|Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library||1||973.922 WIL||New NonFiction Book|
|Elmira - Steele Memorial Library||1||973.922 WIL||1:NEW-BKNF2|
|Watkins Glen Public Library||1||973.922 WIL||Adult NonFiction Book|
On 22 November 1963, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The events of that day have been the subject of debate for five decades. The Warren Commission published its findings the following year - Oswald acted alone - but the report did little to quell conspiracy theorists. Warren assured that 'history will prove us right.' In this eye-opening account Howard P. Willens, one of the few surviving members of the Commission, sets out to prove just that. Drawn from rarely seen notes and journals, History Will Prove Us Right tells the complete story of the investigation.
Howard P. Willens is the only living member of the three-person supervisory staff of the Warren Commission. After the commission's report was published, he left the Department of Justice and in 1965 served as the Executive Director of the President's commission on Crime in the District of Columbia. In 1967, he returned to private law and has continued to practice and write in Washington, DC ever since.
In the days and weeks following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson, troubled by conflicting reports coming out of the investigations being conducted by the FBI and by the Dallas police, appointed a commission to review all of the evidence. The commission, as everyone knows, concluded that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone. There have since been countless books and articles claiming the Warren Commission was wrong (for various reasons), but Willens, the only surviving member of the commission's three-person supervisory staff, pays little attention to them here. He isn't even interested in defending the commission's conclusion; instead, he sets out to show how the commission arrived at its findings. This fascinating book takes us through the commission's lengthy investigation, detailing how the group assembled the evidence, examined various theories of the crime, and slowly whittled away the speculation to arrive at what they believed to be the truth. Many will still disagree with the Warren Commission's conclusion, but this book serves a valuable function by laying out how it did its work.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publisher's Weekly Review
As a member of the Warren Commission's supervisory staff, Willens had intimate knowledge of the commission's work investigating the assassination of J.F.K. Here, he revisits the topic, from L.B.J.'s creation of the commission through the many twists and turns the investigation encountered, as well as the tumultuous reception the commission's report received upon its release. Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed (Willens believes Oswald acted alone), but his descriptions of behind-the-scenes machinations are both illuminating and disheartening as he recounts the many roadblocks that hampered the case. Of note are former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's continuous obfuscations (up to and including the bureau's contact with Oswald prior to 1963), the evolution of the single-bullet theory, and Oswald's attempt to kill a well-known Dallas politician in April of 1963-which eerily mirrored his assassination of President Kennedy. Willens covers all his bases, including Oswald's work as an FBI informant, his time spent in Cuba, and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the commission report. Readers with only a passing knowledge of the Warren Commission or its report will get the most out of the book; those more familiar with the subject who are hoping for new threads to pursue will likely end up frustrated. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Fifty years on, our efforts to come to grips with Kennedy's murder continue. Often at the center of the conversation-or shouting match-is the 1964 report of the commission, appointed by President Johnson and chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination. The commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin and that there was no credible evidence pointing to any conspiracy. The report was received with criticism, skepticism, and, in some quarters, outright dismissal. There had to be a conspiracy, some critics contended: a loner like Oswald could not have brought down the leader of the free world. Willens, then an attorney in the criminal division of the justice department, and now the only surviving member of the commission's supervisory staff, contends that the commission got it right. His book, based on a personal journal he kept during his work then and on correspondence files he maintained, focuses in minute detail on how the commission was formed, went about its work, sought the truth, and came to its conclusions. Willens takes readers step by step through the investigation. While he does not assert the work of the Warren Commission as infallible, he does argue assiduously that had a conspiracy existed, the commission would have found it and that proof of such a conspiracy would have surfaced by now. VERDICT This work likely will not change the mind of any hard-core conspiracy believer; however, Willens's account deserves close and careful scrutiny by anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination.-Stephen Kent Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Coll., Nampa, ID (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.