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Publisher's Summary

As the world still reeled from the tragic and historic events of November 22, 1963, William Manchester set out, at the request of the Kennedy family, to create a detailed, authoritative record of President John F. Kennedy's death, including the days immediately preceding and following the assassination. Through hundreds of interviews, extensive travel, and first hand observation, and with unique access to the proceedings of the Warren Commission, Manchester conducted an exhaustive historical investigation, accumulating 45 volumes of documents, exhibits, and transcribed tapes. His ultimate objective - to set down as a whole the national and personal tragedy that was JFK's assassination - is brilliantly achieved in this galvanizing narrative, a book universally acclaimed as a landmark work of modern history.

©2013 William Manchester (P)2013 Blackstone Audio

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  • Jeff
  • Pickering, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-06-13

IMPORTANT HISTORIC BOOK

What you must know from the start is the historic nature of this book. When jfk was killed -Jackie and the Kennedy clan hand picked William Manchester to write the full official account of the assassination from their end for posterity. Manchester was picked for 2 reasons-firstly he was a friend of jfk and secondly he was a very respected writer/ historian.

This is a remarkable account of EVERYTHING that was thought, done and said in the timeframe of the assassination and funeral. It would be hard to imagine a fuller accounting of that week. Every detail pulled me in tighter and tighter till I felt entirely part of the scene. I couldn't put it down! Though I was so wound -up and upset that I had to listen to something else in bed so I could sleep. I feel so emotionally drained by the experience that I too feel like I am in mourning for this president, despite the fact that I'm Canadian and was just 2yrs old when all this happened. Why am I so affected by something so removed and distant? Why were people around the world so intensely effected? It reminded me of when princess DI died, there was the same world-wide eruption of grief out of all proportion. I've meditated on this question- it seems important to learn why this is so. Was it their relative youth,their class, charisma? Those things are factors
but I think that We hang our dreams consciously or unconsciously on those that embody those rare characteristics of goodness and kindness. Those rare "heroes" of good give us hope for good in a relentlessly dark world. That's my conclusion there's one thing that this book makes all too clear and that is that Jackie was as astounding as the president in this regard-this book makes that all too clear

This is an important book that lays bare not just the tragedy but also the triumph of Jackie whose stoic example remains a testament for the ages. A BOOK NOT TO BE MISSED.

A note on the narration- I thought it was perfect.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • PAUL
  • show low, az...usa
  • 01-08-14

History reading

Originally read the book...this time it was nice to have it read to me.....great listening and Manchester does it right.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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bookgirl

One of the top 10 books I have read. Superb writing, research, commentary and narration. I was in second grade when Kennedy was murdered so I grew up with many perceptions of the event and the man. I do believe the author puts the multiple shooter theory to rest. I also came away with a different view of Jackie Kennedy. At least during the tragedy she shed her rather little girl fashion icon girlfriend tolerating image. One does have to remember she had the monetary wherewithal and support staff to function in a way no one else might have been able to do. The author provides a most interesting commentary on the legend that
became John F. Kennedy as compared to the man. THIS BOOK RECEIVES MY HIGHEST REGARD. I am now moving on to more books by the author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Its like stepping through a portal into 1960s USA

If you could sum up The Death of a President in three words, what would they be?

The definitive account of the JFK assassination.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Death of a President?

When Dean Rusk is notified of the murder, the other folks on the plane interpret his reaction as indicating a nuclear war has started.

Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I havent heard him, but he was excellent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me both laugh and cry.

Any additional comments?

Its a bit of a hagiography. I think Gore Vidal called it a historical novel. But Manchester nearly worked himself to death writing and researching it. It was a great listen.

Btw, I really liked the narrator - his take on Johnson, the Dallas police chief, the Kennedy staff, Jackie, Secret Service agents.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Highly Recommended Book for Lover of President History & President JFK

I have read many accounts of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This is by far the most detailed and clearest account of his unfortunate assassination; America is/ was never the same. The author conveyed the optimist feeling and the mood of President Kennedy and America prior to his trip to Dallas and his assassinations. Further the author through his account, research relives vividly moments-by-moments the emotions, the temperament of everyone who was involved and apart of the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassinations. If you are a historians, presidential historians and President Kennedy this book is highly recommended for you to read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Simply the best book ever written about the days leading up to, during, and after the Kennedy assassination.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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WELL-DONE

Excellent, detailed events of the terrible events in our Nation's history of 22-25 November 1963. Great narration, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • TR
  • 07-06-17

The Death of a President

This was a very informative book about the death of JFK i must give it a (A+)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book, BUT...

I'm a huge Kennedy buff, and devour any of the books I can. This was one of the harder ones to stomach for 33 hours... The narrator was awful!! Whenever he was quoting someone, he would try to read it in what he assumed their voice sounded like, and it was absurd (and at times, flat-out creepy). His Caroline voice was particularly disturbing. Wow.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great book. Off-putting "folksy" narration

I'm very glad Audible has provided this book in an unabridged audio version. It's a fantastic book. An engrossing, well written, comprehensive look at JFK's death. Reading the book is painful, as Mr. Manchester's writing pulls you right into the events of November, 1963. Listening to the book is a bit painful as well, but for a vastly different reason. The accents Mr. Barrett uses in the book range from strange to annoying to just plain odd. They add up to off-putting. This is a long book. It is worth listening to, but would be so much better served by a narrator that gave the book proper respect in his tone and read it with a more respectful tone, not the folksy narration of someone weaving an old yarn by the fireside.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful