THE JFK ASSASSINATION DIRECTORY
Part One - 1960s TRAILBLAZERS
The importance of these early works can't be underestimated. The dedicated researchers who first pointed out the flaws in the Warren Report brought the fact that this was no straightforward case to the attention of the public. They were in a position to interview eyewitnesses and key figures while they were still alive and the events fresh in their memory. Do not be put off from reading thinking that the info is old and no longer relevant. Most of the books listed below retain their explosive impact and are key to an understanding of the basics of the case.
The Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy ( 1964)
In other words the Warren Report. The Report itself is ok to read, not too dry. It's more interesting when you start reading the extra volumes of Hearings as there is so much detail and the interviews with the likes of Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine are fascinating. It becomes apparent how condensed the Report is and how the overview presented doesn't always tally with the evidence being given in the Hearings.
The 26 volumes of the hearings and exhibits were published a few months after the report.They can be bought but for a full set obviously tends to be v expensive (£600+)
Set of 26 volumes - ISBN 1-57588-855-6, Washington,US government printing office, 1964, reprinted 2005.
The hearings can be read online at History Matters.
or you can buy The Highights of the Hearings before the Warren Comm on the Assassination of Pres Kennedy -The Witnesses. Publ Mcgraw Hill 1965.
Inquest by Edward Jay Epstein (1966)
Epstein was one of the first people to question the Warren Report. His research started as a master's thesis in government while he was at Cornell University. As one of the first books to flag up contradictions in the Warren Report it was the springboard for many more books to follow. Gives a clear view of what the W Commission were up against in terms of time constraints, staffing issues and huge pressure to reassure the public.
Epstein also wrote Counterplot(68), a scathing account of the Garrison trial and Legend(78), concentrating on Oswald's intelligence connections. These books can be bought together in The Assassination Chronicles(92)
Rush To Judgement by Mark Lane (1966)
This was a best seller and hugely influential. Lane is a lawyer who asked the Warren Comm if he could speak at the hearings in Oswald's defence (they declined). Lane is more overtly conspiracy-minded than Epstein but just as well researched. A serious investigation and very readable. Lane was very hands on with his research for this book. He tracked down witnesses who had been overlooked and got many more to expand on their statements to The Warren Commission, thereby exposing some discrepancies.
Lane also wrote A Citisen's Dissent in which he replies to his critics and Plausible Denial(CIA/Howard Hunt libel case.) All excellent reads but Rush to Judgement is the all-out classic.And the new 'Last Word' out in 2011,not a great deal of new material but as always a fluid writing style and clear arguments.
Accessories After The Fact (67)by Slyvia Meagher
It has been said that no-one knows as much about the Kennedy assassination as Slyvia Meagher. She has certainly helped other researchers to know more with her monumental task of indexing the 26 volumes of the Warren rreport and Hearings.
However she is also famous for this very well-respected book in which she puts forward the case for conspiracy using meticulous detail but presented in such a clear and understandable way.
Six Seconds in Dallas (67) by Josiah Thompson.
A very scientific and reasoned look at the assassination in fine detail.
Indepth investigation and analysis has made this respected by many researchers, including anti -conspiracists. He has no hesitation in debunking claims made by the more extreme conspiracy theorists,. He comes to the conclusuion that there were four shots fired by three gunmen.
The Whitewash Series by Harold Weisberg. (Whitewash 1966)
The grandaddy of assassination literature. Probably the most dedicated researcher, he says this has been a vocation that he would have happily walked away from if he could , it made him into an old man before his time! Some say a grumpy old man, some a passionate truth seeker, he amassed serious amounts of info over the years, filed F.O.I.As etc. Can get a bit heavy and invilved in the detail but great for the serious student.
Forgive my Grief by William Penn Jones(1966)
Penn Jones began investigating the assassination in 1963 and always believed the government was somewhere behind it. He published a series of books entitled Forgive my Grief, the first in !966 and then three others. He was considered as a pioneer among other researchers.These books are much sought after by assassination collectors, especially volume 1V which is particularly rare.
Farewell America by James Hepburn (1968)
A mystery surrounds the authorship of this book. 'James Hepburn' is a pseudonym. The general consensus is that it was wtitten by French Intelligence to expose the real story of the assassination plot. Points the finger at military intelligence and the industrial giants- oil, arms etc. Unpublished in the states for many years which has led many to believe that there must be some truth in the claims. Others say it is clever disinformation.