Here, for the first time in decades, is a gripping, minute-by-minute account of the day President John F. Kennedy was shot, told by James Swanson, author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt, which so vividly brought the Lincoln assassination to life.Read more...
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Here, for the first time in decades, is a gripping, minute-by-minute account of the day President John F. Kennedy was shot, told by James Swanson, author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt, which so vividly brought the Lincoln assassination to life. In End of Days, he reveals Lee Harvey Oswald's bizarre history of violence and follows John and Jacqueline Kennedy's wildly successful swing through Texas and their fateful Dallas motorcade ride. In the most riveting account ever written about the assassin's shots, Swanson takes us to the sixth-floor Texas Book Depository window to look through Oswald's rifle sights. Swanson also re-creates the last hours of the doomed assassin and the days of national mourning for the president that followed, culminating in a funeral that united the country in a tearful farewell to the fallen commander in chief.
In End of Days, Swanson combines extensive research with his unparalleled storytelling abilities to turn the events of one of the darkest days of the twentieth century into a pulse-pounding thriller that will remain the definitive popular account of the assassination for years to come.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Swanson’s attempt to recount the events leading up to November 22, 1963 and its aftermath in a coherent narrative is nowhere near as successful as his Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer. Critical readers will wish that his prefatory note had detailed his use of sources, and why Marina Oswald was for him an unimpeachable witness. In the absence of such an explanation the opening sections, descriptions of her husband’s failed attempt on the life of right-wing General Edwin Walker, and extensive quoted dialogue will raise questions of whether Swanson has sacrificed accuracy for dramatic effect. While the author’s intended purpose is above all to “resurrect the mood” of the time, his writing is repetitive and can lean to hokey at times. Again and again as the fatal day nears, the reader is forewarned that such and such occasion will prove to be the last. There are also major assumptions at play in this retelling—most problematically Swanson’s treatment of the Warren Commission. Even those who accept the verdict that Oswald acted alone will wonder why Swanson states that this finding was never contradicted by official government investigations when records state otherwise. In the end, Swanson sacrifices too much in the name of storytelling and the result is an oversimplified retelling. (Nov.)