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Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy Hardcover – May 15, 2007

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Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy + Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy + Case Closed
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1648 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393045250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393045253
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 3.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Bugliosi's book is the cure for conspiracy theory.
Paul May
Army sharpshooters could not come close to Oswald's supposed feat of loading the crude bolt-action rifle and firing it three times.
John W. Chuckman
True, the book is so long (1500 pages plus about 1000 pages on CD-ROM) that few people will read it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David Carter on 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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127 of 175 people found the following review helpful By nto62 on April 17, 2008
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Deborah on June 18, 2014
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Regal One on 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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50 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Jay Gandhi on September 30, 2007
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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