JFK and the Unspeakable
By: James W. Douglass
"In JFK and the Unspeakable Jim Douglass has distilled all the best available research into a very well-documented and convincing portrait of President Kennedy's transforming turn to peace, at the cost of his life. Personally, it has made a very big impact on me. After reading it in Dallas, I was moved for the first time to visit Dealey Plaza. I urge all Americans to read this book and come to their own conclusions about why he died and why--after fifty years--it still matters.”—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
"In these trying and depressing times, it's hard to hold onto a glimmer of hope that things can change for the better in our country. I'd like to say JFK and the Unspeakable acts as a beacon for what is possible . . . except perhaps it does act as a beacon of warning about where we are headed and at what speed."—Elizabeth George, author, A Great Deliverance
"With penetrating insight and unswerving integrity, Douglass proves the fundamental truths about JFK's assassination . . . by far the most important book yet written on the subject." —Gaeton Fonzi, former Staff Investigator, US House Select Committee on Assassinations
"A stunning mix of political thriller and meticulous scholarship."—Mark Lewis Taylor, Princeton Theological Seminary
"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."—Daniel Ellsberg, author, Secrets: A Memoir of the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers
"Douglass writes with moral force, clarity, and the careful attention to detail that will make JFK and the Unspeakable a sourcebook for many years to come, for it provides us with the stubborn facts needed to rebuild a constitutional democracy within the United States."—Marcus Raskin, co-founder, Institute for Policy Studies
"Should be required reading for every American citizen."—Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University
“Right now, I ask all of you—please, please, read JFK and the Unspeakable! I cried all night reading it, and didn’t sleep a wink. It is a book that could make us stand up and change the world, right now. Maybe we can save the world before it blows up. Really.”—Yoko Ono
In this fascinating and disturbing work, James Douglass presents a compelling account of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and why unmasking and accepting this truth remains crucial for the future of our country and the world. The title comes from a phrase of Thomas Merton, naming of the attitudes, forces and interests that generate and support international tension and conflict.
Drawing on a vast field of investigations, including many sources available only recently, Doulass lays out a sequence of steps over the last three years of his life that transformed JFK from a traditional "Cold Warrior" to someone determined to pull the world back from the edge of nuclear apocalypse. Beginning with the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion (which left the President wishing to "splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces"), followed by the Cuban Missile Crisis and his secret back-channel dialogues with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, JFK pursued a series of actions--right up to the week of his death--that caused members of his own U.S. military-intelligence establishment to regard him as a virtual traitor who had to be eliminated.
As the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination approaches, the story of why he was killed--his turn toward peace--is not ancient history, and bears crucial lessons for today in the light of a decade of war and continuing revelations of clandestine national security and military activities. Douglass shows convincingly how those who plotted the death of JFK were determined not simply to eliminate a single man but to kill a vision.
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.
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 Marys House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include The Nonviolent Cross, The Nonviolent Coming of God, Resistance and Contemplation, and most recently Gandhi and the Unspeakable.