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The Kennedy Assassination [Paperback]

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Item description for The Kennedy Assassination by Peter Knight...

As a seminal event in late twentieth-century American history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has permeated the American consciousness in a wide variety of ways. His death has long fascinated American writers, filmmakers, and artists. The Kennedy Assassination offers an authoritative, critical exploration of the many ways the event has been constructed in a range of discourses.

The book looks at a variety of historical, political, and cultural attempts to understand Kennedy's death. Representations include journalism from the time; historical accounts and memoirs; official investigations, government reports, and sociological inquiries; numerous conspiracy theories; novels, plays, and other works of literature; the Zapruder footage; and photography, avant-garde art, and Hollywood films.

"Peter Knight's book on the Kennedy assassination is the best available source we have on the most symptomatic event of postwar American history," Patrick O'Donnell, author of Latent Destinies: Cultural Paranoia and Contemporary U.S. Narrative, says. "Encyclopedic in scope, elegant and clear in its execution, wide-ranging in its assessment of the history and representational aftermath of that dark day in Dallas, this will be the `go-to' book on the Kennedy assassination for some time to come."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   177
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.54 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   University Press of Mississippi
ISBN  1934110329  
ISBN13  9781934110324  

Availability  0 units.

More About Peter Knight

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Knight is in the Department of Education at Lancaster University

Peter Knight currently resides in Lancaster.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century > 1960s
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Media Studies
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Kennedy Assassination?

Clear, Comprehensive, Compelling  Apr 24, 2008
The Kennedy assassination has spawned its own conspiracy industry. Aptly described as a "bottomless pit", it is equally a many-headed hydra, with each claim and counterclaim giving birth to dozens of others. And yet among the mountains of material there are few--if any--books that examine the event with the clarity of Peter Knight's book. Knight addresses both the official and unofficial versions, the significance of the assassination in US history, and its impact on American culture, in calm, rational prose that doesn't get bogged down in the excessive detail that threatens to capsize so much writing on the subject. This concise and extremely readable book contains probably all you need to know about the Kennedy assassination. Highly recommended.
A comprehensive history of the event and its enduring legacy  Feb 24, 2008
Peter Knight's scholarly book is surprisingly comprehensive given that it's a relatively short work. It succeeds in being both a fine introduction to the case and in being an incisive and fascinating history of the assassination in both American and World history and indeed in popular culture. The book provides an interesting and very reasonable and balanced assessment of most of the key aspects of the case - a summary of the Warren Report and all other official investigations, the major conspiracy theories, the problems with eye witness reliability, the so called problems with the Single Bullet Theory, the fatal head shot and issues with the flawed autopsy and so on.

But the book goes much further than providing a brief but very succinct history of the case, it also provides an excellent record of key works on the assassination together with some highly interesting observations regarding the event in news, fiction, film and even art. More over the author also finds the space to explain how and why the event has had such an impact on modern America and suggests that actually some degree of exaggeration has occurred in respect of the events true impact at the time. The book also examines the concept of the "conspiracy theory" in principle and asks if the Kennedy assassination has in fact changed the nature of conspiracy thinking giving some considerable thought to Oliver Stone's film JFK and the unfortunate effect that that film has had - that a significant percentage of the American public believe Oliver Stones work to be an accurate rendition of the event, which it clearly is not.

It is actually quite rare to get a book on this subject that is essentially neutral, but still maintains a tantalizing glimpse into what author Vincent Bugliosi calls a "bottomless pit". When you consider that Peter Knight covers just about every angle on this case in some 180 pages, it is quite an achievement. If you are conspiracy buff I'd recommend this book as a dose of common sense. Peter Knight doesn't offer a personal conclusion in terms of was there or was there not a conspiracy, but its clear the author's intention was to provide a thorough assessment of the event and its place in history from 1963 to date in a resoundingly non sensationalist manner - frankly a breath of fresh air when you consider the utter none sense that has been written about the case.

Whilst the author is critical of the Warren Commission in respect of its failure to clarify and set to rest a good many of what would become perceived "unanswered questions", I rather suspect he believes Oswald acted alone, but that conclusion is not the aim of the book, its rather to educate the reader and bring some degree of common sense into a subject that has now been somehow lost into such a huge body of work that its almost impossible for any one, bar the dedicated student of the case, to make some degree of semblance as to what happened when Kennedy was shot and to understand the difference between the event itself and what it has become in popular culture - something far greater, far more reaching than it was. The style of writing is engaging and almost humerous at times. A resounding accomplishment - it joins some four hundred books on the subject in my collection and I would place it high high on the my list of recommended reading.


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