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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 (312 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: #151,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 176 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 81 days... April 17, 2008
By nto62
Format:Hardcover
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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39 of 53 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a great author July 6, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Another great book by Mr Bugliosi, I've been a fan since reading "Outrage". He's convinced me....and don't bother writing a comment to my review if you're a conspiracy nut, I'm not interested in listening to any more crazies who simply can't accept that a lone gun man can do something like kill a president from a 6th floor window just because he wants to. Even Oswald's brother Robert has stated many times (most recently on a Larry King show) that his brother did it. Thorough and dispassionate review of all the literature including the entire Warren report and it's 26 volumes of supporting data. Anyone who would claim that a Supreme Court Chief Justice and a Congressman who later became President (among other notable persons) would be accessories after the fact to a murder is committing an act of treason. And BTW think of all the "lone gunman" since Oswald who have committed murder from a perch...within a year of Oswald's act, Charles Whitman climbed a tower in nearby Austin and gunned down 14 people at U of T to name only one of the more infamous lone gunmen. Unfortunately it's not that hard to do, as we as a country have sadly learned over and over through the years.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Deborah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was 15 yrs old when JFK was assassinated, and I've always been of the conspiracy theory until I read this book. I've read a lot of books about 11//22/63, but none has been as complete, as detailed, and as complex as this one is. He had me convinced in the introduction that Oswald acted alone. It's mind-boggling how Mr. Bugliosi obtained and organized all the facts including all the little details - right down to which reporters were in which car in the motorcade. You have to be in a 'frame of mind' to read this book - it's not fluff - not something to read at the beach; I equate this book to taking a course in history; you really need to concentrate and pay attention - but the effort is worth it.
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50 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous but Worthwhile
Few books deserve the adjective exhaustive, but this is one. For its length, however, it is surprisingly readable, especially the first third, which is a narrative description of... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Victor Lauterbach
5.0 out of 5 stars Case Closed
I was a "Conspiracy Theorists" for over fifty years. Vincent Bugliosi dubunked all the doubts by presenting indisputable evidence. Now I can put this obsesion to rest.
Published 20 days ago by pietstephens
3.0 out of 5 stars book tolong and big.
didn't realize the book was that damned big. too much to read.
Published 23 days ago by Suzan Grace Ingui
5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive
Almost anything Bugliosi writes is pithy, meticulous and pertinent. His legal mind cuts away the fat like a scalpel to reveal the important sinews of legal issues. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Harry Pandolfino
2.0 out of 5 stars No links to Endnotes in Kindle version
Rating is for Kindle version only.
No links to Endnotes in Kindle version. No pics in Kindle version.
Published 26 days ago by Viktor Nehring
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for the most dedicated history buff
Former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the man who helped convict Charles Manson, has turned to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. S. Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers to the Kennedy Assassination
If you're looking for clear, concise resonanble answers to what happened on November 22,1963. I think you'll find pretty much everything you're looking for in this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary Provenzano
1.0 out of 5 stars Bugliosi's Pathetic Attempt To Be In The "Spotlight" Again.
Ok, what we have here is someone who was semi famous, someone who was a "somebody". This shamless sellout to the powers that be is Bugliosi's attempt to be a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the Assassination of President Kennedy period!!!
If you still think there was a conspiracy in the JFK Assassination after reading this book then I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to sale you! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lucas
3.0 out of 5 stars "A need to know" motive
This book is very, very long and detailed. There is an accompanying CD with more notes, etc. Bugliosi is a known
quantity re: his other books. Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. Clarke
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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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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
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
Open Letter to Tom Hanks
Sorry, JVB, but it's really hard to understand what you're writing here, due to the mis-spellings, wrong keys hit, and angry, run-on sentences. You might want to edit this and try again, if you really want to get your message across.
Jul 15, 2007 by Tom Stewart |  See all 137 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
HSCA Robert Blakely expresses his complete distrust of CIA Be the first to reply
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