10 books like JFK and the Unspeakable

By James W. Douglass,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like JFK and the Unspeakable. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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On the Trail of the Assassins

By Jim Garrison,

Book cover of On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy

The late New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison pursued the only criminal case in this controversy that has tried someone for conspiracy to murder Kennedy in court. He faced death threats, prosecution, infiltration, dirty tricks, and more in the late 1960s. He details what he went through and why he mostly blamed U.S. intelligence officials and agents for what he called a “coup d’etat.” His book was a major basis for director Oliver Stone’s 1991 film, JFK, in which Garrison played a minor role as Justice Earl Warren.

On the Trail of the Assassins

By Jim Garrison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Trail of the Assassins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book that inspired the movie JFK recounts Jim Garrison's attempt to solve the Kennedy assassination, and describes how Garrison was harrassed because of his allegations of government involvement in Kennedy's death.


Crossfire

By Jim Marrs,

Book cover of Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy

A veteran Texas journalist who started teaching a course on the assassination at UT-Arlington in 1976, Marrs saw his comprehensive work published a year after Garrison’s book. Stone also used Marrs’ book as a prime source for his movie. Unlike Garrison, Marrs steered clear of pinning the assassination on mostly one group, covering the alleged roles of organized crime, anti-Castro Cubans, the military-industrial complex, oilmen, bankers, political opponents, and more. Some 25 major publishers turn down Marrs’ manuscript, which became a best-seller, before Carroll & Graf accepted it. The work was one of the first to tie together the various alleged conspiratorial groups.

Crossfire

By Jim Marrs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crossfire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What really happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963? Was the assassination of John F. Kennedy simply the work of a warped, solitary young man, or was something more nefarious afoot? Pulling together a wealth of evidence, including rare photos, documents, and interviews, veteran Texas journalist Jim Marrs reveals the truth about that fateful day. Thoroughly revised and updated with the latest findings about the assassination, Crossfire is the most comprehensive, convincing explanation of how, why, and by whom our thirty-fifth president was killed.


Brothers

By David Talbot,

Book cover of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years

The founder of pioneering web magazine Salon, Talbot covers fresh ground in this book, documenting how Robert Kennedy secretly searched for the truth behind his brother’s murder before he was assassinated himself in 1968. Based on some 150 interviews with Kennedy relatives and administration insiders, the book strikes a good balance between presenting facts and writing in an interesting style that brings to life the political struggles of that turbulent period. Robert Kennedy suspected not only the CIA, but organized crime and anti-Castro Cuban exiles who supposedly worked together. Talbot’s work does an excellent job of showing the links and explaining why some of the same sources might have conspired against RFK.

Brothers

By David Talbot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For decades, books about John or Robert Kennedy have woven either a shimmering tale of Camelot gallantry or a tawdry story of runaway ambition and reckless personal behaviour. But the real story of the Kennedys in the 1960s has long been submerged - until now. In Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, David Talbot sheds a dramatic new light on the tumultuous inner life of the Kennedy presidency and its stunning aftermath. Talbot, the founder of Salon.com, has written a gripping political history that is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year. Brothers…


Oswald's Tale

By Norman Mailer,

Book cover of Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery

There are numerous books that seek to prove Oswald was the lone assassin, and Mailer’s is probably the most open-minded and convincing one. Rather than descend into name-calling against authors of more conspiratorial works, Mailer sticks to the topic of Oswald’s mysterious time in Russia. Based on interviews with former acquaintances and research gathered from Russia, the book uncovers fresh details about Oswald’s time there. While Mailer theorized that Oswald executed Kennedy to shake up the world and cement his place in history, he leaves the door open, if just ever so slighty, to other potential gunmen in Dallas.

Oswald's Tale

By Norman Mailer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oswald's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work looks at the life of harvey Lee Oswald. In 1959 he defected to the Soviet Union and was sent to Minsk, where he was kept under constant KGB surveillance on the suspicion that he might be a CIA agent. In 1993 Norman Mailer spent six months in Minsk retracing Oswald's two and a half years in the USSR, interviewing Oswald's former friends and sweethearts. He obtained exclusive interviews with KGB officers and access to KGB surveillance reports. Mailer also provides an account of Oswald's disastrous childhood and of the events leading from his return to the US in…


Libra

By Don DeLillo,

Book cover of Libra

Libra is a chillingly realistic novel that re-imagines the assassination of John F. Kennedy. What particularly delighted me was the very realistic-sounding dialogue of the very dissimilar actors in the rambling, uncoordinated but ultimately successful conspiracy, including right-wing Aryan-nation types, non-ideological drifters desperate to leave a mark on history, and (in this version) mobsters and Cuban exile terrorists who blamed Kennedy for the "loss" of Cuba. DeLillo’s renderings of Jack Ruby’s mobster lingo, the uptight tersely coded grunts of the CIA men, the incoherencies of revolutionary wannabe Lee Harvey Oswald and others, are a model of dialogue for any fiction writer.  

Libra

By Don DeLillo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Libra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A reconstruction of the events leading up to John Kennedy's assassination. The antihero of the book is, of course, Lee Harvey Oswald, who is as hauntingly real in this novel as he was elusive to us in real life.


Last Second in Dallas

By Josiah Thompson,

Book cover of Last Second in Dallas

In some ways, the current epidemic of crackpot “deep state” conspiracy theories can be traced to the miasma surrounding one of the greatest unsolved murders of our time, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Thompson’s new book is an antidote: a rigorous, transparent and compelling investigation of acoustic, photographic, and medical evidence. The philosophy professor turned San Francisco private eye interweaves his own fascinating personal journey with the story of how he came to find, examine, and re-examine forensic evidence that, he concludes, proves Kennedy was killed not by a lone assassin as the Warren Commission found, but in a cross-fire from at least two shooters.

Last Second in Dallas

By Josiah Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Second in Dallas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this long-awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed 1967 classic, Six Seconds in Dallas, Josiah Thompson reveals major new forensic discoveries since the year 2000 that overturn previously accepted 'facts' about the Kennedy assassination. Together they provide what no previous book on the assassination has done - incontrovertible proof that JFK was killed in a crossfire.

Last Second in Dallas is not a conspiracy book. No theory of who did it is offered or discussed. Among the discoveries: The test showing that all recovered bullet fragments came from Oswald's rifle was mistaken. Several fragments could have come from bullets of…


11/22/63

By Stephen King,

Book cover of 11/22/63

This is my favourite Stephen King book. It’s just a lot of fun, a book that I couldn’t wait to pick up and continue reading. It’s more fantasy than his usual horror. It’s not just the time travel component that intrigues; it’s revisiting that unique time in America’s history. King makes you experience it for yourself. And then, once he has your complete attention, he takes you along for a gripping ride as Jake Epping tries to save the 35th President of the United States.  

11/22/63

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked 11/22/63 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major TV series from JJ Abrams and Stephen King, starring James Franco (Hulu US, Fox UK and Europe, Stan Australia, SKY New Zealand).

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . .

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of…


The Day Lincoln Was Shot

By Jim Bishop,

Book cover of The Day Lincoln Was Shot

The last day of Lincoln’s life, brilliantly told within the structure of each hour becoming a chapter of the book. Bishop’s passion for the subject matter led him to research the day for 25 years, from 1930 to the book’s release in 1955.

The events of April 14, 1865 are told in a clear and concise style that will hold your attention throughout, even though you know what will happen. I felt the atmosphere of Washington City, becoming totally immersed in the narrative as the story progressed. Other readers have thought so, too, as this book has sold over 3 million copies.

The Day Lincoln Was Shot

By Jim Bishop,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Day Lincoln Was Shot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Day Lincoln Was Shot is a gripping, minute-by-minute account of April 14, 1865: the day President Abraham Lincoln was tragically assassinated.

It chronicles the movements of Lincoln and his assassin John Wilkes Booth during every movement of that fateful day. Author and journalist Jim Bishop has fashioned an unforgettable tale of tragedy, more gripping than fiction, more alive than any newspaper account.
 
First published in 1955, The Day Lincoln Was Shot was a huge bestseller, and in 1998 it was made into a TNT movie, with Rob Morrow as Booth.
 


Assassination Vacation

By Sarah Vowell,

Book cover of Assassination Vacation

With a healthy dose of gallows humour, Sarah Vowell explores glorious conundrums of American history, politics, and culture. As such, the book provoked me to appreciate how visiting sites of the significant dead has long been in the touristic imagination. The book takes you on a journey – part history lesson, part travelogue – through the black spots of American political violence. Through a bizarre road trip to places where American politicians met a bloody end, I found Vowell’s own thoughts on the American character both witty and quirky. I also love how she explodes myths and, consequently, exposes a profound level of hypocrisy in the quest for (American) political and cultural advantage.  

Assassination Vacation

By Sarah Vowell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Assassination Vacation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Transporting us from Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to Key West, Vowell has crafted a narrative that is much more than a historical travelogue - it is the disturbing and mesmerising story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including film, literature, and - the author's favourite - historical tourism. Skilfully belying the undercurrents of loss and violence that course through her journey, Vowell injects a range of lighter detours along the way, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult - and exactly how Lincoln's Republican Party became Bush's Republican Party. Assassination Vacation…


Destiny of the Republic

By Candice Millard,

Book cover of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

How much do you know about President Garfield, except perhaps the fact that he was assassinated? Neither did I, until I read Candice Millard’s fascinating book, a true-crime story that details how a madman became unhinged and shot Garfield, a good, honorable man who might have gone on to do great things if only his doctors had left him alone. My book is about a lesser-known but equally admirable and patriotic man who came to a cruel and tragic end, and who deserved to have his story told.

Destiny of the Republic

By Candice Millard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Destiny of the Republic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The extraordinary account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from the bestselling author of The River of Doubt.
 
James Abram Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, a renowned congressman, and a reluctant presidential candidate who took on the nation's corrupt political establishment. But four months after Garfield's inauguration in 1881, he was shot in the back by a deranged office-seeker named Charles Guiteau. Garfield…


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