Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Book: JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters" by James W. Douglass


An astonishing new examination of the Kennedy assassination and its meaning today for the struggle for peace. James Douglass lays out the journey that led JFK in the course of three years from his position as a traditional Cold Warrior to his determination to break with the logic of the Cold War and lead the world in an entirely different direction. This sequence of steps led his adversaries in the military and intelligence establishment to view him as a virtual traitor who had to be eliminated. Douglass’s book has all the elements of a political thriller. But the stakes couldn’t be higher. Only by understanding the truth behind the murder of JFK can we grasp his vision and assume the urgent struggle for peace today.
Advance Praise for "JFK and the Unspeakable" :
"JFK and the Unspeakable is an exceptional achievement. Douglass has made the strongest case so far in the JFK assassination literature as to the Who and the Why of Dallas. The conjunction of unrestrained elements in cold war America—defense industry elites, Pentagon planners, and the heads of the intelligence community—were the forces that led inexorably to Dallas and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”--Gerald McKnight, author, Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why

“With penetrating insight and unswerving integrity, Douglass probes the fundamental truths about JFK’s assassination. If, he contends, humanity permits those truths to slip into history ignored and undefined it does so at its own peril. By far the most important book yet written on the subject.” --Gaeton Fonzi, former Staff Investigator, US House Select Committee on Assassinations




“Douglass presents, brilliantly, an unfamiliar yet thoroughly convincing account of a series of creditable decisions of John F. Kennedy—at odds with his initial Cold War stance—that earned him the secret distrust and hatred of hard-liners among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA. Did this suspicion and rage lead directly to his murder by agents of these institutions, as Douglass concludes? Many readers who are not yet convinced of this ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by Douglass’s prosecutorial indictment will find themselves, perhaps—like myself—for the first time, compelled to call for an authoritative criminal investigation. Recent events give all the more urgency to learning what such an inquiry can teach us about how, by whom, and in whose interests this country is run.” --Daniel Ellsberg, author, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers




“For forty years Jim Douglass has been our leading North American Catholic theologian of peace. But this monumental work on the witness of JFK is something deeper still. Douglass is trying to get us to connect the dots between our ‘citizen denial,’ the government’s ‘plausible deniability,’ and the Unspeakable. This book has the potential to change our narrative about our country, and our lives as citizens and disciples. May we have ears to hear these truths, hearts able to bear their burden, and hands willing to build a new story.”


—Ched Myers, author, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus


A remarkable achievement, outstanding even in an overcrowded field. It is profoundly conceived, researched, considered, argued, and written. Douglass shows persuasively how Kennedy’s innovative steps in foreign policy produced dangerous opposition within his own national security establishment. Not all will agree with his detailed speculation as to what happened in Dallas. But Douglass’s large picture of America’s political agony is, I believe, incontrovertible and certain to last.”--Peter Dale Scott, author Deep Politics and the Death of JFK




“This book’s story of JFK and the ‘unspeakable’ is a stunning mix of political thriller and meticulous scholarship. Even as it points persuasively to rogue powers at work in the U.S. military-industrial complex, it also witnesses to the power of spirit, inspiring prophetic voices like Thomas Merton’s, turning a president like John Kennedy toward peace, thus also enabling readers to see into the current deep structure of U.S. war and empire. Douglass’s book offers a goldmine of information and is indispensable for building prophetic spirit and hope.”—Mark Lewis Taylor, Princeton Theological Seminary




“A remarkable book: devastating in its documented indictment of the dark forces that have long deformed the public life of this country, while also illuminating JFK’s final vision of world peace and documenting beyond reasonable doubt the unspeakable assassination of our last partially admirable president. This book should be required reading for every American citizen.”—Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University




James W. Douglass is a longtime peace activist and writer.He and his wife Shelley are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include The Nonviolent Cross, The Nonviolent Coming of God, and Resistance and Contemplation.


T.




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