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Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy [Kindle Edition]

Vincent Bugliosi
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For fifty years the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has been obscured. This book releases us from a crippling distortion of American history.

At 1:00 p.m. on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead, the victim of a sniper attack during his motorcade through Dallas. That may be the only fact generally agreed upon in the vast literature spawned by the assassination. National polls reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans (75%) believe that there was a high-level conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald. Many even believe that Oswald was entirely innocent. In this continuously absorbing, powerful, ground-breaking book, Vincent Bugliosi shows how we have come to believe such lies about an event that changed the course of history.

The brilliant prosecutor of Charles Manson and the man who forged an iron-clad case of circumstantial guilt around O. J. Simpson in his best-selling Outrage Bugliosi is perhaps the only man in America capable of writing the definitive book on the Kennedy assassination. This is an achievement that has for years seemed beyond reach. No one imagined that such a book would ever be written: a single volume that once and for all resolves, beyond any reasonable doubt, every lingering question as to what happened in Dallas and who was responsible.

There have been hundreds of books about the assassination, but there has never been a book that covers the entire case, including addressing every piece of evidence and each and every conspiracy theory, and the facts, or alleged facts, on which they are based. In this monumental work, the author has raised scholarship on the assassination to a new and final level, one that far surpasses all other books on the subject. It adds resonance, depth, and closure to the admirable work of the Warren Commission.

Reclaiming History is a narrative compendium of fact, forensic evidence, reexamination of key witnesses, and common sense. Every detail and nuance is accounted for, every conspiracy theory revealed as a fraud on the American public. Bugliosi's irresistible logic, command of the evidence, and ability to draw startling inferences shed fresh light on this American nightmare. At last it all makes sense.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bugliosi, best known as Charles Manson's prosecutor, spent more than 20 years writing this defense of the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the slaying of President Kennedy, but his obsession has produced a massive tome that's likely to overwhelm most readers. At times, the author seems determined to present every detail his researches revealed, even if it doesn't add to the overall picture (like a footnote on Elvis sightings). Further, while Bugliosi says even serious conspiracy theorists don't claim the FBI or Secret Service were involved, he devotes chapters to each. The book's structure—it's organized by subject, such as theories about the role of the FBI, the KGB or anti-Castro Cubans—leads to needless repetition, and, for an author who excoriates conspiracy theorists, charging them with carelessness and making wild accusations, Bugliosi is not always temperate in his language; for example, twice he makes the nonsensical claim that some Warren Commission critics "were screaming the word conspiracy before the fatal bullet had come to rest." His decision to devote twice as many pages to critiquing Oliver Stone's movie JFK as to his chapter on organized crime (identified by the chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassination as the likely conspirators) is a curious one, as is the choice to open the book with a dramatic re-creation of events surrounding the assassination rather than a straightforward chronology of the relevant facts. Moreover, Bugliosi does not always probe whether individuals who are the sole source for certain facts (for example, Oswald's widow, Marina) had any motive to lie. Bugliosi's voluminous endnotes are on an accompanying CD. Gerald Posner's 1993 Case Closed made most of the same points in a much more concise way. 32 pages of illus. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker

This weighty book (its pages number sixteen hundred and twelve) claims to be the final word on the assassination of President Kennedy. It is as if Bugliosi, who prosecuted the Manson murders, intended to overwhelm with sheer, footnoted bulk. But in the way that others have "proved" conspiracies, Bugliosi "proves" yet again the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald. He does this by reëxamining familiar evidence but also by dismissing preposterous theories, such as one that J. Edgar Hoover masterminded the murder to keep his job. Bugliosi steps less certainly in considering the work of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which, in 1978, concluded that J.F.K. was "probably" killed as the result of a plot. Citing a National Research Council study, Bugliosi brushes aside the committee’s acoustic evidence suggesting that four shots were fired in Dallas (a fourth shot would confirm a second gunman); he is uncomfortable with a subsequent analysis, by the British Forensic Science Society, which challenged the N.R.C. opinion. Mysteries are like that"
Copyright © 2007 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker

Product Details

  • File Size: 4375 KB
  • Print Length: 1648 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (May 17, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002GKGBM8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
124 of 171 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 81 days... April 17, 2008
By nto62
81 days is what it took me to read this over-sized, tightly-spaced, mini-fonted, 1512-page, concrete slab of a book, though this duration was unevenly distributed. Bugliosi starts his book with an extremely suspenseful countdown to the death of JFK. Minute by minute, he presents a pulse-pounding, real-time narrative that easily overshadows the reader's foreknowledge of the tragic conclusion. Were the book to stop here, it's a homerun, 5-star effort. But, it doesn't. Not by a long shot.

Next, is a thorough and highly readable biography of Oswald that perfectly complements the prior assassination narrative. Indeed, at the conclusion of this section, I was fairly certain I had stumbled upon a real gem. However, Bugliosi's ultimate intent is to completely destroy a preponderance of conspiracy theories from the nuttiest to the least implausible, and soon the laity must hunker down for a long, and often tedious, sermon.

Further aggravating the slog is Bugliosi's habit of flippantly and frequently taunting the conspiracy theorists or "buffs" as he likes to call them. He possesses less humor than he thinks and despite his feelings for some of the more outlandish theorists, his playground antics detract from what he, himself, believes a serious piece of scholarship.

Things pick up momentarily when Bugliosi rightfully dismantles Oliver Stone's horribly inaccurate and intentionally misleading film, JFK. The more serious pro-conspiracy scholars, themselves, labeled JFK, the movie, a fantasy and Stone assuredly deserves everything Bugliosi hurls at him.

Bottom-line, however, is there is nothing the author can ultimately do to save what steadily becomes a lead weight in the reader's hands.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars KINDLE VERSION HAS NO PHOTOS! September 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Kindle version of this book does not include any of the exhibits (photos, etc.) which are referenced in the text! I have noticed this about a few other Kindle books. Initially I was very pleased with my Kindle, but I am now becoming somewhat disillusioned with it since the Kindle versions of at least some books do not include everything in the hard copy versions.

I have no real problem with the length of this book. It takes a lot of words to describe an event this complex. If a photo is worth a thousand words, a few photos would add considerably to the clarity of the book. The book is interesting and fairly easy to read in spite of its length.

I do not take issue with the conclusions. Clearly Oswald was the lone assassin. Clearly Oliver Stone is not the lone prevaricator related to this event.
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43 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Does this book blow away JFK conspiracy theories as advertised, and put a nail on their coffin? Is this book the answer for the overwhelming majority who question the facts of the case nearly 50 years later, does this book tie up loose ends and finally end the debate? Absolutely not, and don't let anyone tell you it does without your own research. I recommend this book for dedicated researchers who want to include this with the "Warren Commission Report" and "Case Closed" as the leading pro-Oswald did it alone resources.
However, "Reclaiming History" by Vincent Bugliosi (VB) is essentially a beefed-up lawyers brief that contains no original research, and just props up the same official line by rehashing old evidence and dismissing all alternative theories. Keep in mind that VB, while a great lawyer and sound debater, is not familiar with scientific evidence, and his book is over a 21 year project that suffers from a lack of clarity, and extensive length, 1,300 pages of small type plus hundreds of pages of endnotes.
The book is not exactly a hit job, since VB even slams fellow lawyer Gerald Posner for his treatment of the Rose Cheramie incident, the Slvia Odo problem, and his handling of the Bethesda patholigists. In astonishing fairness and balance, VB calls it "strange" that the HSCA would state there was no witnesses at Bethesda who say gaping right rear head wound, when in fact there were dozens. And VB calls the Rose Cheramie and Slyvia Odo incidents "troubling." But VB commits the same sins he laments others. He omits contrary information, misleads readers, and attacks the opposition. Plus the tone of the writing is tiresome, very condescending and arrogant.
1) VB mentions that Malcolm Kirduff announced the president's death at Parkland Hospital.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mean-spirited and egostical January 26, 2013
While there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the Kennedy assassination that begs to be seriously and studiously addressed, this is NOT the book to do that. I was impressed with the level of information presented - considering it took 20 years to research and write, that is not surprising. The "Four Days In November" section of the book, which is available as a standalone edition (Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy), is an excellent study of the verifiable events of that weekend, if one is willing to overlook Bugliosi's occasional editorializing. The rest of the book, however, was a huge waste of my time. The way Bugliosi presents his arguments is incredibly condescending and unprofessional. His writing style lacks any kind of scholarly detachment or objectivity, and he often descends to sarcasm and mockery when discussing those with whom he does not agree. Even though I share his opinion that Oswald acted alone, I found his writing voice to be insulting and mean-spirited, and having to sift through thousands of fine-print pages of his venom was an excruciating exercise.

When it comes to this topic, conspiracy books far outnumber the lone-gunman books. Since "Case Closed" author Gerald Posner has been exposed as a plagiarist, and Dale K. Myers's excellent and highly recommended With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit is out of print, this unbalanced examination of the murder of Kennedy is in desperate need of redress. Unfortunately, "Reclaiming History" is no help in that matter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Fireplace Material
Not worth even free admission Bugliosi should have kept to the Manson story. "Baffle You With Bull...." would be a more appropriate title for this epic waste of time. Read more
Published 26 days ago by TruthSeeker
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Recount of Dallas
I feel like this book will be hard to top. Extremely well written and thorough account of the JFK Assassination, Warren Commission, HSCA, and the debunking of all serious... Read more
Published 28 days ago by C. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Best JFK book of all time...
There's simply nothing out there that comes close to the comprehensiveness of this book. He addresses EVERYTHING. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dallas Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book.
Like everyone else, the only information I had was from conspiracy theorists. I am so glad I read this book from a historic perspective. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The first picture caption I read convinced me - Kennedy's head first...
Exhaustive, well-researched, comprehensive, easy to read and understand, convincing! The first picture caption I read convinced me - Kennedy's head first went FORWARD 2. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gaylord Hanson
4.0 out of 5 stars A well done in depth investigation
Bugliosi rips apart all conspiracy theories with well documented facts that he fully explains to satisfy all those who believe others participated in or had apart of the Kennedy... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kimberly Burger
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched and Thorough, But Too Much of a Good Thing
Like a lot of readers, I found myself intrigued about the latest volumes on the Kennedy Assassination as the 50th anniversary came round. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Blacklace 50
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The item was received as expected. There were no issues. What else can one say about a digital download .
Published 1 month ago by Robert G. Buice
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
If you are still wondering who assassinated JFK, read this. You won't have to wonder again. Although it is a very large book, it is riveting. Mr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Qdawg
5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaiming History, a Monumental Success
Reclaiming History by author Vincent Bugliosi is one of the most comprehensive books written on this subject. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Koch
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More About the Author

Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of Charles Manson, lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the author or co-author of many books, among them the #1 best-sellers Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell, and Outrage; plus Four Days in November, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, No Island of Sanity, The Betrayal of America, Lullaby and Good Night, Shadow Of Cain, Till Death Us Do Part, Drugs in America, and The Phoenix Solution.

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Blunders Found in Bugliosi's Book to Date
The same way all government cover ups occur. How many people in government knew that when George H. W. Bush was comparing Saddham Hussein to Hitler because he used wmd's on his own people that the US actually not only knew about it when it happened but our government actually helped him locate... Read more
Nov 22, 2013 by jacnewman |  See all 21 posts
Message From Author Patricia Lambert -- "David Lifton owes me an...
Mr. Von Pein:

Have you spoken to Stephen Darby lately? Do you have his phone number? Do you have the dossier which shows Nathan's work? The answer to all three for me is "yes." The answer for you is, most likely, no.
Nathan told Bugliosi that he matched a latent print of a left pink... Read more
Aug 22, 2007 by Richard Van Noord |  See all 1394 posts
Bugliosi misrepresents the medical evidence
Pat Speer wrote "There is absolutely no reason to believe anyone attempting to kill Walker would kill Kennedy instead. Oswald undoubtedly knew the difference between Walker and Kennedy, even if the majority of todays' single-assassin theorists are unable to understand this... Read more
Jul 25, 2007 by Patrick Collins |  See all 144 posts
How many people conspired?
Kevin, we could probably go back to school, study to become psychiatrists, and then perhaps be able to understand why so many people are glued to these unbelievable wacky horror/fairy tales. This one (the 27 people including Connally and Tippet and "Ozwald" lol) is in the running for... Read more
May 20, 2013 by Wolfmantim_2001 |  See all 8 posts
Bullet lead analysis and Bugliosi


An evaluation of the bullet-fragment evidence (the NAA tests done by
Dr. Guinn and subsequent NAA studies)......

There are 5 total bullet specimens in question here:

1.) CE399 (the stretcher bullet, positively from Oswald's rifle).

2.)... Read more
Feb 5, 2008 by David Von Pein |  See all 21 posts
HSCA Robert Blakely expresses his complete distrust of CIA Be the first to reply
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