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History Will Prove Us Right: Inside the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination ofJohn F. Kennedy [Kindle Edition]

Howard P Willens
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was murdered in front of hundreds of onlookers. Everything was over in mere seconds, but the events of that day have been the subject of heated debate for five decades. The presidential commission tasked with finding the truth, headed by then-Chief Justice Earl Warren, published its findings the following year--Oswald had acted alone--but the report did little to quell conspiracy theorists. Many seized on what they saw as inconsistencies in the report and branded the whole investigation an elaborate cover-up. Warren himself calmly dismissed the criticism, assuring his fellow commission members that "history will prove that we are right."

Now, in this eye-opening new account of the Commission and its findings, Howard P. Willens sets out to prove that Warren's advice was prescient. Willens, one of the few living staff members of the Warren Commission, supervised the investigation from the very beginning and has waited until now to silence the critics and well-intentioned armchair detectives. Drawn from Willens' own journals and extensive notes on the investigation--which have never before been published--History Will Prove Us Right tells the true and complete story, perhaps for the first time, of every aspect of the investigation into one of the century's most harrowing events from a uniquely first-person perspective.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a member of the Warren Commission's supervisory staff, Willens had intimate knowledge of the commission's work investigating the assassination of J.F.K. Here, he revisits the topic, from L.B.J.'s creation of the commission through the many twists and turns the investigation encountered, as well as the tumultuous reception the commission's report received upon its release. Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed (Willens believes Oswald acted alone), but his descriptions of behind-the-scenes machinations are both illuminating and disheartening as he recounts the many roadblocks that hampered the case. Of note are former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's continuous obfuscations (up to and including the bureau's contact with Oswald prior to 1963), the evolution of the single-bullet theory, and Oswald's attempt to kill a well-known Dallas politician in April of 1963—which eerily mirrored his assassination of President Kennedy. Willens covers all his bases, including Oswald's work as an FBI informant, his time spent in Cuba, and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the commission report. Readers with only a passing knowledge of the Warren Commission or its report will get the most out of the book; those more familiar with the subject who are hoping for new threads to pursue will likely end up frustrated. (Nov.)

From Booklist

In the days and weeks following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson, troubled by conflicting reports coming out of the investigations being conducted by the FBI and by the Dallas police, appointed a commission to review all of the evidence. The commission, as everyone knows, concluded that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone. There have since been countless books and articles claiming the Warren Commission was wrong (for various reasons), but Willens, the only surviving member of the commission’s three-person supervisory staff, pays little attention to them here. He isn’t even interested in defending the commission’s conclusion; instead, he sets out to show how the commission arrived at its findings. This fascinating book takes us through the commission’s lengthy investigation, detailing how the group assembled the evidence, examined various theories of the crime, and slowly whittled away the speculation to arrive at what they believed to be the truth. Many will still disagree with the Warren Commission’s conclusion, but this book serves a valuable function by laying out how it did its work. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • File Size: 2457 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook (November 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,409 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected November 22, 2013
I picked this book up in a bookstore browsing the new releases table. I should have looked at the contents more because this book is not what I expected. What this book is NOT is a rigorous defense of the conclusions of the Warren commission. Instead it as a defense of the process of the Warren commission. The author was a high-level member of the staff and this is really a historical account of the what / when / why of the actions the commission took.

The author goes on page after page after page describing the inner workings of the commission like who they were deposing and who was doing what and why this or that was put into the final report instead of a footnote and so forth and so on. This is literally the entire book.

Some people who are rating this book 5 stars obviously are interested in that kind of thing. I am not and got bored by it. I guess for what the book is trying to be, it does a fine job of being that. However, it is not my cup of tea and I didn't like it. I would have preferred a substantive argument of the evidence and not all these irrelevant details.

I'm not giving the book high marks because I didn't like it. However, it doesn't deserve a 1 star rating just because you disagree with the author's conclusions. For what the author was trying to accomplish it isn't a bad book.

Not recommended unless you are just dying to know what went on inside the commission from the perspective from a major staff player on the commission.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. September 10, 2014
By Marco
This book is an amazing piece of work. It was well written and provides such great detail. The book also reveals how the commission conducted its work, and also how the team learned a decade later that Federal Agents failed to tell the truth on critical matters. The book does also acknowledges some of the commission’s mistakes, but most importantly sheds light on many of the theories that conspiracist’s have attempted to use to persuade the public eye otherwise. Great read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No second smoking gun here April 16, 2014
By Nilmar
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very interesting perspective on the assassination this book explains some of the mystery surrounding the Warren Commission report. I'm not comfortable with some of the explanations offered, particularly on the autopsy photo controversy, but it is an interesting perspective. It's very dry, there is no dramatic "ah hah" moment, it literally put me to sleep a few times. If you're an assassination buff it's worthwhile to read "the other side" of the argument written by one of the original investigators. If you believe that Oswald and Ruby were lone nuts who acted independently then there is absolutely nothing new presented by this book.
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21 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
History Will Prove Us Right takes us behind the scenes into the offices of the men responsible for investigating the assassination of JFK on behalf of the Warren Commission. We hear their conversations, their frustrations and their theories as they occurred and were recorded in the daily journals of one member of the team. We read memos sent to Hoover, Warren and the President's brother, among others. We travel to Dallas and Mexico and Cuba with the investigators - all highly acclaimed in their field and willing to take time away from successful careers when the call of duty came - as they interviewed every possible lead. We experience their disappointment as they discover critical betrayals by the FBI and CIA. But we also learn who these men were working behind the scenes, out of the spotlight, but highly trusted by Robert Kennedy, the esteemed Supreme Court Justice, a future president, senator and more. Fifty years later, knowing the errors made but also how relentlessly they tracked each lead and covered each miss, this writer and the team he worked with still believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. An insider's daily journal from such a poignant moment in history is a gem for any historian. This is even more - a book that empowers readers to follow the investigation and get to know the investigators themselves, putting together for ourselves what really happened that tragic day in Dallas and the months that followed. It may even silence a few conspiracy theorists if they are truly paying attention.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The conspiracy believers should read this book.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is an easy read, even if it's a rather dry-eyed account of the inner workings of the Warren Commission.

There are no new revelations here outside of the reader getting the sense that the lawyers et al charged with putting together the Report were dedicated and patriotic people who felt privileged and responsible for being chosen for the task. In that sense, the book does humanize people who are simply names in other accounts.

Conspiracy theorists won't bother reading this book. They'll do their usual whack-a-mole denial-ism job on it: accuse it of being a whitewash (sight unread), then toss up a litany of questions - rather than actual answers - in response to any questions asked of them...simple questions, like, "did you actually read the book?" And that's a shame, because the book does confirm quite a few of the "problems" the CTists have pointed out over the decades about the WCR, like the fact that the FBI lied and withheld info from the the fact that Treasury fought the WC on prying into the methods and procedures of the Secret the fact that some testimony wasn't taken because Warren and others were overly sensitive to the sorrow of the Kennedy clan. Yet all of that and more is covered in this book, which is hardly a whitewash.

JFK CTists might be surprised to learn that the majority of lawyers and investigators hired to work on the Report came into the job sort of hell bent on proving that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, a position that most of them abandoned by the time the evidence was amassed and the Report was finally published.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just ordering it, and not received, I am ...
Just ordering it, and not received, I am sure it will be an unique book to read, since the period of time (mid-sixties) was always an exciting era.
Published 25 days ago by John A. Jago, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive day-to-day detail in creation of much maligned, seldom read...
The book should be called 'History HAS proven us right: if the Commission Report is actually read'. Although by the negative reviews here, many don't want to consider the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by R. Martenis
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read and a very interesting vantage point on the subject
The book was an enjoyable read. This was a view from inside the Warren
Commission and a very interesting vantage point on the investigation of all of
the details... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Keith Bear
Book mostly is a dry account of the various struggles inside the Warren Commission. The epilogue is the best part of the book.
Published 11 months ago by M. Tomory
1.0 out of 5 stars A Whitewash of a Whitewash
Nobody likes to admit they were wrong, even on small, trivial issues. So imagine you screwed up – whether by accident or design – something as monumental as the investigation into... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Martin Hay
5.0 out of 5 stars An important contribution
For those few remaining conspiracy theorists and seekers for zebras when facing horses, and for American history buffs generally, Howard Willens convincingly establishes the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Merrick2145
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed
One can only conclude the author wasn't paying attention to the 1978 Assassination Committee who clearly State there were four shots fired. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Edward Hartman
1.0 out of 5 stars JFK "Denialism" in Time for the 50th Anniversary
History has proven the Warren Commission's lawyers, including Mr. Willens, to have been monumentally wrong. Read more
Published 12 months ago by tularosa
Published 12 months ago by Lord Buckley
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