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End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 12, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (November 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062083481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062083487
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The author of the acclaimed Manhunt (2006), about the pursuit of the killer of Abraham Lincoln, here tackles the JFK assassination. Forget conspiracy theories about whodunit. Swanson’s focus is on the events themselves, the killing and the hunt for the gunman. Think of this as a true-crime book, not another of the millions (well, it seems like that sometimes) of books about who really shot Kennedy. Swanson takes an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute approach, tracking killer and victim in the lead-up to the fatal shot and then tracking the killer and his pursuers in the days after the assassination, culminating with the killer’s own murder. It’s a highly detailed, highly compelling story, and it would be just as compelling if the victim didn’t happen to be JFK. Swanson is an excellent writer, and the book, which draws on many dozens of previously published works (his bibliography separates fiction and conspiracy literature from the rest of the pack), is a valuable addition to the JFK collection and to the true-crime genre as a whole. --David Pitt

Review

“A master of the form, James Swanson has brought his formidable storytelling skills to bear on another tragic turning point in American history. His treatment of Dallas 1963 is grand narrative at its finest.” (JON MEACHAM - Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House and Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)

HISTORY AS TRUE-CRIME STORY. As he did in his bestselling Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, Swanson combines stellar research with a brisk, transporting narrative.” (Washingtonian Magazine)

End of Days is a fresh, modern contribution to the literature about one of the most heartbreaking crimes in history.” (Washington Post)

End of Days reads like a thriller while providing meticulous detail--the true-crime counterpart to Don DeLillo’s masterful, speculative novelization, Libra.” (Omnivoracious)

“Absorbing and fast-paced.” (Associated Press)

“Skillful... Authoritative... Swanson’s narrative gifts inject fresh suspense into the story of JFK’s slaying.” (National Review)

“With a gift for storytelling, an ability to juxtapose events in the lives of killer and victim and an eye for the revelatory detail, Swanson offers a gripping account... the energy and devotion he brings to this endeavor rekindles the emotions of a half-century ago...” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“A crisp, readable recital of the events surrounding the run-up to Nov. 22 and the aftermath.” (Dallas Morning News)

“Swanson makes history read like a crime thriller, vividly re-creating the details surrounding the shooting through the perspectives of the killer, the victim, and those closest to them.” (Parade Magazine)

More About the Author

James L. Swanson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. He is an attorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Customer Reviews

I was eagerly awaiting this book but I guess I was expecting more.
J. PIVEC
This topic has been written about exhaustively but Swanson makes the topic fresh.
kcvinweho
Much like the idiot from Pennsylvania with his magic bullet theory.
Quad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By George Waters on November 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
On this 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy, it's a shame to read such a surprisingly sloppy book as this one. The author is deservedly known for some rather good books about Abraham Lincoln, but this one seems like it didn't go through the normal editing and fact-checking process. Passages are repeated, the chronology jumps all over and does not flow in anything approaching a linear manner, and some very basic facts (such as who painted the Sistine Chapel) are incorrect. I can't tell whether the author rushed to get this to print in time for the 50th anniversary, or if he is just being sloppy. At a few points an over-use of pronouns makes it difficult to even track who Swanson is writing about. I'm really surprised by the quality of this book.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By James M. Stone on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved Manhunt, but this book was disappointing. The writing felt very disjointed and Swanson kept repeating himself about points already covered in previous pages. Very amateurish. He put Oswald in the book depoistory and then a few pages later setup Oswald going to the book depository. There wasn't enough said about JFK's life prior to Dallas. Didn't expect a full biography, but too much was glossed over. Didn't give Kennedy any life at all. The best part of the book was the breakdown of the assassination. But the part that was spent the most time on, may in fact be a work of fiction based on evidence. I guess I expected more from the guy who did such an amazing job on manhunt. There are tons of better books out there on the Kennedy Assassination.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By George Bailey on November 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, this was a hurried attempt by author and publisher to cash in on the 50th anniversary of the murder of a President. This book is of a much lower caliber than Manhunt. I agree with others that the author repeats himself, makes factual errors, crosses the line into fiction in some places, employs a jumbled chronology, and as another reviewer put it "has written at a middle school level." Considering the writing available on this subject, this book should be avoided, not worth the time or money.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Whistle Britches on December 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am very disappointed in this book. The inaccuracies are mind boggling. It rambles on and on. Mr. Swanson claims to have written the "best" accounting of the assassination. His ego is in runaway mode. This is neither the best, nor is it a close second to the best. I wouldn't waste my money on it.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By TheWoz on December 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is all over the place! The author first writes of Oswald as being, well, basically a stupid, ignorant and uneducated individual. Yet he goes into great detail as to how Oswald planned the assassination, making Oswald out to be one of high intelligence. So which is it? You would believe in reading this book that the author had interviewed Oswald extensively. He didn't interview Oswald so where does he get his information. He writes as if he knew what Oswald was thinking every step of the way to the finest detail.

The book description states, “Based on sweeping research never before collected so powerfully in a single volume….” Whom ever wrote this description must not have read very many books on the subject much less studied history. I found nothing in this book that has not already been published.

I would not recommend this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Molly B on June 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I've added this book to my ever-expanding shelf of books about the Kennedys. I loved the way the author presented the previously unexposed research. I'll never get enough new information about the Kennedys. Highly recommend this book to anyone else who is equally as obsessed. Amazing cover as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BookClubGirl on June 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed End of Days and I learned so many details about the JFK assassination. While I was not alive at the time, Swanson really brought the past to life and I found myself turning the pages and feeling like I was there.
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32 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Edward Sellner on November 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very much looking forward to reading this new book out on the Kennedy assassination, but the more I am getting into it, the more problems I am having. It seems sloppily put together, with repetitive statements within a page or two of each other. By page 66, he seems to be starting the book all over again! It feels like he had two separate books with two opening sections. And when he tells the reader that he knows what was going on in Oswald's mind, when he was never interviewed before his death, I became highly critical. We know Oswald by now; we've had a full description of his early years and involvements in the opening chapters. Yet the author states how "this man" (as if we didn't know to whom he was referring) "wanted to kill the president. But the man's timing was strange, because these feelings had come on all of a sudden. Just two days earlier, on the morning of Tuesday, November 19, 1963, when Lee Harvey Oswald awoke in Dallas, Texas, he did not know that within the next three days, he would decide to murder the president of the United States. If a fortune-teller had prophesied this future, the twenty-four-year old married father of two children might not have believed it." Really! How does the author have such information; i.e., that Oswald somehow just came to decide three days before? I don't believe Oswald shared anything with anyone. So, while Swanson is a good and highly entertaining storyteller, he needs a good editor, or a little more care in telling the story of the tragedy that shook our nation and the world.
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