With more than one hundred fifty books on the assassination of President Kennedy published this year alone, making an educated reading choice on the subject can be a dizzying affair. From those in the lone gunman camp to the Cuba-suspicious, assassination theorists run a wide gamut. But never fear, dear reader—we’re here to help! Below, find our vote for the five essential texts on the Kennedy assassination. Read these—and nothing else matters.
1. Oswald’s Game by Jean Davison
POINT OF VIEW: The lone gunman unplugged
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Davison delves into the psychological core of Lee Harvey Oswald, exposing a deeply motivated, troubled assassin. One New York Times–bestselling expert called it “insightful.”
2. With Malice by Dale K. Myers
POINT OF VIEW: The truth about Officer J. D. Tippit and Oswald.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: The murder of Officer Tippit just 45 minutes after President Kennedy’s assassination led to a bevy of questions, which Myers answers once and for all with exclusive photographs and documents—and his animation sequences are legendary.
3. Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye by Kenneth P. O’Donnell and David F. Powers
POINT OF VIEW: Details from JFK’s close confidants Kenneth P. O’Donnell and David F. Powers.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Members of Kennedy’s “Irish Mafia” provide an intimate portrayal of their friend Jack, from his first campaign to the day of his assassination in November 1963.
4. Case Closed by Gerald Posner
POINT OF VIEW: The lone gunman theory
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Gerald Posner addresses—and refutes—the many conspiracy theories (mafia, second shooter, and CIA) surrounding November 22, 1963, asserting, “Fifty years after the assassination, the biggest casualty has been the truth.”
5. Not in Your Lifetime by Anthony Summers
POINT OF VIEW: All of the above
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Summers acknowledges Americans’ doubts about the lone gunman theory and addresses speculation of a heretofore unnamed assassin while objectively exploring all aspects of the murder mystery still haunting our nation 50 years later.