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2019 Books


Several books of potential interest to our readers were published in 2019. Some of the more notables ones are presented below. All of these have been scanned and included in the MFF searchable Book Archive (they may not be read online, only searched).

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Seach for Mind Control, by Stephen Kinzer. In this biography of Sidney Gottlieb, head of CIA's Technical Services Division, Stephen Kinzer delves into the history of U.S. biological warfare research which began in World War II and continued at Camp Detrick under Gottlieb's direction. Gottlieb famously prepared for the CIA poison to be used to assassinate Congo's Patrice Lumumba; he also oversaw wide-ranging experiments using LSD and other drugs, many conducted at secret prisons around the world. Gottlieb also explores the contradictions in a man who in later in life volunteered caring for leprosy patients in India.


The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today, by James DiEugenio (Foreword by Oliver Stone). DiEugenio's book is a detailed dissection and refutation of Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History, with particular focus on Bugliosi's treatment of Oswald, the medical and ballistics evidence, the autopsy, the Garrison case, and the mysteries of Mexico City. In the final portion of the book, DiEugenio takes on Tom Hank's Parkland film. Oliver Stone in a Foreword says the author "shows us that the prosecution of Lee Harvey Oswald today--given the declassified files and evidence of the ARRB and the omissions of Bugliosi--would simply be thrown out of any courtroom."


Burying the Lead: The Media and the JFK Assassination, Mal Hyman. Burying the Lead is a book-length treatment of a topic which rarely receives extended discussion - the failure of the U.S. media to address the cover-up of conspiracy in the JFK assassination. Hyman covers the long history of this topic from 1963 to the present, and amidst the history and discussion there are a large number of great quotes in the book. For example, Hyman quotes reporter Jeff Morley's conversation with a Washington Post editor who told him: "...[T]o say there was a conspiracy in the assassination of President Kennedy would be a remarkably bold and political statement, The story is old but the CIA budget is upwards of $20 billion a year. The political implications are very alive."


Murder, Inc.: The CIA Under John F. Kennedy, by James H. Johnston. This book, by a former staff member of the Church Committee, reviews the CIA's assassination plotting against Fidel Castro, with particular focus on Rolando Cubela (AMLASH), alongside a standard retelling of the Lee Harvey Oswald saga. Like other recent books from Brian Latell and Phili Shenon, its falls into what Peter Dale Scott has termed a "phase three" take on the JFK assassination, positing that Oswald acted alone but that Castro may have been behind him. On the lingering question of whether JFK himself was involved in plotting Castro's assassination, versus the idea of a "rogue" Agency, Johnston asserts that regarding the CIA, Kennedy had "complete control."


Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, Gangsters, JFK, and Castro, by Thomas Maier. This retelling of the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Fidel Castro, and the aftermath wherein those plots were revealed to the public, may cover familiar ground to assassination experts. But the detailed storytelling around known figures such as Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana, Santos Trafficante, Judith Campbell, Robert Maheu, and many others makes it an engaging read. While written for a general audience, it is well-informed by the "JFK records" of the Church Committee and other investigations.


The JFK Files: What the Government Has Kept Secret for Decades, by Peter Kross. It has been over a year since the National Archives released thousands of new and less-redacted documents from the JFK Collection. Researcher Peter Kross related 50 stories from these files - some new stories, some old with new information. Topics include previously-unknown pre-assassination warnings of JFK's assassination, new information on Cuban operations, Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko, Operation TILT, ZR/RIFLE and QJ/WIN, Watergate and the CIA, the death of Johnny Roselli, and much more.


Malcontent: Lee Harvey Oswald's Confession by Conduct, by Sean R. DeGrilla. The first part of this book analyzes the statements and actions of Lee Harvey Oswald from the standpoint of "consciousness of guilt." For the most part, comparisons are made between a guilty and "innocent" suspect without considering alternatives such as participation in a conspiracy. Part 2 uses Computer Voice Stress Analysis to argue that Oswald was lying during key statements, including protesting his innocence, and further challenges similar work by George O'Toole. The book also includes notes of detective Jim Leavelle, and a previously unpublished essay about Oswald by Michael Paine.


The JFK Assassination Facts They Don't Want You to Know, by Philippe J. Cassard. This book is a broad review of the JFK assassination that covers a range of topics from the assassination witnesses to Oswald, Ruby, the CIA, FBI, Mafia, and evidence ranging from medical and ballistic to photographic and acoustic, including both well-documented and more-disputed issues. The book pays special attention to the apathy of the media. Cassard describes himself as a "European observer of the United States," and writes of his observations at recent research conferences of the Wecht Institute.


American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, by Douglas Brinkley. A detailed retelling of the early days of the Space Race and the decision by President Kennedy to launch an effort to put a man on the moon. From the dust jacket: "American Moonshot is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible.....At the center of this story is Kennedy himself. As Brinkley shows, the president's call to action was more than just soaring oratory--Kennedy was intimately involved in the creation of the space program, and he made it a top priority of his New Frontier agenda, fighting the tough political battles to make his vision a reality."


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