The Man Who Knew Too Much: Hired to Kill Oswald and Prevent the Assassination of JFK 2nd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0786712427
ISBN-10: 0786712422
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carroll & Graf has been in the forefront of producing books about the Kennedy assassination--of widely varying quality; it has come up with a winner this time. Russell, a freelance journalist who has written for Time and the Village Voice , has spent 17 years on this mammoth study of one of the most mysterious figures on the fringes of the assassination: Richard Case Nagell, described as the man "hired to kill Oswald and prevent the assassination of JFK." With painstaking care, Russell sets out to reconstruct the strange life of Nagell, a former member of a super-secret army intelligence unit who was wounded in battle, the sole survivor of two air crashes, a contract agent for both the CIA and the KGB at different times, and a man whose life kept intersecting with Oswald's. Russell has met Nagell on a number of occasions, corresponded with him as recently as 1990 (when he was living in a motel in California) and wonderfully captures the intriguing eccentricities of his speech, with his deliberate, almost playful, allusiveness. Nagell seems to have been utilized by both the CIA and the KGB to keep tabs on Oswald (who himself probably also worked both sides of the street) and was ultimately prodded by the Russians to head Oswald away from his role in the Dallas plot (one of at least three to kill JFK in 1963, according to Russell). If Nagell failed to dissuade Oswald, he was to kill him. At that point Nagell, bewildered and unsure who was calling the shots, lost his nerve, warned the CIA and FBI of the impending disaster, then had himself arrested (he discharged a gun harmlessly in a Texas bank a month before the president was assassinated); he spent years in jail, while lawyers wrangled over his sanity. Nagell has not been heard from for the past two years, but Russell believes he is still alive, his silence bought by a generous military pension. The author is right in suggesting that a government investigation that subpoenaed Nagell as a witness (neither the Warren Commission nor the House inquiry did) would learn a great deal about an event that continues to intrigue and baffle the world. No praise can be too high for Russell's mastery of a massive quantity of detail, for his determination to seek out primary sources and for his refusal to over-dramatize. This is a model work of historical reconstruction that should, as Norman Mailer suggests in a blurb, open up many hitherto unperceived leads in the case.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Don't expect this massive tome to provide any definitive answers to who assassinated JFK. Russell uses Richard Case Nagell, an obscure double (triple?) CIA agent who claims that the KGB hired him to kill Lee Harvey Oswald and thus prevent the assassination, as the basis of a tale of enormous conspiracy. Russell provides a veritable alphabet soup of possible conspirators, including the FBI, KGB, CIA, and OAS, and implicates the Mafia, Cubans, and Texas oilmen as well. He postulates a conspiracy that spans several continents and includes so many people with so many aliases that it is impossible to keep track of them all, even with the "cast list" of 297 names provided. Though obviously laboriously researched, this book simply offers too much to be either cohesive or credible. Purchase only where demand for conspiracy books warrants.
- Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, Ind.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 2 edition (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786712422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786712427
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dick Russell, born and raised in the Midwest, is the eclectic author of ten books. His latest is a biography of James Hillman, founder of archetypal psychology. Three books co-authored with former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura spent weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller list. "Eye of the Whale" was named among the best books of 2001 by three major newspapers. "The Man Who Knew Too Much," about a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy, was hailed as "a masterpiece of historical reconstruction" by Publisher's Weekly. "Striper Wars: An American Fish Story," recounts the fight to save the Atlantic striped bass. As an environmental activist, Russell was a recipient of the citizen's Chevron Conservation Award.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Matthew DeLuca on February 25, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by Dick Russell is quite possibly THE very best JFK Assassination book ever written.
Russell makes a startling case for a JFK Assassination resolution with this wonderful, 40th anniversary edition of his book based on the life of Richard Case Nagell.
Nagell, in a word, was an enigma, Just like the assassination that he shed so much light on was also an enigma.......until now.
Nagell, a former CIA man and Military Intelligence agent (As well as KGB agent too!) trusted Dick Russell so much, that he met with him, and corresponded with him for many years. In each of these correspondences, Nagell revealed bits and pieces about what he knew about the Conspiracy to kill JFK, and make no mistake, Nagell knew alot!
Too Much in fact, hence the title of this book.
Nagell stumbled upon the actual assassination plots (Notice I said "Plots", plural) that resulted in the assassination in Dallas, of President John F Kennedy.
That in of itself is startling, but even more startling than that is the fact that Nagell warned FBI Director J Edgar Hoover about the plots to kill Kennedy two months BEFORE the assassination took place!
Russell meticulously puts all of the loose ends of Nagell's story together and forms a very plausible solution to the assassination, and exposes who very well could be the true forces behind the murder of JFK.
You may ask, "What makes this book any different from other JFK Assassination books?"
The answer is that the other JFK Assassination books didnt have PROVEN sources that were actually involved with the people who killed Kennedy. Russell's source (Nagell) WAS DIRECTLY INVOLVED!
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Dick Russell's first edition of The Man Who Knew Too Much published in 1992 was a ground-breaking book, but the latest edition, just published in 2003, takes us even deeper into the almost unbelievable--but real--world of Richard Case Nagell. The latest edition includes information from recently released documents finally made available to the public, as well as information obtained from recent interviews, such as with a relative of David Atlee Phillips. It also contains new information about the circumstances surrounding the death of Nagell in 1995, an event that occurred with unfortunate timing--just as the Assassination Records Review Board was getting in touch with Nagell. Whether you've read many books about the JFK assassination, or are looking for your first in order to try to begin understanding what really led up to the killing of JFK and who was involved, this book is indispensible to understanding what happened 40 years ago. You will learn about Nagell and what he knew about the central and peripheral characters involved in the JFK assassination plot, such as Guy Banister, David Ferrie, and the anti-Castro Cubans who played a role in these history changing events.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a long book, the product of a lengthy period of research, which was needed to unravel the extensive coverup of the story of Richard Case Nagell, who worked for both US and Soviet intelligence. In the process of being a double agent in the early 1960s, Nagell learned that Oswald was involved in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, which he was unable to prevent. One of Hoover's greatest failures was not paying more attention to Nagell. Nagell's letter to the Warren Commission regarding his knowledge of Oswald was basically ignored, and it was thus left to Dick Russell to undertake the investigation that Hoover's FBI should have done. Fortunately for the reader, Russell's investigation was far superior to any that the FBI would have been able to do. The result is the best book ever written on the JFK assassination. The nature of the conspiracy and some of the players are clearly delineated in this book. Anyone interested in knowing the outlines of the conspiracy to kill JFK must read this book. This isn't just a book that adds a few interesting pieces to the puzzle--this book puts the puzzle together like no other source, in or out of government, has been able to do. This is the only JFK assassination book ever written that is an absolute must for the serious (or casual) reader on this subject.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jack Stone on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most important books concerning the assassination of JFK. I doubt anyone will find a more thoroughly researched book as the author spent fourteen years writing this work - an absolute literary marathon.

This work follows the career, life, and intrigue of Richard Case Nagell, a U.S. Army infantry officer who later became involved in military intelligence work and was involved in key aspects of Lee Harvey Oswald's activities, especially towards the countdown to the murder of JFK. Nagell's life is a fascinating one and much of his later professional life was outwardly a sham, nothing more than an extensive cover story so that he may move in certain intelligence circles as an agent - either doubled or tripled over. Nagell's world is one of surveillance, double dealing, deception, and, finally, murder as the JFK conspirators begin to tie up their "loose ends".

Some have said that this entire book is nothing more than an extensive piece of disinformation in order to lead the public in the wrong direction as several U.S. entities were essentially given a "free pass" on their involvement - I disagree. This work is, in fact, a scathing indictment of the FBI, CIA, secret service, U.S. military, Texas Oil interests, and former U.S. Presidents who all had a hand in the JFK assassination. Interestingly enough, while some have called Nagell the ultimate con man, the author is able to corroborate the majority of what Nagell claimed about the assassination.

Ultimately, The Man Who Knew Too Much is an investigation into how a network of U.S. government entities and officials were able to conduct a coup in America, murder a score of people who knew about the details of the killing, and get away with it.
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