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The JFK Assassination Debates
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About the Author

Michael L. Kurtz is professor of history and dean of the graduate school at Southeastern Louisiana University and the author of Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective, the first book-length scholarly study of the subject.

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Southern Louisiana University historian Kurtz (Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective) rehashes the debate about whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating JFK, coming down on the side of conspiracy. In this, he is by his own account on the same page as some 68% of the American public. Kurtz provides a serviceable summary of the arguments and theories supporting each view: solo shooter vs. triangulated fire orchestrated by an unspecified cabal of malignant forces. The familiar landmarks and debates are all here: the grassy knoll, the "magic" bullet, the possible organized crime connection, the possible Cuban connection and the various, contradictory intrigues of America's intelligence community. Each aspect is detailed, each cogently laid out all leading nowhere. The facts, both agreed on and debated, remain the same here as they have been in countless other volumes. With regard to the key issue who killed JFK? Kurtz admits, "I do not know the answer," while charging everyone from the CIA, to the Warren Commission and the Kennedy family of a "continuing coverup" of evidence. In the end, Kurtz leaves us no closer to definitive truth than we've been before regarding the quagmire of November 22, 1963. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kurtz offers a superior account. He has spent four decades researching the assassination, and the result is this balanced appraisal of the varying theories, from the lone gunman--'magic bullet'--premise to those conspiracy theories that cannot be dismissed as the ramblings of kooks. Kurtz himself favors conspiracy and includes convincing evidence, from previously classified documents released after the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, that reveals CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and Warren Commission cover-ups. Intriguing accounts bolstering the author's conclusions include details relating to Lee Harvey Oswald, the Cuban-Mafia connection, the bumbling autopsy of the slain President, and the controversial roles of Lyndon Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, and Warren Commission members Arlen Specter and Gerald Ford. Highly recommended."-Library Journal (starred review)

"It is refreshing to see an academic historian turn his attention to this subject. . . . Whether one agrees completely with all of Kurtz's arguments or not, it is time for historians to take back some of the ground that has been seized by the sensationalists."-Journal of American History

"A smart, engaging history of the stormy debate surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy. This is a book you can trust on a topic fraught with controversy."-Douglas Brinkley, Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization at Tulane University

"Provides a skillfully balanced and up-to-date summary of the views supporting the lone assassin and conspiracy sides of the JFK assassination controversy, as well as new evidence that revises our understanding of Oswald's associations and actions. If I were teaching a course on the JFK assassination, this book would definitely be near the top of my reading list."-Gerald D. McKnight, author of Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why

Of the numerous books on JFK's assassination, many are dogmatic, speculative, or swamped by numbing detail. Fortunately, Kurtz (history, Southeastern Louisiana Univ., Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective) offers a superior account. He has spent four decades researching the assassination, and the result is this balanced appraisal of the varying theories, from the lone gunman-"magic bullet"-premise to those conspiracy theories that cannot be dismissed as the ramblings of kooks. Kurtz himself favors conspiracy and includes convincing evidence, from previously classified documents released after the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, that reveals CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and Warren Commission cover-ups. Intriguing accounts bolstering the author's conclusions include details relating to Lee Harvey Oswald, the Cuban-Mafia connection, the bumbling autopsy of the slain President, and the controversial roles of Lyndon Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, and Warren Commission members Arlen Specter and Gerald Ford. This reasoned addition to Kennedy assassination literature joins such recent books as Gerald McKnight's Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why and David Wrone's The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination, showing that the truths behind the assassination have not been completely uncovered and likely never will be. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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