JFK assassination in the American mind

A New York Times survey:

In his 1988 novel, Don DeLillo weaves together fact and literary invention to create a fictional biography of Oswald. The would-be assassin is not unlike many angry young men of literature: misunderstood, antisocial and emotionally isolated. He becomes a pawn in a plot by ex-C.I.A. operatives to provoke war with Cuba by trying to kill Kennedy.

Source: In Movies, Books and TV, a Rabbit Hole of Kennedy Conspiracies – The New York Times

37 comments

  1. DG Michael says:

    Oh, g*d, I’m so tired of this analogy of Lee Oswald: the, “…angry young men of literature: misunderstood, antisocial and emotionally isolated.” The very long arm of the MSM and lone nutters have really done a great job spreading this ridiculous myth about him.

  2. Bogman says:

    That summary of Libra pretty much sums up the assassination for me.

    Guess you have to consider it progress, too, when the NY Times questions the LN idea AND links to the 2017 documents release story:

    “It is a narrative gold mine: epoch-defining tragedy, political intrigue, true crime and a motley cast of characters who range from the handsome and heroic leader of the Western world to the runty outcast who (we’re told) killed him in Dallas. One could spend from now until October 2017, when the final remaining records on the assassination are scheduled to be released…”

  3. GM says:

    I read Libra last year. I found it quite an unsettling and eerie read. Don DeLillo has Oswald as the sixth floor sniper in the TSBD (as per Warren Commission), but not the gunman who fires the fatal shot. Oswald then quickly leaves the book depository (as he did in reality), and DeLillo portrays him shooting Tippit (again as the official version has it), but then there is an assassin waiting at the theatre to kill Oswald. The police arrive in time to ironically save Oswald from the hitman.

  4. Russ Tarby says:

    any discussion of DeLillo’s book should remain strictly literary.
    it’s a novel, a work of fiction in which the writer routinely creates wholly imaginative characters and situations…
    Here DeLillo uses real-life characters and sets them in situations that may reflect on reality but is by no means a documentary account of actual happenings. For instance, DeLillo’s depiction of Oswald engaging in homosexual activities and smoking hashish have no basis in known fact…
    the NYT reference to DeLillo’s main character as one of “the angry young men of literature,” merely points out that this talented novelist knew how to craft a character that fit a traditional literary motif.
    fiction is full of “ridiculous myths.” so be it.

  5. kennedy63 says:

    The patsy, of necessity, had to be a communist misfit, an asocial pariah incapable of “proper adjustment” in a democratic society and, therefore, a likely candidate to engage in the heinous crime of assassinating POTUS and murdering a DPD officer. Let the accused forever be infamous for his cowardice, villainy, and assault upon the collective conscience of a the American nation. This is high and false propaganda planted in the receptive minds of the unthinking and unaware masses.
    The clear and present danger with this contrived legend of Oswald, created and controlled by the CIA through the Warren Omission, is the subliminal assault upon TRUTH of Oswald’s real human character. Oswald was born into a family, attended schools, joined organizations, served his country in the military and as an informant; he worked, took a wife, fathered children, and was very organized. When looking at Oswald, we see his (and his mother’s) connection to organized crime; Oswald was connected to the LA-CAP, the military, and the FBI/CIA/ONI/STATE DEPT. Oswald was intensely scrutinized by FBI/CIA by his mail, his movements,
    and his associations. Up until his contact with the DRE in New Orleans, Oswald exhibited all the characteristics of a low level operative (evidenced by his job assignments and movements). In the summer of 1963, Oswald was manipulated into position and surrounded by people who ensured Oswald’s unwitting cooperation BECAUSE they knew Oswald’s psychological characteristics. If the CIA creates a psychological profile of POTUS, would they not also create one for his designated “assassin?” It would be useful to be able to refer to the “patsy’s” character defects, demonizing him in the process, to support propaganda characterizing Oswald as the disgruntled, rampaging murdering sociopath who killed JFK and Tippit. Dulles, Harvey, Phillips, Morales, Roselli, Pawley, Helms, Angleton, and Hoover, are still considered “pillars” and “patriots.” These traitors and their collective ilk, are deserving of complete and eternal censure. Remove them from any public acknowledgement or acclaim. They have brought shame and vilification upon our great nation, and obscured our truthful Cold War history.

    • Rick G. says:

      As a daily visitor to this site, a rare contributor, and a serious student of JFK’s murder since 1965 I want to highly commend you for your cogent and succinct analysis. Beautifully stated and written and true in every regard. Kudos!

  6. Neil says:

    I’m reading “Libra” currently. The narrative is fascinating and believable so far…

  7. M. McNamara says:

    Whoever he was or whatever he did, I feel sorry for Oswald. No father, a mother and a wife such as he had, never much money. Never any lasting success or respect. I think the only person who ever loved him was his little girl. Oswald did not have the time to grow into true maturity, if he was not so damaged as to be capable of it.

    • So, are you a psychologist Mr. McNamara?

      May I point out that we are discussing a “fictional biography of Oswald. Rather like the book ‘OSWALD’ GAME’ – which was published as fact, but surely belongs in the fiction section.
      \\][//

      • JohnR says:

        Mr. Whitten, are you Photon, now? M. Mcnamara is perfectly entitled to speculate on any subject, and state his opinions. I, too, sympathize with Oswald. I remember what is was like to be 24 years old, stumbling through life, trying to figure out which way was up. If my life had been snuffed out at such an early age, AND I had been accused of a horrible crime, only God knows what would have been written about me. Oswald, and his family, deserves the one thing he was denied: our objectivity.

        • JohnR,

          My “objectivity” tells me that Oswald wasn’t near the “damaged soul” that all of this propaganda ‘psychoanalyzing’ attempts to paint hims as. I see Oswald as an emotionally resilient young man who was able to overcome the angst of puberty and make a pretty good start at life for himself.

          Of course I think there is ample evidence that Oswald was a trained counter-espionage agent for the US, who was attempting to infiltrate the anti-Castro militants; and that it was his success in so doing that ended up marking him as the candidate for the patsy he became.

          Also, is M.McNamara a mister or a miss? Is that Mary with a new moniker?
          \\][//

          • JohnR says:

            Of course I don’t know, I wondered myself. Ultimately, I decided it didn’t matter. I say this with love, and gentle mirth, that while I appreciate your defense of Oswald, I don’t think I would apply to you the term “objective.” :.) I meant no offense, excepting perhaps the Photon jab.

      • Stephen Roy says:

        Contrary to internet spin by biased commentators, Davison’s book was an excellent attempt to analyze the assassination based on the information available at the time.

        • Stephen Roy,

          And where might your biases lie Mr Roy?

          Ms Davison has no expertise in psychological matters.

          Ask her yourself, she haunts this forum.
          \\][//

        • “Contrary to internet spin by biased commentators, Davison’s book was an excellent attempt to analyze the assassination based on the information available at the time.” — Stephen Roy

          Assuming you’re correct that Jean Davison worked with the ‘information available at the time” and not from a biased approach that followed the politics influenced by Ed Butler and Patrick Frawley of INCA and the American Security Council, your defence is somewhat understandable. However, we have had 5 plus decades to consider the conclusions of the Warren Commission, over 3 decades since Jean Davison’s book was published (on the 20th Anniversary) and 3 years on this well regarded JFK assassination investigation site for Jean Davison to revise, modify, or even acknowledge that scrutiny her own conclusions is warranted – in the face of consistent challenges – and yet she has never once intimated that she has any misgivings about her original work. Sign of good faith? Well, let’s see what that might sound like: something along the lines of “I didn’t know “that” [fill in the blanks] at the time I published “Oswald’s Game”; “I realize now that the Warren Commission failed to call key witnesses”; “I wonder now if it’s possible that Oswald may have been set up as the perfect patsy?” And yet there’s no hint, after 33 years, of misgivings or second guessing oneself. Would that not be normal in light of the challenges Jean Davison has encountered on this site alone, unless of course one is conforming to unseen forces.

          • Would that not be normal in light of the challenges Jean Davison has encountered on this site alone,

            You really don’t realize how lame the “challenges” have been, do you?

            You actually think that if you can show that somebody who had a peripheral connection to the assassination had an uncle that once worked with somebody else who was a fraternity brother thirty years before with somebody who was in the wedding of Richard Helms, you have shown evidence of conspiracy.

          • Tom S. says:

            Dr. McAdams,
            A flaw in your criticism is the fact that the exact “type” of research you described with
            obvious ridicule, resulted in a presentation proving Priscilla Johnson McMillan either lied
            in her HSCA interview transcript, or something much more troubling happened related to her
            father, Stuart’s sudden death. (see – http://archive.is/esTuB )
            HSCA transcript:

            http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95330&relPageId=41 (Near bottom of the page)
            G. What was the reason for the fourteen year delay….
            M. In my book?
            G. In the publication of your book?
            M. Well, I suppose it was thirteen if you want to be technical.
            G. Right
            http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=95330&relPageId=42

            M. …And my father died, and what was I supposed, I think it had to be a concealed suicide in ’69. Semi concealed one….

            At best, she kept on lying when asked the same question 35 years after her HSCA interview.
            I thought it was a felony crime to lie to a federal officer…..

            http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/11/the-only-person-who-knew-both-kennedy-and-his-killer/281712/
            John Meroney Nov 21, 2013
            ….
            You met Marina in 1964, but your book wasn’t published until 1977. What took so long?

            Well, it’s just the way I work. I guess I’m lazy. I was living in different places because I got married. I was very much into civil rights in Atlanta and the South. But mostly I just work slowly…

            Only she knows what that “six footer” actually said to her in a Moscow Hotel room, or what Marina
            actually said to her, or why her book was published fourteen years after John Liggett approved the
            book project..

            Dr. McAdams, will you concede you belittle and attempt to marginalize people who are more curious than you and not as
            accepting of a lot of BS you actually support as fact?

          • You really don’t realize how lame the “challenges” have been, do you?”~McAdams

            But McAdams doesn’t realize how lame his comeback to Ms Sharp’s comment is.

            For both Jean and McAdams to continue this delusional state of mind and argumentation that they have not been subjected to deep and substantive challenges is boldly contradicted by a review of the arguments that have taken place on this site.
            \\\][//

          • Peter Dale Scott & David Talbot in conversation

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QH9yOzhkio

            \\][//

          • For instance, Jean has been confronted with the question of why Sandra Stiles and Bardwell Odum among others were not called to testify before the Warren Commission. Unless I’m mistaken, her response continues to be, “I don’t now why”. That is a fair enough answer; but it begs the question, how can the Warren Commission conclusion be trusted when it failed in the most fundamental aspects of the investigation – that of calling all critical witnesses to testify?

          • Dr. McAdams, will you concede you belittle and attempt to marginalize people who are more curious than you and not as accepting of a lot of BS you actually support as fact?

            Interesting this should be in a thread where you buffs belittle and attempt to marginalize Jean Davison.

            You folks aren’t really “curious.” You just believe in a conspiracy and grab onto every straw in an attempt to eke out some case for conspiracy.

          • Tom S. says:

            Interesting this should be in a thread where you buffs belittle and attempt to marginalize Jean Davison.

            You folks aren’t really “curious.” You just believe in a conspiracy and grab onto every straw in an attempt to eke out some case for conspiracy.

            Dr. McAdams,

            Who are you describing? You quoted from my only comment in the thread. It included no mention of Jean. Don’t lump me in.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lump
            lump
            verb
            10.
            to unite into one aggregation, collection, or mass …

          • why Sandra Stiles and Bardwell Odum among others were not called to testify before the Warren Commission

            You have no objective case that they should have been called to testify.

            Your unfounded suspicions are not evidence.

            You puff them as potentially explosive witnesses because they were not called.

            Your “logic” is backward.

          • My logic is sound, you’re defence rationale is without merit. A witness who was among a handful of individuals in the closest proximity to an alleged assassin in the first 3 minutes should have been called, if for no other reason than the appearance of competence by the commission.

            It is Bardwell’s absence from the witness list that rings alarm bells as much as his heavy schedule and central role in key locations and critical facets of the investigation in the first 24 hours. He was a federal government agent who was among the first on the scene who could testify precisely how he located the shell casings on the 6th floor, who was present as the alleged assassin was handcuffed, who searched that suspect’s shared bedroom in Irving, who processed photographs sent from CIA MC and interviewed Marguerite Oswald, officially, so he should have been brought before the commission to share his insights into each stage of the investigation in the first 24 hours. The key question, John?, why wasn’t he called?

      • M. McNamara says:

        I am indeed credentialed, but that I don’t think one needs to be to feel sorry for Oswald. I perhaps should have made clear that I pity the real Oswald, not the one of the book, which I have not read.

  8. kennedy63 says:

    LASTING FICTION AS PROPAGANDA
    IS not most of what we know about Oswald, as JFK’s assassin, fiction; rather, fiction contrived from truth? It seems the victors (who killed JFK) have written and controlled the narrative pertaining to Oswald, since before he returned from Russia. Hoover knew this; and, he knew who was using Oswald’s ID in an attempt to sell jeeps to Cuba in the early 60’s (circa the Bay of Pigs). My question is this: with all the alphabet (FBI, CIA, ONI) scrutiny, how could loner Oswald [alone] evade detection regarding any actions detrimental to US interests? This is the Achilles’ heel of the “lone-assassin THEORY.” Indeed, as proven, the actual assassination was easily accomplished; it is the “patsy” and cover-up that unwinds the created myth of Oswald as JFK’s killer. Oswald had nothing to gain of relative or intrinsic value. He was duped by his handler(s). Notice how the anti-Castro DRE (funded by CIA) immediately went into propagandizing Oswald as a communist tied to Castro? Or, how the Warren Omission speculated how Oswald secreted the cheap rifle into the TSBD (despite Wesley Frazier testimony)? Even Oswald’s movements are fictionalized through unwarrented speculation. Multiple witnesses place Oswald on lower floors during the shooting. The Warren Report is unbridled obfuscation and fiction of the most lethal type, because it was/is sanctioned by the US Government, a vacuous entity no longer by, for, or of, the people; but, “the government” does know how to produces enduring historical fiction, like most of the whitewash taught in public schools. I might lastly add, we should not under-estimate rogue military officers (similar to the OAS) that were avowed enemies of JFK. What entity trumps all other agencies of the government in times of perceived national threat?

    • Paulf says:

      Yeah, there are a whole bunch of bright red flags (Oswald’s murder, that someone was impersonating him, his curious and unbelievable role as a Marine defector-turned Castro apologist, the botched investigation, etc.) that scream that something is amiss with the official story. But none more than his lack of motive.

      I watched a PBS show over the weekend about the assassination of President Garfield. His deranged killer was proud to have done the deed, he thought people would love him because Garfield was a bad president. He posed for photos and did interviews from his jail cell. Like JW Booth, who screamed his motive after he shot Lincoln.

      Those guys exhibited the logical reaction of political assassins. Not: “I’m a patsy,” especially when evidence that he was a patsy piles up over time.

  9. Scott Sullivan says:

    Re: Libra/JFK assassination-inspired fiction

    Richard Condon’s Winter Kills, while not quite in the same league as Libra, is an equally riveting and fascinating read.

    The Parallax View by Loren Singer
    The Domino Principle by Adam Kennedy
    Nobody Knew They Were There by Evan Hunter

    These are just a few other great JFK novels from the ’70s. The Times survey only scratched the surface.

  10. Ronnie Wayne says:

    The American mind huh? When some of us still read the Sunday Paper the Fiction list is always before the Non-Fiction list. The MSM is fiction oriented, it allows them conform to their corporate standards and gets higher ratings than the truth.

  11. Ed McGloin says:

    Why is a website named JFK facts devoting space to a book which the author labels as fiction? Why is it even being discussed?

  12. kennedy63 says:

    Fiction inspires further creativity; alas, witness the creativity and speculation in the Warren Omission Report. High propaganda with an avowed purpose of “CONvincing the American people that Oswald was the lone assassin; and, that he had no conspirators who are still at large. Hoover tells LBJ that the case against Oswald (at the time of the call to LBJ) was weak. FBI Director Hoover states the CIA tape and picture, from Mexico, is not Oswald. Dallas Police Chief Curry states that we [Investigators] could never put[read:prove] Oswald in that window pulling the trigger. Oswald himself declared “I’m a patsy.” Johnson NEVER believed the Warren Report; neither did Robert Kennedy. At least 2 members of the Warren Ommission doubted the findings of the report. Several Warren Omission staff and investigators also cast grave doubts on the methods used to collect, verify, and present evidence. The Commission’s mandate was to look into the facts surrounding the assassination of JFK. Instead, the Commission set about supporting the Hoover Report, which posited that Oswald, firing three shots from the 6th floor window of the TSBD shot JFK and wounded Gov. Connelly. The august body of establishment insiders followed their scripted mandate and publicly returned a united consensus on Oswald’s guilt. Libra pales in comparison to the fiction of the Warren Omission.

  13. kennedy63 says:

    Since “Libra” is a fictionalized accounting of JFK’s murder, can any of the propagandist (you absolutely know who you are) posting on this site specify, what other government entity, other than CIA, was repeatedly engaged in removing (assassinating/overthrowing) foreign heads of state? What other covert entity, besides CIA during 1963, was actively conspiring with MAFIA members to kill Castro? What covert entity was directed to stop funding for sponsored anti-Castro groups. When the CIA’s funding stopped, it was the perfect opportunity for the Mob to sponsor – thus control – radical anti-Castro groups. The CIA was notorious for taking on “special interest” cases (such as United Fruit and BIG Oil companies), to protect those companies’ foreign interests. To assassinate a head of state did not require a vast conspiracy, just an efficient cadre of compliant, but disciplined “soldiers” following orders from their superiors or leaders, as the case may be. Roselli spoke fiction from truth alluding that a “hit team” sent to Cuba to kill Castro (truth) was ‘turned around’ and sent back (fiction) to America to kill JFK. Possibly, if anything, when JFK stopped funding for the exiles, the MAFIA – even Texas oilmen – had the perfect opportunity to hire rogue elements from the anti-Castro ranks and direct them to assassinate JFK. When you study the “Odio incident”, all the subterranean mystery is fused (in the soliciting visitor’s conversation) and the JFK assassination plot is crystallized. TRUTH merged with FICTION.

    • kennedy63,

      Included in the Jim Garrison “Reissman” memo is a notation that Dr. Augustine Guitart living at 3694 Louisiana Ave. Parkway, New Orleans was the uncle of Sylvia Odio whose testimony for some is a key moment in the history of the assassination. Uncle Guitart’s address was just over 1,000 ft. from 3303 Louisiana Ave. Parkway, the address of David Ferrie. This can be written off as pure coincidence. . . . until one studies Sylvia Odio’s Dallas address, 1024 Magellan Circle.

      In the fall of 1963, living in the same complex with Odio at 1084 Magellan Circle were family members of the former Hungarian political leader, Ferenc Nagy, the president of Permindex whose board included Clay Shaw who is alleged to have fraternized with David Ferrie who lived a quarter of a mile from Sylvia’s uncle, Dr. Guitart.

      It’s curious how Sylvia Odio ended up on Magellan Circle within feet of the Nagy’s, equally curious what the Nagy family was doing to support the lifestyle, but most alarming is that key witness Odio, testifying about “Leon Oswald” was living in close proximity to a Permindex/Nagy related family while her uncle Dr. Guitart lived a quarter of a mile from David Ferrie who fraternized with Clay Shaw, a Nagy/Permindex board member, both of whom, according to one version of Russo’s testimony, had partied with “Leon Oswald“.

      The address coincidences matter most because these characters in one way or another are named in the research of possible gun running throughout this time period involving Nagy, Ferrie and “Leon Oswald”. (Note: HL Hunt is named in some research as having supported Ferenc Nagy’s efforts. His Mount Vernon estate is also in White Rock Lake area of Dallas albeit on the opposite/up scale side of the lake from the Nagys and Odio.)

  14. Am going to see him in Paris tomorrow evening at a reading. Anything you want me to ask?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In seeking to expand the range of informed debate about the events of 1963 and its aftermath, JFKFacts.org welcomes comments that are factual, engaging, and civil. more