Morrow
1992. Morrow casts aside the fictionalization used in Betrayal and talks straight this time. His story is essentially unchanged, but this time he's naming names including his CIA case officer, Tracy Barnes, whom he claims ordered him to procure rifles and sophisticated communications gear for an assassination attempt. Morrow implicates a faction of the CIA's Domestic Operations group in the killing.

Forgive My Grief, Vols. I-IV, by Penn Jones, Jr.
The FMG series are the collected editorials of Jones, the editor of the Midlothian (Texas) Mirror at the time of the assassination. The first few volumes are excerpts of Warren Commission testimony and Jones' comments and analysis. The remaining volumes are mostly editorials and speculations. Among other things, Jones was the first to assert there has been a chain of "mysterious deaths" among those who may have known too much.

Heritage of Stone, by Jim Garrison
1970. There is some obvious overlap between this book and On the Trail of the Assassins. They were written nearly twenty years apart, but cover essentially the same territory. The difference is that in On the Trail, Garrison tells his first-person story of investigation and prosecution; in Heritage of Stone, he simply lays out the case for conspiracy as he sees it.

High Treason, by Robert Groden & Harrison Livingstone
1989. This book makes many accusations but is not very convincing; the Assassination Information Center in Dallas nonetheless placed High Treason on its "Ten Best" list of books on the case. Although full of interesting information, High Treason is poorly written and in some places is almost unreadable. (In its Appendices, the authors say, ominously, that their book was written under "appalling strains," but don't elaborate.) Livingstone wrote High Treason 2 without Groden and now says Groden had little to do with High Treason.

High Treason 2, by Harrison Livingstone
1992. Livingstone calls them like he sees them in this extensive and well-documented book. He poses some biting questions about the x-rays and autopsy photographs. Also a target is Livingstone's former partner Robert Groden, whom he now claims only wrote five pages of the first High Treason. Livingstone's writing style can be quite frustrating at times, but overall, he makes his case well and is convincing.

History Will Not Absolve Us, by E. Martin Schotz (editor)
1996. This valuable anthology reprints several early Salandria articles, and others whose work is known but not easily found. At its heart, though, are new analyses by Schotz and others, with the aim of revealing "Orwellian techniques" which allowed Americans to look the other way, in spite of a rather obvious conspiracy.

If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade, by Warren Hinckle
1973. The memoirs of the former editor of Ramparts magazine. Hinckle devotes a chapter to his mag's investigation of the JFK case, "Give Us This Day Our Daily Paranoia." Often irreverent, Hinckle's descriptions are informative and fun, and a refreshing change of pace to the oh-so-deadly-serious study of the assassination. Hinckle is co-author (with William Turner) of The Fish Is Red, reprinted in late 1992 as Deadly Secrets.

Inquest, by Edward Jay Epstein
A good, concise criticism of the Warren Commission's findings. Epstein utilized the files of only one segment of the Commission staff; therefore, his argument is deflected away from vital areas. Epstein has produced several other books on the case, including Legend; the author is very much in the Oswald-dunnit camp. However, Inquest seems to contradict that notion and was heralded as a shot against the Warren Commission when it first appeared. Of Epstein, Penn Jones Jr. has written, "Epstein took one peek inside Pandora's box, wrote a good book, and has been running scared from his book ever since." (Adapted from David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

The JFK Assassination: The Facts and the Theories, by Carl Oglesby
1992. Published in the wake of the movie JFK, this paperback is a collection of Oglesby's assassination writings over the years, including the argument that Kennedy was the victim of a "Yankee-Cowboy" conspiracy.

JFK: The Documented Screenplay, by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar
Consists of a screenplay to the Oliver Stone film, annotated with some 340 research notes and citations. Also, there are about 350 pages of Appendeces of comments on the film and related issues, which appeared in the American press around the time of the movie's release. Finally, there is a section of "Historical Documents," including several NSAMs, and Jim Garrison's closing statement in the Shaw trial.

The Killing of a President, by Robert Groden
1993. A collection of photographs pertaining to the assassination. This book is not, as it claims to be, a "complete photographic record" of the JFK case, but it's pretty close. It isn't laid out very well, either. Not all photos have captions, and of the captions there are, it isn't always clear which apply to which photo. Groden also makes leaps of faith in some of his photo interpretations.

Killing the Truth, by Harrison Livingstone
1993. Livingston squeezes out a sequel to his High Treason 2, even though he vowed HT2 would be his last book on the JFK case. Harry concentrates on the theory that a cabal of Dallas oilmen and Texas politicians was behind the assassination. On the outs with most of the research community, he flames them as being out to prevent the truth from ever surfacing. He apparently is on good terms with Penn Jones. But he really goes after Robert Groden, who, he says, only wrote about five pages of High Treason, although they are credited as co-authors.

The Last Investigation, by Gaeton Fonzi
1993. A House Select Committee Assassinations investigator's account of the inner workings of the HSCA. Fonzi first developed the information on "Maurice Bishop," believed to be longtime CIA guy David Atlee Phillips. Fonzi writes that Bishop was "an intelligence officer who likely held the key to the Kennedy assassination." One of the best books on the case to emerge in recent years.

Lee: A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald, by Robert Oswald
A book by Lee Oswald's brother, whose printed remarks differ considerably from his initial comments published in the public press. (From David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

Libra, by Don Dilillo
1988. A novelized speculation on how a conspiracy to assassinate JFK might have played out. Dilillo is a good writer and some of his sentences are quite nice. But in Libra, it seems that he tries to have it both ways. Even as loony lone nut Oswald is seen doing just about everything the Warren Report says he did, intelligence types are seen planning the assassination with the help of anti-Castro Cubans. Oswald--in his mind, acting alone--is seen squeezing off rounds from the TSBD, as CIA-hired assassins fire from the Grassy Knoll. Oswald also plugs J.D. Tippit in a moment of panic. While Dilillo covers much of what is known about the events leading up to 11-22-63, he leaves out a bunch of stuff that he apparently couldn't fit into his version. There is no Silvia Odio incident, no Jack Ruby at Parkland, no Roger Craig witnessing Oswald or a lookalike fleeing the TSBD. There is no voter registration incident in Clinton, Louisiana. Oswald is seen as a genuine defector--and a "confused ideologue," to use Philip Melanson's term.

Mafia Kingfish, by John H. Davis
1989. Perhaps the definitive work on gangland figure Carlos Marcello. Davis maps out many aspects of the mobster's life, from his birth in Tunisia to his rise in the Costello crime family. Marcello's infamous threat to kill both Robert and Jack Kennedy forms the basis of Davis' conclusion that it was Marcello and other mobsters who had JFK killed.

The Man Who Knew Too Much, by Dick Russell
1993. The story of Richard Case Nagell, a spy who came in from the cold, with a chilling tale to tell--or at least hint at. Nagell says he worked with Lee Oswald in intelligence stuff, and was aware of the developing plot to bump Kennedy. Unable to prevent it, he removed himself from the game by firing off a few rounds in a bank in El Paso, Texas, in September '63. He thought he would get a light sentence because he made no attempt to rob the bank, but wound up spending some four years behind bars. Nagell has never come completely clean about his presumed knowledge of a JFK conspiracy, but dropped enough clues for the author to write a 700+ page book. Nagell is still alive as of publication; Russell (no relation to the Warren Commission member) says he doubts Nagell will ever tell all he knows. A very complicated spy-versus-spy story.

The MK:ULTRA Secret, by Frank Camper
The stated purpose of this book is to reveal that "Lee Harvey Oswald was the MK/ULTRA secret, and he didn't even know it." MK/ULTRA was a CIA codename for secret mind control projects. The author is an elite covert operations specialist. Is The MK/ULTRA Secret, then, part of a covert operation? No student of MK/ULTRA or the JFK assassination will learn much that is new from reading this book. (Reviewed in Fair Play #19 by Richard Bartholomew.)

Mortal Error: The Shot that Killed JFK, by Bonar Menninger
1992. The author argues there was a conspiracy (after the fact) to cover up certain details of the assassination. Menninger theorizes that a Secret Service agent riding in the vehicle behind the presidential limousine accidentally fired the fatal head shot. He writes that JFK was hit by two different types of bullets, one type being the 6.5 mm rounds (with thick jacketing) fired from Oswald's Carcano and the other being a thin jacketed .223 round fired from an AR-15 carried by a Secret Service agent. The thicker jacketed rounds did not fragment upon impact (single bullet theory and/or "magic" or pristine bullet) however the thin jacketed round due to higher muzzle velocity became unstable (tumbling in flight) and fragmented upon impact causing the fatal wound. (Contributed by A. G. von Luternow.)

A Mother In History, by Jean Stafford
1966. A Mother In History began as a magazine article and was later expanded into book form. The author spent several days interviewing Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey's mom, and reveals herself to be a totally unsympathetic ear. Stafford is so cold toward Mrs Oswald, one wonders why she even bothered. Mrs. Oswald was a bit of a flake, but Stafford's overtly hostile attitude is still beyond belief. Their discussions lasted over three days; one morning before starting, Stafford writes that her impulse was "to eliminate the day by taking a sleeping pill" rather than talk to Mrs. O. She also states, without blinking, that she let her mind wander by silently reciting the names of U.S. states as Mrs. Oswald droned on. This book, in short, reveals as much about its author as its subject.

A Mother In History really pissed me off, although I don't want to over-react to this slender volume. In The Interior Castle, a 1992 biography of Stafford, Ann Hulbert writes that A Mother In History was "...a cruel portrait, executed pitilessly...Stafford insisted on intruding in the role of merciless judge." Indeed. I'd like to add that Jean Stafford was a marginally talented writer of unremarkable prose, but I've never read anything else by her.

November 22, 1963: You are the Jury, by David W. Belin
1973. An effort by a former attorney for the Warren Commission to uphold the conclusions of the Warren Report. He achieves this end by the devices of quoting at length the report itself and by baldly ignoring most of the critical literature (including the indictment of Belin's own acts while a Commission lawyer as brought out by Sylvia Meagher in the Texas Observer) to attack the most vulnerable of the major critics, Mark Lane. Belin cannot in a self-serving book overcome the consequences of his abdications when a Commission lawyer. (From David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

On the Trail of the Assassins, by Jim Garrison
1989. The basis for Oliver Stone's JFK, and the former District Attorney of New Orleans' first-person account of his investigation into the assassination. Garrison charged a local businessman, Clay Shaw, of complicity in the crime, but failed to convince a jury. While some feel Garrison's case was a farce that set back serious investigation, the D.A. did unearth important information, such as data on Guy Banister and David Ferrie. Garrison also wrote Heritage of Stone and Star-Spangled Contract.

The Oswald Affair, by Léo Sauvage
An early critique of the Warren Report. First published in France in 1965 (Sauvage was a French journalist), later translated to English and published in the U.S. in 1966.

Oswald in New Orleans, by Harold Weisberg
1967. This book has lots of information, as its title says flatly, on LHO in New Orleans. He was born there, and lived there at different times of his life--including the summer preceding the assassination. Weisberg has dug up a lot of stuff over the years. But the problem with this book, as in all of Weisberg's stuff in our view, is the author's prose. The real story of the Kennedy assassination is such a dense jungle it's hard keeping all the facts straight; Weisberg compounds this by requiring the reader to separate his facts from his anger. Most writers and researchers who venture into this territory must of necessity use Weisberg as a standard research tool.

Pictures of the Pain, by Richard B. Trask
1994. The photographs presented in this book, the majority of which were taken on November 22, 1963, are strangely selected and interpreted. Trask seems to have overlooked or mistated the importance of some of the pictures he reproduces, and he adduces questionable sources in support of his analysis. This is everywhere evident in his book. His entire interpretation of the Zapruder film, to which he devotes an entire chapter of nearly 100 pages, implicitly rests on the truth of the Magic Bullet Theory. There is no discussion of the considerable evidence precluding it. In spite of all this, Trask's book is a worthy addition to assassination literature; just be sure to read it with caution. (Adapted from a review by Jerrold "Fatback" Smith.)

Plausible Denial, by Mark Lane
1991. Lane's account of a libel case involving former CIA officer E. Howard Hunt and his alleged involvement in a CIA conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Included are chapters devoted to depositions of key witnesses in the libel case such as Richard Helms, David Atlee Phillips, G. Gordon Liddy, Stansfield Turner, and Hunt himself.

Reasonable Doubt, by Henry Hurt
1985. Hurt's book is similar to Conspiracy in some respects. Hurt, though, devotes many pages to what he calls "The Confession of Robert Easterling," the claim of a man who says he was involved in the planning stages of the conspiracy.

The Ruby Cover-Up, by Seth Kantor
1978. Originally titled Who Was Jack Ruby? A thorough examination of the background of the man who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald, which was so whitewashed by the Warren Commission. Among critics of the official version of what happened to JFK, the late Mr. Kantor was generally considered the Ruby expert.

Rush to Judgment, by Mark Lane
1966. As a general comment, Mark Lane too often seems like an ambulance-chaser--and that makes us uneasy. Still, he has published some interesting things over the years and was in the first wave of Warren critics. RTJ is an analysis of the Warren Commission's report, and a defense of Lee Harvey Oswald. Lane entered the case at the request of the murdered Oswald's mother, with the hope of representing the accused assassin before the Commission. This never came about, as the Commission did not take an adversary approach to the case. A film version of this book was directed by Emile de Antonio.

The Scavengers and Critics, by Richard W. Lewis & Lawrence Schiller
1967. A full-frontal assault on critics of the Warren Commission. This book, published when Warren criticism was really taking off, pretends to be an objective look at the critics and their work. It is really a series of smears against the most prominent critics of the day, and an unabashed apology for the Commission's deficiencies. Schiller co-authored I Want to Tell You, written with accused murderer O.J. Simpson, making us wonder who the real scavenger is. (There is an interesting account of Messrs. Lewis & Schiller in Mark Lane's A Citizen's Dissent.)

The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald, by Robert Groden
This book may be considered a companion volume to Gorden's The Killing of a President. It, too, is a an oversized "coffee table" book of photos; this time the emphasis is on the enigmatic Oswald.

The Second Oswald, by Richard Popkin
1966. A concise study of all the "Second Oswald" sightings in the Dallas area in the months leading up to the assassination. This book is a standard source in this area of JFK assassination and is listed in all the bibliographies. Popkin sees a very limited conspiracy, involving Oswald, a "second Oswald," and perhaps one or two others, as both plotters and killers. He is pretty weak in his analysis of the Tippit slaying. In addition to the regular text this book contains appendices which have the Sibert-O'Neill report, the Silvia Odio testimony, and other stuff not found everywhere.

Six Seconds in Dallas, by Josiah Thompson
1967. A study of the witnesses and physical evidence--the shots, shell casings, bullet fragments, and so forth--used by the Warren Commission. Thompson concludes that at least three gunmen participated in the murder. The argument is faulted by superficial research and a lack of awareness of the complexity of the problem and misleads the reader. Perhaps the book's most important point for future research is the "Dealey Plaza Chart: Location of Witnesses," wherein the author numbers, names, locates, and gives information on the individual testimonites. (From David R. Wrone's The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: An Annotated Bibliography.)

Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U.S. Intelligence, by Dr. Philip Melanson
1990. An analysis of Lee Oswald's background, which concludes that, whatever his role on November 22 '63, Oswald was a U.S. intelligence agent. Very interesting, very spooky (pun intended). Melanson has also written books on the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

They've Killed the President!, by Robert Sam Anson
1975. A general overview of the JFK case. This book includes information that, as of publication, was new, such as stuff on the Rockefeller Commission. Anson gives weight to the notion that Kennedy was killed by a "domestically based" conspiracy, although this is advanced cautiously.

The Third Alternative, by Vincent Palamara
1993. This unique book examines the role of the Secret Service in the JFK assassination. Virtually alone among assassination researchers, Palamara has studied this agency carefully and reaches some startling conclusions. Much of the book is based on the author's personal interviews with surviving agents and their families.

The Unanswered Questions about President Kennedy's Assassination, by Sylvan Fox
1965. In this early work on the case, author Fox concludes there is a "skeleton of certainty," to wit: that Lee Oswald participated in the assassination (although alone or with others, Fox doesn't know); that Oswald killed Tippit; that Jack Ruby killed Oswald. Fox also demonstrates that the Warren Commission overlooked witnesses, withheld evidence, and left many unanswered questions, although he finds their motives for doing so murky. Much has been learned since this book appeared, but in reading it today we can see how much was already known within a couple of years of JFK's murder.

The Warren Commission Report
1964. The book that started it all! We'll give away the ending: Oswald did it.

The Web of Conspiracy, by Theodore Roscoe
A 1959 book about the conspiracy to murder Abraham Lincoln. This book is quite interesting when contrasted to the JFK case. There are some curious parallels--in particular, long suppressed (thanks to the War Department) evidence of a conspiracy against Lincoln that was wider than is generally known.

Whitewash, Vols. I thru IV, by Harold Weisberg
Analyses of the Warren Report and the work of the Warren Commission, originally self-published starting in 1965. In 1994 the Whitewash series appeared as an anthology, Selections from Whitewash. Weisberg has several other works on the assassination out there floating around, including Oswald In New Orleans and Post Mortem. Weisberg's work is all solidly documented, but sadly under-publicized. His prose style will eat your brain.

Who Killed Kennedy? by Thomas G. Buchanen
1964. For its time, Who Killed Kennedy? was easily enough to sow the seeds of doubt. This early work on the JFK case asserts the assassination may have been planned by Texas oilmen. Their motive? Kennedy's effort to do away with the oil depletion allowance, which let the oil guys write off millions of dollars lost in their high-risk industry. This book is rambling and also highly speculative; when you read it you must remind yourself it was written before the Warren Report came out. It contains a good analysis of past Presidential assassinations, which, like JFK, were pinned on a "lone nut."

The Witnesses, a NY Times condensation of WC testimony
1964. This book contains carefully selected highlights of Warren Commission testimony, and serves to damn Lee Harvey Oswald as solo nutcase. Sylvia Meagher said of this book: "The Witnesses...[is] one of the most biased offerings ever to masquerade as objective information. In publishing this paperback, The Times engaged in uncritical partisanship, the antithesis of responsible journalism."

The Yankee and Cowboy War, by Carl Oglesby
1975. Oglesby asserts there is a connection between the JFK assassination and Watergate, and that the Dallas tragedy was part of a struggle between the Eastern seaboard "old money" power structure (the Yankees), and a western U.S. power structure (Cowboys).


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