April 11, 2015

Review | Case Closed by Gerald Posner

Title: Case Closed
Author: Gerald Posner {website}
Publication Date: September 2003
Publisher: Anchor
Source & Format: Borrowed; hardcover
Links: GoodReads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, continues to inspire interest ranging from well-meaning speculation to bizarre conspiracy theories and controversial filmmaking. But in this landmark book, reissued with a new afterword for the 40th anniversary of the assassination, Gerald Posner examines all of the available evidence and reaches the only possible conclusion: Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. There was no second gunman on the grassy knoll. The CIA was not involved. And although more than four million pages of documents have been released since Posner first made his case, they have served only to corroborate his findings. Case Closed remains the classic account against which all books about JFK’s death must be measured. 




Normally, I don’t check others’ reviews before I write my own, but today, I was intrigued. The variance of reviews was astonishing. JFK’s assassination is such a crucial part of America that everyone (literally…everyone) has an opinion on this fateful day in history. (Oh, before we begin – reading those reviews did not influence my own.)





Posner’s narration created a smooth flow of images, streaming different opinions and perspectives of the Kennedy assassination into a fascinating book. I liked the addition of the footnotes, adding different tidbits of information and occasional perspectives. There were times, however, that Posner’s personal opinions overcame the narration, especially as the book drew to a close. Granted, it’s his book and he can say whatever he wants in it, but I much preferred the recitation of events and fascinating, little-known observations on the characters in play. 




The event’s major characters were all portrayed with a great bit of detail: all except JFK, Jackie, and their side of the story. I expected some of the story to focus on Jackie after the assassination and the funeral, so Posner’s skip from LBJ’s rushed swearing-in ceremony to the medical examiners’ findings were a bit harsh (Note: this section is hard to read, especially for squeamish people like me). The focus on the two killers, Oswald and Ruby, fascinated me. 






Oddly, I had never given Oswald a lot of thought: JFK rules the narration more often then not. It was Posner’s focus on Oswald that kept me reading, tracing back from his childhood to track personality traits and characteristics. Whether or not you agree that Oswald was the killer, Posner’s depiction of his life is enough to fascinate any. 






Again,  regardless if you agree with Posner or not, the amount of detail in his research is so engaging. I loved the detailed footnotes, the cultural tidbits from Russia and Oswald’s life in the South with Marina…there was so much in this (admittedly huge) book that caught my interest. This will be a great read for any history buff!


Posted April 11, 2015 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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