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Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy | [Vincent Bugliosi]

Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Polls reveal that 85 percent of Americans believe there was a conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald. Some even believe Oswald was entirely innocent. In this encyclopedic, absorbing audiobook, Vincent Bugliosi shows how the public has come to believe such lies about the day that changed the course of history. Bugliosi has devoted almost 20 years of his life to this project, and is determined to show that, despite the overwhelming popular perception, Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone.
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Publisher's Summary

Polls reveal that 85 percent of Americans believe there was a conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald. Some even believe Oswald was entirely innocent. In this encyclopedic, absorbing audiobook, Vincent Bugliosi shows how the public has come to believe such lies about the day that changed the course of history.

Bugliosi has devoted almost 20 years of his life to this project, and is determined to show that, despite the overwhelming popular perception, Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone.

The brilliant prosecutor of Charles Manson and the man who forged an ironclad case of circumstantial guilt around O. J. Simpson in his best-selling Outrage, Bugliosi is perhaps the only man in America capable of "prosecuting" Oswald for the murder of President Kennedy. Reclaiming History is a narrative compendium of fact, ballistic evidence, reexamination of key witnesses, and common sense. Every detail and nuance is accounted for, every conspiracy theory revealed as a fraud upon the American public.

Bugliosi's irresistible logic, relentless pursuit of the truth, and command of the evidence shed fresh light on this American nightmare, providing a new understanding of what did and did not happen in Dallas on November 22, 1963. At last we know what really happened. At last it all makes sense.

©2007 Vincent Bugliosi. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Vincent Bugliosi is an American master of common sense, a punishing advocate and a curmudgeonly refreshing voice of reason....With this work, Bugliosi has definitively explained the murder that recalibrated modern America. It is a book for the ages." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

What Members Say

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    Dan swindon, wiltshire, england, Wiltshire, United Kingdom 14/11/2010
    Dan swindon, wiltshire, england, Wiltshire, United Kingdom 14/11/2010 Member Since 2014
    "Thorough but not convincing"

    I started as a firm believer in the conspiracy theory and have studied a great deal of books and films on the subject. I have been to Dealey Palaza and the 6th floor museum, and even to Kennedys grave at Arlington. I wanted to give the Oswald acting alone theory a chance to ensure I was looking at all evidence and not solely what I firmly believed. Although incredibly well researched and Mr Bugliosi has clearly dedicated a substantial part of his life to this cause and is passionate and resolute, he hasn't done anything to change my mind. Some of his theories are baffling in the extreme and at times he devotes huge amounts of time and effort to events that are clearly ludicrous whilst ignoring entirely key factors of the assassination. I have read a review which describes Mr Buglioi's style as arrogant condescension towards readers who may not share his views, and I would concur with this. At times I found myself arguing with the author whilst listening on my ipod, as I was so incensed by the patronising and sarcastic way in which he treats readers/listeners who believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. I wanted to give it a fair go, and in listening to the 17 hours of narration I really did have to endure it. I was relieved when it came to an end. Good narrator though, great voice.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
    Ryan 22/06/2015
    Ryan 22/06/2015 Member Since 2014
    "A comprehensive smack-down of every JFK conspiracy"
    Any additional comments?

    A US President being shot by elements of the MI complex, while risky and insane for the plotters, was possible in my mind I was convinced there could be a conspiracy. Like many, I bought the nonsense about the magic bullet etc. A conspiracy is not by definition crazy, they happen all the time. One only has to look at what the CIA has done in the past, they interfere with democracy abroad, why not at home? However Reclaiming History will, step by step, lay out why even though it might not be too shocking that this could happen, that it DID NOT, in fact happen. Given that is it now almost assumed that a conspiracy did take place, this should be required reading in social/political studies classes.

    There are two types of readers here:

    1. The theorists themselves (whom the author calls the ''buffs'') who, no matter what, will never think anything but the conspiracy happened. They have that 'conclusion before evidence' mindset and this will not change the mind of someone like that. As the author says it's like trying to change a religion for someone, their conclusion has risen to the level of faith not belief.
    2. The ordinary public who watches movies like JFK and thinks that something more went on.

    This book WILL convince the second group and if nothing else is at least worth a read for balance sake

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
    John Epsom, Surrey, United Kingdom 01/09/2008
    John Epsom, Surrey, United Kingdom 01/09/2008 Member Since 2009
    "Puting to rest insane conspiracy theories"

    Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK, on his own, and was in turn shot by the incensed and equally disturbed Jack Ruby, on his own. The CIA were not involved, the FBI were not involved andthe mob were not involved. These are obvious conclusions for anyone that uses evidence in their decision making process.

    In 'Reclaiming History' Vincent Bugliosi sets out the evidence and dispels the conspiracy theories with a lot of common sense and a healthy wit. Highly reccommended.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Larry-Bob
    "On an equal footing with Helter Skelter"
    Would you listen to Reclaiming History again? Why?

    Yes--- This is a detailed, well researched book that puts the conspiracy industry where it belongs. Folks like Oliver Stone have allowed their fears and suspicions to take charge of their judgement and ethics.

    What other book might you compare Reclaiming History to and why?

    Helter Skelter. Because of the author, the style and level of detail are the same. It recalls the bad old days of the sixties. This is the single most significant event of that decade and perhaps the century. America was one country before this day and another the next. This is an important work.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's not a scene, but the behavior of Mrs. Kennedy showed us what a class lady she was. She was one of a kind and far more admirable than her husband or any one else for that matter.

    Any additional comments?

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a creep but did not fall far from the tree. His mother was what you'd expect this little psycho to come from. If there is a message for us to take from this episode, it's that any worthless **** can have a profound effect. Lee Harvey Oswald was certainly worthless and got "lucky".

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • brian
    cincinnati, OH, United States
    "The Truth Will be Revealed."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reclaiming History to be better than the print version?

    NOt quite, it's abridged. I've never liked abridged books much.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reclaiming History?

    I can't pick one. The whole thing was amazing.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    How the author tore into the conspiracy theories (I strongly doubt any conspiracy took place at al on that day._

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Let the Truth Reveal itself.

    Any additional comments?

    For people who don't believe in conspiracy theories like myself or for the curious, this is an excellent listen.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Lindsay
    Charleston, SC, United States
    "Exceptional Detailed Account"

    Bugliosi's latest is a welcome breath of fresh air on a subject that has seen little since the mid 1960's. In particular, Bugliosi crushes Oliver Stone's mythical JFK film as the complete fraud that it was. Anyone having a sense of intellectual honesty on this subject oughtta do two things: 1. Watch JFK, 2. then read this book.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Adam Bedford
    Rockford, MI USA
    "Starts fast, ends a litte slow"

    The first half of this audiobook was top notch - the author's step by step, minute by minute walk through the Kennedy Assassination was excellent. I've read many books on the assassination, but this is the first time I've heard the lead-up, the event, and the aftermath presented in this format - I found it very engaging and learned how to connect many of the dots I've read about. I may listen to this portion again in the future.
    The author's rantings about the various conspiracy theories was interesting at times, but got tiring quickly. I generally agree with everything he said, but it felt like I was reading a personalized hate letter to 15 or so conspiracy writers - you disagree and the facts are on your side, WE GET IT. I lost interest in this section quickly.
    Recommended - at least for the first portion.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • JoAnn Marcon
    "Parts are interesting"

    This is not the first book that I have read on this topic having read some of the bestselling Kennedy assassination books both believing in a conspiracy and others believing the offical reports.

    I found the part of this book that explains the actual events in a timeline discussing the 24 hours before and the two days after the events to be a compelling narrative.

    The discussion of the evidence in an objective manner (ie the Zapruder film, the ballistics, the issues surrounding the autopsy report) was quite interesting as well and I learned a great deal of information that was new to me. This is because he was able to subject some of the evidence, such as pictures, to new techniques.

    However, the author seems quite angry at the people who believe any aspects of the conspiracy theories and labels them with unflattering words. I think if this part of the book had been more objective, the book would have been better.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Lex
    DENVER, Colombia
    "Thick, Dense & Weighty ... But Hardly Definitive"
    What did you like best about Reclaiming History? What did you like least?

    Where Bugliosi shined, and where he always shines, is in providing a meticulous-yet-readable account of the Official Story .. in this case, that means the Warren Commission's version of events. He convincingly recounts the physical evidence that supports the story, and provides thorough, empirical debunkings of many of the more ludicrous claims of conspiracy theorists. In particular, his attention to the details of the Dealy Plaza Crime Scene provide compelling reasons to accept the Single Bullet Theory, and reject the HSCA's acoustical analysis of the Dictaphone recording.

    Where he failed was in providing an unbiased view, in spite of all his promises that he would do so. His mistakes and omissions are numerous and flagrant, and one can't help but suspect that some were not accidental -- but that, just like the conspiracy theorists he constantly and breathlessly belittles, he has cherry-picked the information that helps his cause, and swept the inconvenient parts under the rug.

    Just a few examples (of literally dozens I noted):

    * During the "Four Days In Dallas" narrative, he fills in the internal thoughts and feelings of the characters, which always support his version of events ... even though, barring secret personal diaries that he alone had access to, or some kind of time-traveling telepathy device that allowed him to eavesdrop on their thoughts as history unfolded, he had no way of knowing what these people were thinking. So in essence, he made stuff up ... he would no doubt say that this is "dramatic license," but when trying to present the truth of a highly controversial subject, making stuff up which support your argument is anything but honest. If a pro-conspiracy writer did the exact same thing -- for instance, writing a scene where Oswald is thinking to himself, "Gosh I'm glad to be a part of this conspiracy! I can't want to get my money for helping those fine CIA gents!" -- Bugliosi would (rightfully) mock and dismiss the speculation of Oswald's internal thoughts as question-begging nonsense.

    * During his discussion of the HSCA, he completely failed to mention the involvement of George Joannides, who acted as an "aid" to the Committee without disclosing to them that he had been the director of the CIA's Anti-Castro operations in Miami, the JM/WAVE station. This is significant, because classified document releases since the HSCA (i.e. documents released to AARB in response to the JFK Records Act) have shown that Joannides withheld information from the Committee.

    * While discussing the theories about Mob involvement in the assassination, he failed to mention the recently declassified documents which show that the CIA and the Mafia -did- in fact have a working relationship, and conspired together to assassinate Castro. This is significant, because it shows the exact conspiratorial relationship posited for decades -- the CIA, the Mob, and the Anti-Castro Cuban were all in cahoots together, and were conspiring (i.e. planning illegally together) to assassinate a head of state.

    * While discussing Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union, he failed to mention the False Defector program being run by the U.S. at the time, which sent young U.S. service members (like Oswald) to the USSR to pose as defectors, gather information for a few years, and then return to the U.S.

    These, along with several other instances of flagrant omissions and sketchy additions. This is disappointing, because it only leads to more questions and speculation ... by presenting yet another argument so full of holes and loose threads, Bugliosi hasn't really added much more than another 1500+ pages (plus endnotes) of fluff to the debate.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Vincent Bugliosi? Why or why not?

    I've read "Helter Skelter," and while good, if compared to the other go-to resources on the Manson Family / Tate-LaBianca Murders (Sanders' "The Family" and Gorightly's "Shadow Over Santa Susana"), it suffers many of the same problems as "Reclaiming History" ... namely, that it was written by the prosecutor, who can hardly be relied upon to be impartial. I don't think he does it on purpose -- he's more impartial and honest than Jim Garrison, for example -- but he always writes like he's trying to convince a jury. And thus, hopefully to no one's great surprise, he leaves out or dismisses information that would harm his case, and embellishes the parts that support it.

    Any additional comments?

    This long, well-padded prosecutorial brief may appear "definitive" to people who aren't familiar with ad hominem attacks, arguments from authority, and the other logical fallacies liberally employed. Those who are already inclined to believe the Official Story will no doubt lap up all the condescending snark and school-yard insults that Bugliosi levels at conspiracy theories and theorists ... while those already inclined to conspiracy theories will likely be too rankled by the breathless streams of insults he directs at them to get much good from the nuggets of solid, empirical information he presents.

    But it's hardly definitive, in any regard ... if Bugliosi had spent more time actually addressing pro-conspiracy arguments with convincing counter-evidence, and less time coming up with pithy-but-family-safe insults ("Moonshine," "Queer as a three dollar bill," etc) for anyone who disagrees with him, it might have been a stronger book. (To say nothing of the forests felled to discuss what Mrs. Kennedy wore to the funeral, what the chaplain said, who were Oswald's pall-bearers, etc etc etc ....yes, there was some definite padding to reach 1500 pages....)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Candace
    TEXARKANA, TX, United States
    "Lies!! Not a good read"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The government who does all the cover ups

    Has Reclaiming History turned you off from other books in this genre?


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Read did ok

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. I wanted my money back

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Natick, MA, United States
    "Slow Story"

    Reclaiming history is a long drawn out story written more like a law brief that a telling of actual events. The beginning of the story is fascinating and interesting. As the story goes on it feels as if the author was just trying to fill pages with redundant facts. This audio book was difficult to get thru.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    Lawton, OK
    "Drawn out"

    The first part was interesting, then it became long and drawn out. The author spends alot of time trying to convince, instead of presenting an argument. I'm still not convinced it was not a conspriacy.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Tad Davis
    Philadelphia, PA USA

    Bugliosi's matter-of-fact, minute-by-minute account of the assassination is riveting. Obviously from other comments here, not everyone had the same response; I can only speak for myself. I found it difficult to pause the narrative, willing to listen for minutes and then hours past my usual threshold. When Bugliosi came to the Tippett murder, I felt like I was standing on the corner, another eye-witness. (Edward Hermann's narration, by the way, is first-rate.)

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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