A Cruel and Shocking Act

  • by Philip Shenon
  • Narrated by Robert Petkoff, Philip Shenon (prologue)
  • 23 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking, explosive account of the Kennedy assassination that will rewrite the history of the 20th century's most controversial murder investigation. The questions have haunted our nation for half a century: Was the President killed by a single gunman? Was Lee Harvey Oswald part of a conspiracy? Did the Warren Commission discover the whole truth of what happened on November 22, 1963?
Philip Shenon, a veteran investigative journalist who spent most of his career at The New York Times, finally provides many of the answers. Though A Cruel and Shocking Act began as Shenon's attempt to write the first insider's history of the Warren Commission, it quickly became something much larger and more important when he discovered startling information that was withheld from the Warren Commission by the CIA, FBI, and others in power in Washington. Shenon shows how the commission's 10-month investigation was doomed to fail because the man leading it - Chief Justice Earl Warren - was more committed to protecting the Kennedy family than getting to the full truth about what happened on that tragic day.
A taut, narrative, Shenon's audiobook features some of the most compelling figures of the 20th century: Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, Chief Justice Warren, CIA spymasters Allen Dulles and Richard Helms, as well as the CIA's treacherous "molehunter", James Jesus Angleton.
Based on hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to the surviving commission staffers and many other key players, Philip Shenon's authoritative, scrupulously researched book will forever change the way we think about the Kennedy assassination and about the deeply flawed investigation that followed.
Includes a prologue read by the author.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mainline Propaganda to Dispel Alternate Views

This book is a revisionist history of the Warren Commission, it's foibles, and the author's propping up of the tired "Oswald acted alone" line of JFK assassination books. While it offers day-to-day insight into the workings of the WC, it accepts all the official positions and challenges nothing.
Sure, there are plenty of "limited hangouts": Chief Justice Earl Warren gets a flawed but loving overview. Hoover's FBI is blamed (rightly) for much. The CIA gets a naughty finger wag, with full immunity for Allen Dulles (read "The Devil's Chessboard") and Lyndon Johnson (read LBJ The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination).
The research is good if you like Posner or Bugliosi, but for most people, still to this day, something is awry with what happened in 1963. This book offers sympathy to the commission men who, nonetheless, obscured valuable evidence and ignore critical information.
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- Jason K. Woodburn

I did a 180!

Would you listen to A Cruel and Shocking Act again? Why?

Yes, there are so many details and historically accurate facts to be heard, reheard, and written down... This is the kind of book you takes notes about. This is a SERIOUS history, not a silly conspiracy book.


What other book might you compare A Cruel and Shocking Act to and why?

Hear No Evil: Social Constructivism and the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination


What does Robert Petkoff and Philip Shenon (prologue) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They bring to us the story of WHY the book was written...


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No... I needed time to take a breath, take some notes, and rethink a lot of things that I had previously believed it...


Any additional comments?

This is NOT a typical book...

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- Jeremy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-29-2013
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio