10 books like Last Second in Dallas

By Josiah Thompson,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Rebel Cinderella

By Adam Hochschild,

Book cover of Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes

This gem of narrative non-fiction tells the improbable story of an utterly impoverished immigrant woman who married into one of the wealthiest “establishment” families of New York City and became one of the nation’s most prominent radical activists in the early 1900s. The unlikely marriage of Rose Pastor and Graham Stokes made many national headlines -- and attracted attention from federal agents. Hochschild brings this odd couple to life in all their ups and downs, introduces us to their circle of famous fellow activists, and illuminates their fights for social justice, struggles that remain relevant to this day.

Rebel Cinderella

By Adam Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the best-selling author of King Leopold's Ghost and Spain in Our Hearts comes the astonishing but forgotten story of an immigrant sweatshop worker who married an heir to a great American fortune and became one of the most charismatic radical leaders of her time.

Rose Pastor arrived in New York City in 1903, a Jewish refugee from Russia who had worked in cigar factories since the age of eleven. Two years later, she captured headlines across the globe when she married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of one of the legendary 400 families of New York high society.

Together,…


Secrets

By Angus MacKenzie,

Book cover of Secrets: The CIA's War at Home

Starting with his experience as publisher of an anti-war newspaper in the 1970s, and relying on official records released under the Freedom of Information Act, Mackenzie reveals how the CIA used undercover operatives to sabotage the dissident press and developed a system of secrecy agreements and pre-publication review boards that spread throughout the federal government in efforts to silence former intelligence agents and other would-be whistle-blowers. This brilliant book is the last work by the late Mackenzie, who dedicated his life to defending the First Amendment. He was a long-time associate of the Bay Area’s Center for Investigative Reporting, which with his wife, Jane Hundertmark, completed it after his untimely death.

Secrets

By Angus MacKenzie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This eye-opening expose, the result of fifteen years of investigative work, uncovers the CIA's systematic efforts to suppress and censor information over several decades. An award-winning journalist, Angus Mackenzie waged and won a lawsuit against the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act and became a leading expert on questions concerning government censorship and domestic spying. In "Secrets", he reveals how federal agencies - including the Department of Defense, the executive branch, and the CIA - have monitored and controlled public access to information. Mackenzie lays bare the behind-the-scenes evolution of a policy of suppression, repression, spying, and harassment. Secrecy…


Red Joan

By Jennie Rooney,

Book cover of Red Joan

Inspired by the true story of Melita Norwood, who was exposed in 1999 as the KGB’s longest-running British spy, Red Joan is an enthralling novel that vividly reconstructs her life and explores with great authorial compassion her conflicting emotions and unsettling ambiguities as she is drawn deeper and deeper into atomic espionage by a college lover at the dawn of the Cold War.

Red Joan

By Jennie Rooney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If you loved William Boyd's Restless, you'll enjoy this' Viv Groskop, Red

Cambridge University in 1937 is awash with ideas and idealists - to unworldly Joan it is dazzling.

After a chance meeting with Russian-born Sonya and Leo, Joan is swept up in the glamour and energy of the duo, and finds herself growing closer and closer to them both.

But allegiance is a slippery thing. Out of university and working in a government ministry with access to top-secret information, Joan finds her loyalty tested as she is faced with the most difficult question of all: what price would you…


The Agitator

By Peter Duffy,

Book cover of The Agitator: William Bailey and the First American Uprising Against Nazism

In this deft work of nonfiction, Duffy tells the life and times of William Bailey, a rough-hewn, big-hearted longshoreman turned Communist activist, and how on one summer day in 1935 he and several compatriots came to stage a remarkable protest by hauling down a swastika flag from the SS Bremen, the flagship of Hitler’s commercial fleet. Events unfold as the deluxe passenger liner, which was heartily patronized by many Americans and Europeans, hosted a glitzy party while docked in Manhattan harbor. It was years before the outbreak of World War II, but Hitler already had commenced his anti-Semitic and other repressive initiatives. The trial and acquittal of Bailey et al., and the diplomatic fallout, was what Duffy describes as “the first blow landed against the Third Reich by foreign adversaries, delivered without guns or bombs.”

The Agitator

By Peter Duffy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This story of an anti-fascist's dramatic and remarkable victory against Nazism in 1935 is an inspiration to anyone compelled to resist when signs of oppression are on the horizon

By 1935, Hitler had suppressed all internal opposition and established himself as Germany's unchallenged dictator. Yet many Americans remained largely indifferent as he turned his dangerous ambitions abroad. Not William Bailey.

Just days after violent anti-Semitic riots had broken out in Berlin, the SS Bremen, the flagship of Hitler's commercial armada, was welcomed into New York Harbor. Bailey led a small group that slipped past security and cut down the Nazi…


JFK and the Unspeakable

By James W. Douglass,

Book cover of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters

Written in a deeply personal, even spiritual manner that incorporates a vast amount of research, this book moved Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to visit the assassination site in Dallas for the first time more than four decades after the tragedy. Douglass particularly investigates Lee Harvey Oswald’s involvement with American intelligence agencies and writes in a highly readable style that appeals to both average readers and researchers. He provides perspective on not just how Kennedy was killed, but why, as well as why the assassination is important to continue to research to this day.

JFK and the Unspeakable

By James W. Douglass,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The acclaimed book Oliver Stone called "the best account I have read of this tragedy and its significance," JFK and the Unspeakable details not just how the conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy was carried out, but WHY it was done...and why it still matters today.

At the height of the Cold War, JFK risked committing the greatest crime in human history: starting a nuclear war. Horrified by the specter of nuclear annihilation, Kennedy gradually turned away from his long-held Cold Warrior beliefs and toward a policy of lasting peace. But to the military and intelligence agencies in the…


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…


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…


Mrs. Paine's Garage

By Thomas Mallon,

Book cover of Mrs. Paine's Garage: And the Murder of John F. Kennedy

Award-winning novelist Thomas Mallon explores the serendipitous world of Ruth Paine, the Quaker who befriended Lee and Marina Oswald in the fateful months leading up to the assassination. In this fast-paced nonfition read, Mallon takes the reader through the tumultuous nine months before the assassination and then along for the often-bizarre years following in which Paine’s largesse is interpreted and twisted by conspiracy theorists to somehow accuse her of being in the middle of a giant plot against Kennedy. 

Mrs. Paine's Garage

By Thomas Mallon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nearly forty years have passed since Ruth Hyde Paine, a Quaker housewife in suburban Dallas, offered shelter and assistance to a young man named Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian wife, Marina. For nine months in 1963, Mrs. Paine was so deeply involved in the Oswalds’ lives that she eventually became one of the Warren Commission’s most important witnesses.

Mrs. Paine’s Garage is the tragic story of a well-intentioned woman who found Oswald the job that put him six floors above Dealey Plaza—into which, on November 22, he fired a rifle he’d kept hidden inside Mrs. Paine’s house. But this…


The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

By Lamar Waldron,

Book cover of The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

I have read dozens of books on the Kennedy assassination. This book an Audible, was my favorite. I learned new details to theories that have been reported on in the past, however, the author offers new research which I felt was convincing. The author, Lamar Waldron is the ultimate subject matter expert on the Warren Commission, and all related investigation notes. Over the years, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) releases previously withheld John F. Kennedy assassination-related records. Waldron spends endless hours interpreting these new and fascinating revelations.

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

By Lamar Waldron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five decades after one of America's greatest tragedies, this compelling book pierces the veil of secrecy to document the small, tightly held conspiracy that killed President John F. Kennedy. It explains why he was murdered, and how it was done in a way that forced many records to remain secret for decades.

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination draws on exclusive interviews with more than two dozen associates of John and Robert Kennedy, in addition to former FBI, Secret Service, military-intelligence, and Congressional personnel, who provided critical first-hand information. The book also details the FBI confessions of notorious Mafia…


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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in assassins, JFK, and the John F. Kennedy Assassination?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about assassins, JFK, and the John F. Kennedy Assassination.

Assassins Explore 56 books about assassins
JFK Explore 45 books about JFK
The John F. Kennedy Assassination Explore 13 books about the John F. Kennedy Assassination