A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination

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No event shaped twentieth-century history and opinion more than the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was a fulcrum, a turning point in history where public trust and confidence in government truly began to erode, where conspiracy theorists took anchor like never before, and where the sinister potential of organizations like the FBI and CIA became undeniable.

A Cruel and Shocking Act puts both the assassination and the investigation by the Warren Commission under the microscope like few books before it, utilizing the wealth of 50 years of material to chart the Commission’s successes and failings, praising the Commission’s work while decrying those who misled it.

From interbureau infighting and interference covering their own asses to pranks by reporters that got out of hand, from political maneuvering behind the scenes to public relations missteps that fueled skepticism, Shenon’s book is exhaustive and compelling.

This is no conspiracy theory nonsense; it’s a painstaking look at the unanswered questions left behind by an earthshaking event. A Cruel and Shocking Act has some stunning revelations within its pages — particularly regarding the work of William Coleman, as well as Oswald’s Mexico trip. Whether history bears them out or not, they merit deep consideration.


Reviewed By:

Author Philip Shenon
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 640 pages
Publisher Henry Holt and Co.
Publish Date 2013-Oct-29
ISBN 9780805094206
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2014
Category History
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