- Paperback: 669 pages
- Publisher: Perennial (December 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060975237
- ISBN-13: 978-0060975234
- Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.3 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Grotesque: An Account of the Clay Shaw-Jim Garrison-Kennedy Assassination Trial in New Orleans Paperback – December 1, 1992
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First Harper perennial edition published in 1992. No remainder marks, underlining or highlighting.Pages tan with age.
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This is a book about that case and the trial of Clay Shaw. Yes it is written by a Shaw admirer who was a writer based in New York. He was totally disgusted and angered by the abuses of power shown by the extremely reckless and mentally unbalenced District Attorney. It's all here: the PSYCH discharge that Garrison got from the Armed Services, his attempts to bribe, intimidate, harrass, pay-off and strong-arm witnesses, possible witness, and even disserters from his office when they realized what a pack of lies the whole thing was and jumped ship. Even the fact that Garrison rarely attended the trial, this after show-boating his "assassination theory" before the entire world!
I thought I knew a thing or two about sick and twisted politicians in the state of LA but this book adds a huge log to that fire......unbelievable.
"It is difficult to brainwash your feelings when you have gotten to know the defendant personally, as had Phelan, Aynesworth and myself." "I was hard put to find one person who believed Garrison had a trump card up his sleeve; I did not unearth one person who believed Clay Shaw guilty...Over and over, though, I would hear that Garrison was the most powerful man in the state..."
Personally, I've always had mixed feelings about Garrison. His heart was in the right place, and his ultimate intent to find the top plotters was admirable, but his methods were often questionable. He sometimes had an "end-justifies-the-means" mentality. There's no doubt today that Clay Shaw was associated with US intelligence, but I don't think he was involved in the JFK plot itself. He may have been one of Oswald's handlers, and given the compartmentalization of such a project, may not have known how Oswald would ultimately be used (the same is probably true of people like George De Mohrenschildt and Guy Banister). Today, we know more about Shaw's business relations and intelligence ties, enough to make me skeptical of his claims to be a Kennedy supporter (the CIA's David Atlee Phillips also claimed to be a JFK backer in his memoir).
Still, with better witnesses and suspects either dead or uncooperative, or living in states where he couldn't extradite them, Garrison rolled the dice with a very weak case and hoped something would break loose. It didn't. The mainstream media went on the attack, and Federal agents did everything possible to disrupt and infiltrate his investigation. Jim DiEugenio's two editions of Destiny Betrayed go into great detail about the powerful forces intent on stopping Garrison. So Garrison relied on weak evidence and some non-credible witnesses to build a case against Shaw. The most convincing witnesses, as even Kirkwood admits, were the townspeople of Clinton, Louisiana. But here again this incident may prove nothing more than Shaw's unwitting involvement in setting up the patsy, Oswald.