The assassination of President John F. Kennedy has generated countless books, virtually all of them heavily biased for or against the “lone assassination” conclusion of the Warren Commission. Now, in the first scholarly treatment of the assassination, Michael Kurtz brings all the skills and objectivity of the professional historian to bear on the key question: “Who killed President Kennedy?”
This book recounts the tragic events of November 22, 1963, and provides a detailed critical analysis of the investigations of the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Professor Kurtz outlines the major areas of controversy about the assassination and sifts all the known evidence before concluding that both official inquiries failed to evaluate the considerable evidence of an assassination conspiracy. Operating on the a priori assumption that Lee Harvey Oswald was guilty, the Commission and the Committee both ignored and distorted the overwhelming evidence that more than one assassin fired shots at the president. Professor Kurtz also shows why the most prevalent conspiracy theories fail to fit the facts and concludes by offering a new and more plausible theory of how the assassination occurred.
Thoroughly documented and based on the most exhaustive research carried out to date on John Kennedy’s murder, Crime of the Century draws on a variety of primary source materials from the National Archives and the FBI’s and CIA’s declassified assassination files. It utilizes the latest source materials released by the House Select Committee’s investigation. The depth of research, the rigorously objective sifting of evidence, and the incisive critique of official investigative bias make this a book of importance not only to students of the Kennedy assassination in particular, but also to scholars of government response to political violence in general.
Michael L. Kurtz is professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana. He is co-author of LOUISIANA: A HISTORY and was associate editor for READINGS IN LOUISIANA HISTORY.