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JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters Hardcover – April 30, 2008


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JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters + Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America + The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 510 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; First Edition edition (April 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570757550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570757556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (466 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"In JFK and the Unspeakable Jim Douglass has distilled all the best available research into a very well-documented and convincing portrait of President Kennedy's transforming turn to peace, at the cost of his life. Personally, it has made a very big impact on me. After reading it in Dallas, I was moved for the first time to visit Dealey Plaza. I urge all Americans to read this book and come to their own conclusions about why he died and why -- after fifty years -- it still matters.” -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

“Right now, I ask all of you—please please, read JFK and the Unspeakable! I cried all night reading it, and didn’t sleep a wink. It is a book that could make us stand up and change the world, right now. Maybe we can save the world before it blows up. Really” —Yoko Ono

Review

"A remarkable story that changed the way I view the world." ---James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

James W. Douglass is a longtime peace activist and writer. He and his wife Shelley are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary's House, a Catholic Worker house in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include The Nonviolent Cross, The Nonviolent Coming of God, and Resistance and Contemplation.

Customer Reviews

This book is well researched and thoroughly footnoted and documented.
heavyrunner
We were taught that the US was the one great country in the world "with truth and justice for all".
Rosey
Overall, this book was a very informative read and I highly recommend it...
L. HODGES

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,622 of 1,716 people found the following review helpful By Nick Anez on June 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In James W. Douglass' outstanding new book, "JFK and the Unspeakable," the author explains the title in his introduction. Coined by spiritual writer Thomas Merton, The Unspeakable refers to "an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe." Regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Unspeakable succeeded due to deniability by the nation's citizens of the horrifying truth of the event and to plausible deniability by the government agencies responsible for the murder. (Vincent Bugliosi's recent fictional paperweight is a perfect example of the plausible deniability that allows the Unspeakable to thrive.)

Many excellent books have proven that the assassination of JFK was the result of a conspiracy. Douglass verifies the certainty of the conspiracy and, as the subtitle of the book states, explains "Why He Died and Why It Matters." He scrutinizes the historical facts surrounding the assassination, from the creation of the CIA to the gradual obliteration of the freedoms upon which this nation was founded.

This book is primarily the story of John F. Kennedy who changes from a Cold Warrior to an altruistic leader willing to risk his life to ensure that the world's children will not become victims of a nuclear catastrophe. Equal time is spent on JFK's presidency as on the assassination but one of the many rewards of this book is the author's capacity to show the relationship between his policies and his death. And the book is a tragedy because it gradually becomes obvious that each step he makes toward peace steadily increases the hatred of his enemies who will eventually betray him.

It is also the story of the designated patsy, Lee Harvey Oswald.
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163 of 172 people found the following review helpful By PHILIP A. STAHL on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(Possible Spoiler Alert for 2nd Part)

In more than 37 years spent as a researcher into the JFK assassination, and having read more than four dozen books, this is the first time I have ever written a review. The reasons mainly boil down to one: with each book I always found some manner of untied up loose string, or defect that rendered my judgment tentative. I simply didn't feel it worth the time, or energy to invest in writing something I didn't accept completely.

I confess I was also very skeptical of Douglass' book to start. I worried he'd go over the same well-trod ground as others, merely regurgitate many of the same issue with no new insights, while repeating most of the mistakes.

I am happy to report I was wrong on all counts. When I finished Douglass' book I had the sense (that I had received from few others) that this 46 year mystery and all the attendant, ambiguating "Operation Mockingbird" tricks, pseudo-evidence and propaganda that engulfed it,were finally finally unravelled. And not only unravelled, but the new story woven into a credible and coherent narrative. More importantly, using a key criterion (how much it dovetailed with the other most serious books I have read), I score it a '10'.

Here, I want to digress and say the best accompanying book one can have to read along with this book is Military Science Professor John Newman's: 'Oswald and CIA'. Important because while Douglass makes the coherent anecdotal case for Lee Harvey Oswald being an intelligence operative, Newman proves it using his insights, and vast troves of FOIA -released documents. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that one cannot fully appreciate Douglass' achievement here, without first reading Newman's book.

Okay, why have I never done a review of Newman's?
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366 of 398 people found the following review helpful By N. Randall Mullins on May 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Along with over ten years of meticulous research and one hundred pages of footnotes (worth reading), this book has soul. For those tempted to despair that our national leaders are not capable of turning our nation toward peace, this book tells us how it has already happened. John F. Kennedy was taking stands for peace that risked his life as well as his presidency and it seems that the nation hardly noticed. For those who are willing to engage in hard-headed thinking and research, this book will belie the ho-hum assumption that we will never know why Kennedy was killed nor who is responsible. We can know and we need to know as citizens. If you can read only one book on the life of JFK, this is it.
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551 of 623 people found the following review helpful By David L. Neal on May 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We are all jurors in an ongoing trial to find the truth of John Kennedy's murder. Most of us have fallen asleep; some left the chamber, and others don't even care anymore. But a few, a very small few, have been paying attention for the last 45 years as arguments for the prosecution of Lee Harvey Oswald, headed up by government lawyers and their lackeys have been constantly countered by a volunteer and unpaid defense team for the truth made up of laymen, clergymen, historians, teachers, researchers, republicans, democrats, non-affiliates of all ages shapes and sizes. It has been a bewildering experience to have been patted on the head and told to go to sleep by the Warren Commission only to be rudely awakened by a garrulous DA from Louisiana, followed then by a government report which said, well, there might have been two, but go on back to sleep. Dazed and confused we began to leave the room but were called back in by Oliver Stone who told us to take a look at his evidence of Oswald's innocence. We were intrigued, but an impish Gerald Posner convinced Dick Cavett and other icons of American mainstream media that Stone's myth was just that and the case was indeed closed: Oswald did it. But Stone had garnered enough interest to cause Congress to form the ARRB- under George Bush Sr, no less. It took Bill Clinton half his presidency to get the thing going, but we watched with bated breath as the Assassinations Records Review Board began pulling from the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the alphabet bits and pieces of information that left gaping holes in the official story. Most of us didn't believe it anyway, but a few, a small few did notice that there seemed to have been two brains pulled from John Kennedy's head during the so-called autopsy.Read more ›
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