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Top Ten Books on JFK Assassination


John Simkin
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I thought it might be a good idea for us to list the best ten books on the JFK Assassination. I would be interested in other people’s views on this.

1. Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2003)

The best account of the latest information available on the case. Another advantage is that Larry is willing to answer queries via this forum.

2. Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (1993)

An impressive piece of detective work. Fonzi was the an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Well worth reading next to The Plot to Kill the President by the HSCA’s G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings.

3. Harold Weisberg, Whitewash: The Report on the Warren Report (1966)

The most thorough analysis of the Warren Report available. The best starting point if you still believe Oswald was the lone gunman.

4. Anthony Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy (2002)

Good overview of the case. The 2002 edition includes updates on John Martino, David Phillips, Carlos Marcello, John Roselli, and released CIA and FBI files.

5. Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much (2003)

I am not sure I am convinced by the Nagell story but it is an excellent account of a very personal investigation. Includes some good interviews with some interesting characters involved in the case.

6. Richard D. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers (1999)

Not really about the assassination but provides a detailed account of RFK’s response to what happened. Mahoney gives the impression he knows more than he is letting on (probably due to the relationship of his father with JFK).

7. Joachim Joesten, The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1968)

Joesten was denounced as a KGB agent when this book came out (he was a former member of the German Communist Party). I do not like his tabloid style of writing but he asks all the right questions and was the first to point the finger at LBJ.

8. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988)

A surprisingly well-written book. Like Dick Russell’s book, very much a personal investigation. Garrison come across as an honest but a naive man.

9. Seth Kantor, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978)

A great book from a man who was there from the beginning. You get the impression Kantor was protecting some of his contacts and was not telling the full story. Shame he died before he could write his follow-up book.

10. Fabian Escalante, CIA Covert Operations 1959-62 (2004)

A well-informed account written by the former head of Cuban State Security. Cuba's foremost authority on U.S. covert operations against Cuba.

Best Reference Book

Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination (1993)

A good starting point for anyone who wants to know about the 1,400 suspects, victims, witnesses and investigators in the case. Needs updating and is poor on Interpen and the Anti-Castro Cubans.

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I thought it might be a good idea for us to list the best ten books on the JFK Assassination. I would be interested in other people’s views on this.

1. Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2003)

The best account of the latest information available on the case. Another advantage is that Larry is willing to answer queries via this forum.

2. Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (1993)

An impressive piece of detective work. Fonzi was the an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Well worth reading next to The Plot to Kill the President by the HSCA’s G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings.

3. Harold Weisberg, Whitewash: The Report on the Warren Report (1966)

The most thorough analysis of the Warren Report available. The best starting point if you still believe Oswald was the lone gunman. 

4. Anthony Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy (2002)

Good overview of the case. The 2002 edition includes updates on John Martino, David Phillips, Carlos Marcello, John Roselli, and released CIA and FBI files.

5. Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much (2003)

I am not sure I am convinced by the Nagell story but it is an excellent account of a very personal investigation. Includes some good interviews with some interesting characters involved in the case.

6. Richard D. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers (1999)

Not really about the assassination but provides a detailed account of RFK’s response to what happened. Mahoney gives the impression he knows more than he is letting on (probably due to the relationship of his father with JFK).

7. Joachim Joesten, The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1968)

Joesten was denounced as a KGB agent when this book came out (he was a former member of the German Communist Party). I do not like his tabloid style of writing but he asks all the right questions and was the first to point the finger at LBJ.

8. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988)

A surprisingly well-written book. Like Dick Russell’s book, very much a personal investigation. Garrison come across as an honest but a naive man.

9. Seth Kantor, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978)

A great book from a man who was there from the beginning. You get the impression Kantor was protecting some of his contacts and was not telling the full story. Shame he died before he could write his follow-up book.

10. Fabian Escalante, CIA Covert Operations 1959-62 (2004)

A well-informed account written by the former head of Cuban State Security. Cuba's foremost authority on U.S. covert operations against Cuba.

Best Reference Book

Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination (1993)

A good starting point for anyone who wants to know about the 1,400 suspects, victims, witnesses and investigators in the case. Needs updating and is poor on Interpen and the Anti-Castro Cubans.

John, I believe Benson's book has been revised and reissued, maybe last year?

Larry

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I thought it might be a good idea for us to list the best ten books on the JFK Assassination. I would be interested in other people’s views on this.

1. Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2003)

The best account of the latest information available on the case. Another advantage is that Larry is willing to answer queries via this forum.

2. Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (1993)

An impressive piece of detective work. Fonzi was the an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Well worth reading next to The Plot to Kill the President by the HSCA’s G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings.

3. Harold Weisberg, Whitewash: The Report on the Warren Report (1966)

The most thorough analysis of the Warren Report available. The best starting point if you still believe Oswald was the lone gunman. 

4. Anthony Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy (2002)

Good overview of the case. The 2002 edition includes updates on John Martino, David Phillips, Carlos Marcello, John Roselli, and released CIA and FBI files.

5. Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much (2003)

I am not sure I am convinced by the Nagell story but it is an excellent account of a very personal investigation. Includes some good interviews with some interesting characters involved in the case.

6. Richard D. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers (1999)

Not really about the assassination but provides a detailed account of RFK’s response to what happened. Mahoney gives the impression he knows more than he is letting on (probably due to the relationship of his father with JFK).

7. Joachim Joesten, The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1968)

Joesten was denounced as a KGB agent when this book came out (he was a former member of the German Communist Party). I do not like his tabloid style of writing but he asks all the right questions and was the first to point the finger at LBJ.

8. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988)

A surprisingly well-written book. Like Dick Russell’s book, very much a personal investigation. Garrison come across as an honest but a naive man.

9. Seth Kantor, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978)

A great book from a man who was there from the beginning. You get the impression Kantor was protecting some of his contacts and was not telling the full story. Shame he died before he could write his follow-up book.

10. Fabian Escalante, CIA Covert Operations 1959-62 (2004)

A well-informed account written by the former head of Cuban State Security. Cuba's foremost authority on U.S. covert operations against Cuba.

Best Reference Book

Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination (1993)

A good starting point for anyone who wants to know about the 1,400 suspects, victims, witnesses and investigators in the case. Needs updating and is poor on Interpen and the Anti-Castro Cubans.

John, I believe Benson's book has been revised and reissued, maybe last year?

Larry

Larry, I believe the revised Who's Who came out in 2002, by Facts on File.

Royce Bierma

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One my favourite is Robert Groden's The Killing Of A President and Gary Shaw's Cover-Up because of their photos. Another one is David Lifton's Best Evidence, so easy to read even if it is about medical stuff.

A book written by Lee Harvey Oswald would have extremely interesting if he had stayed alive...

Denis

I thought it might be a good idea for us to list the best ten books on the JFK Assassination. I would be interested in other people’s views on this.

1. Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked (2003)

The best account of the latest information available on the case. Another advantage is that Larry is willing to answer queries via this forum.

2. Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation (1993)

An impressive piece of detective work. Fonzi was the an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Well worth reading next to The Plot to Kill the President by the HSCA’s G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings.

3. Harold Weisberg, Whitewash: The Report on the Warren Report (1966)

The most thorough analysis of the Warren Report available. The best starting point if you still believe Oswald was the lone gunman. 

4. Anthony Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy (2002)

Good overview of the case. The 2002 edition includes updates on John Martino, David Phillips, Carlos Marcello, John Roselli, and released CIA and FBI files.

5. Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much (2003)

I am not sure I am convinced by the Nagell story but it is an excellent account of a very personal investigation. Includes some good interviews with some interesting characters involved in the case.

6. Richard D. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers (1999)

Not really about the assassination but provides a detailed account of RFK’s response to what happened. Mahoney gives the impression he knows more than he is letting on (probably due to the relationship of his father with JFK).

7. Joachim Joesten, The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1968)

Joesten was denounced as a KGB agent when this book came out (he was a former member of the German Communist Party). I do not like his tabloid style of writing but he asks all the right questions and was the first to point the finger at LBJ.

8. Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins (1988)

A surprisingly well-written book. Like Dick Russell’s book, very much a personal investigation. Garrison come across as an honest but a naive man.

9. Seth Kantor, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978)

A great book from a man who was there from the beginning. You get the impression Kantor was protecting some of his contacts and was not telling the full story. Shame he died before he could write his follow-up book.

10. Fabian Escalante, CIA Covert Operations 1959-62 (2004)

A well-informed account written by the former head of Cuban State Security. Cuba's foremost authority on U.S. covert operations against Cuba.

Best Reference Book

Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination (1993)

A good starting point for anyone who wants to know about the 1,400 suspects, victims, witnesses and investigators in the case. Needs updating and is poor on Interpen and the Anti-Castro Cubans.

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I definitely think Six Seconds in Dallas by Josiah Thompson belongs on the list, John. While many of the books on your list approach the assassination as an obvious conspiracy, it's important to note that to many people the conspiracy is not so obvious. I doubt anyone can read Six Seconds in Dallas and hold onto the conviction that Oswald acted alone.

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John,

I thought this list was an extrememly helpful guide, and I will dig into the books. I would add LEGEND: the secret world of Lee Harvey Oswald and PLAUSIBLE DENIAL by Mark Lane, (because of the Howard Hunt libel trial coverage). I cut my teeth on Mark Lane, Joesten, Jim Marrs, Robert Groden, Mark Lane and Fletcher Prouty back in the day...Best Evidence, High Treason, Crossfire...so your list was a welcome update. Of course anyone on the Forum should also know about the SPARTACUS website and A.J. Weberman's photo evidence site.

Thanks for posting these titles.

Shanet

Edited by John Simkin
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