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False Witness: The Real Story of Jim Garrison's Investigation and Oliver Stone's Film JFK Paperback – September 26, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: M. Evans & Company (September 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871319209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871319203
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,601,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lambert, a JFK conspiracy buff and writer, believes that the assassination has yet to be solved. In this engrossing report, she argues that New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison's 1969 prosecution of local businessman Clay Shaw for conspiracy to murder KennedyAthe source for Oliver Stone's interpretation in his filmAwas reckless, fraudulent and nothing more than a red herring. A jury agreed, acquitting Shaw in 54 minutes. Lambert also makes a case that Stone used the trial to launch his attack on the Warren Report rather than to find the truth. Lambert contends that a key witness, Perry Russo, who was left out of the movie altogether, made his allegations under hypnosis and while drugged with a notoriously unreliable "truth serum," and that Garrison, through an assistant, tried to bribe at least one witness to supply false testimony. But the main points of divergence between Lambert and Stone come in their assessments of the characters: Stone portrays Garrison (who died in 1992) as a caring family man, a heroic truth-seeker battling sinister forces. Lambert, by contrast, presents the former DA as a mentally unhinged, fame-seeking demagogue who, she alleges, was also a wife-abuser and a pedophile. Stone's Shaw is, according to Lambert, "an arrogant, elitist sybarite, a butch homosexual with a taste for... conspiracy," while Lambert's Shaw is a restorer of French Quarter buildings, a lifelong registered Democrat and a civic leader. While emotions clearly play a role in which version (if any) readers will believe, Lambert must be commended for having done an impressive job of tracking evidence and putting together a compelling narrative of events. Photos.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The national trauma that was the Kennedy assassination spawned a continuing legacy of government mistrust. Lambert presents an exciting, well-documented account of an early example of this bleak inheritanceADistrict Attorney Jim Garrison's prosecution of Clay Shaw, a well-respected, secretly gay member of the New Orleans business community, for allegedly heading a CIA plot to murder the President. After four years of Garrison's legal machinations, Shaw was found innocent, and Garrison was condemned by the New York Times for perpetrating "one of the most disgraceful chapters...of American jurisprudence." Remarkably, the trial became the primary source of information for the 1979 House Committee on the Kennedy Assassination Report, and Garrison's self-promoting memoir inspired Oliver Stone's conspiracy-happy film JFK. Lambert does not attempt to discredit any assassination theory, but she succeeds admirably in her stated goal of chronicling Shaw's innocence. Recommended for all public libraries.AKarl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Wouldn't those judges be misusing their offices just as bad as Garrison was?
Amazon Customer
I can't believe anyone is still trying to put out the lies that NBC and their b.s. "whitepaper" did against Jim Garrison.
H. Price
It would be interesting to write a book contrary directly to this one, point for point.
C. E. Krah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 33 people found the following review helpful By IBR on May 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When one attempts to unravel the truth of the Jim Garrison investigation through the written record, the first thing you notice is that there seems to be no middle ground surrounding it. Either Garrison walked on water or he was the devil himself. What would be wonderful is a truly independent biography that would use the work of Davy and DiEugenio and Mellan and also the work of Lambert and Kirkwood et al(and the FBI)and write an unbiased work that would chronicle the investigation both good and bad because while I think Garrison and his investigation did an immense amount of good his investigation was at times abusive and ridiculous(as evidenced by the participants in the investigations reluctance to refute abusive Big Jim stories that have been around for years, though they have had ample opportunitoes to do so and to cleanse themselves in the process).

Secondly, I have read Patricia Lambert's book and found it to be extremely one sided. Lambert's book rests on the shoulders of James Phelan, James Kirkwood, the FBI and unnamed sources. While she conducts some interviews she buries numerous instances in footnotes and elsewhere when the subject vehemently disagrees with the rumor the author puts forth, such as Garrison's lawyers putting a gun in the mouth a witness, Perry Russo's suicide attempt and rumors of very weird sexual practices etc. The basis for these salacious stories is usually Mr. "unnamed source" or high level Bureau (or CIA maybe) sources which permeate Lambert's footnotes and text like stinking dead fish. When you conclude a paragraph by stating that someone with knowledge told you there were "other" ominous reasons Garrison was let go from the FBI and you credit this statement and let the rumor hang out unsourced you devalue your entire project. Ms.
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69 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Reticuli on May 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
First: Oliver Stone's "JFK" was only partially inspired by Jim Garrison's memoirs. It was partly based on the Newman research and often used the Clay Shaw trial more as backdrop for these somewhat similar theories.

Second: Jim Garrison did not find evidence of direct assassination participation of current employees of the intelligence, military, law enforcement, and judicial community. Rather he found evidence that these groups seemed to have been mostly negligent and desirous of covering up their negligence. The main groups thought involved were Cuban-exiles, right-wing militia members (the rabidly pro-Israel types, not Nazis), and agent level former intelligence recruitees (i.e. former non-operative level puppets). Mafia and wealthy bankers were thought to have possibly provided some support. The assassination was supposedly caused by blow-back as a result of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion JFK had publicly taken responsibility for. Modern records actually prove the CIA had disobeyed his orders in the planning of the operation to include air-support.

Third: As Garrison's case proceeded, the Clay Shaw ties became murky in light of the actual player's and event's increasingly apparent complexity. In the end, the prosecution seemed a little obsessed with Clay Shaw. Even Stone's flawed film alluded to this. However, even the judge in the case himself later said he thought something suspicious had happened and Shaw was probably involved.

Fourth: If you want to talk about lawyer control of the police, let's discuss New Orleans District Attorney Harry Connick (father of Harry Connick Jr., musician), rival and successor of Jim Garrison. He ordered a police officer to destroy notes and papers from the Shaw trial.
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29 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Harry George on January 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I ordered this book I felt that I would learn something new or interesting about the Garrison Circus in New Orleans.
However, what I found was a mish-mash of stories and innuendo from Ms.Lambert and in fact nothing new whatsoever that I had not already read about. Anyone who has read Posner's "Case Closed" will have a distinct feeling of deja vu although Posner writes only for one chapter about Garrison citing various informatinon about the weather in Clinton, Louisiana and such whilst Ms.Lambert using a whole book takes it upon herself to try and shatter Garrison's case into pieces which frankly she just does not do.
It is too implausible to believe that Garrison exerted so much power over the Police, the Louisiana Judicial System and many dozens of witnesses in Clinton, Louisiana who claimed to have seen Oswald, Shaw and Ferrie in their town.
Although it is well written and reads easy (I read it in a day) it's just too much to swallow.
Even with the above all said and done I would still buy the book because it gave me a few hours of amusement whilst I read it.
Anyone looking to punch holes in Jim Garrison, look elsewhere!
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15 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Alan Newman on January 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had already read and enjoyed this book before I read other people's reviews. I find it amusing, but not suprising, that the pro-conspiracy lunatic fringe would come out in force to slam Lambert's book with one-star ratings, as they do any book that does not fit their particular view of this tragedy. I continue to find it amazing how many of the hard-core buffs will defend the most untenable theories. An objective person would seemingly place the Garrison / Stone view among the lowest of the waste heap of discarded theories, especially when one knows of the real Garrison who ran wild in New Orleans for many years. Even David Lifton (author of Best Evidence), who espoused some pretty crazy theories, saw through Garrison.
The actual trial is part of the public record. Reading the transcript and the contemporaneous accounts of it reveals the liberties Stone took with what occurred. There is a reason why Perry Russo, Charles Spiesel, and Vernon Bundy do not appear in the movie JFK. Stone would look as foolish as Garrison did when these "witnesses" testified in court.
My advice to people new to the JFK buffs: the more shrill, one-star denunciations of a book, the more a reasonable person may want to read the book and decide for themself. I give Lambert a B for writing, and an A+ for having the guts to incur the wrath of the cult of "buffs." And no, I don't work for the CIA.
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