Uncovering the Bizarre Story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his Mother
by Deanne Stillman
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Pub Date 14 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 9 Jan 2024
Melville House Publishing, Melville House
"Deanne Stillman's American Confidential takes the familiar and makes it new - makes it thrilling. You won't believe this story; it resonates with deep American echoes." - Darin Strauss, author of Chang & Eng
On the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination, a critically acclaimed writer presents an astonishing new account of one of the 20th century's most notorious assassins, Lee Harvey Oswald—and the mother who raised him . . .
Was Lee Harvey Oswald—as he himself claimed—a patsy? A hired gunman? In this startling account, Deanne Stillman suggests that there was indeed a conspiracy behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy—that of Oswald and his mother, Marguerite, who were locked in a desperate pursuit of fame and recognition. It was a struggle that would erupt on November 22, 1963, with Kennedy’s murder—after which the assassin joined the roster of infamous immortals, while his mother spent the rest of her life seeking the media limelight.
American Confidential is a mother-son noir tale that plays out across the Wild West of mid-twentieth century America, delving into Oswald’s nomadic boyhood, and the world of his restless and disillusioned mother, who passed along a legacy of class resentment and a clamorous need to matter.
In this new and surprising investigation into the short, troubled life of the ordinary man who would take down an American king, Deanne Stillman also presents a fascinating portrait of Oswald as a predecessor of the many violent young men and boys of America today, who take selfies with their rifles, and have come to define a new era of brutality.
Following in the tradition of Joan Didion and Charles Bowden, and continuing her celebrated exploration of America’s shadowlands, Stillman recounts a haunting tale of the promise and failure of the American dream. It held Oswald in its grip until the very end. “Some day,” he once told his wife, “I’d like to have a son. Maybe he’ll grow up to be president.”
"Deanne Stillman's American Confidential takes the familiar and makes it new - makes it thrilling. You won't believe this story; it resonates with deep American echoes." - Darin Straus, author of Chang & Eng
"It takes a master writer to wring out any sympathy from JFK's killer, yet Deanne Stillman has done this without losing sight of the monster before us.” Gustavo Arellano, columnist, Los Angeles Times
"Some books inform, some entertain, and some, like Deanne Stillman’s American Confidential, leave you, mind blown, with a whole new perspective on a world, and a history, you thought you knew - and will never see the same way again. To the pantheon of bent sons with twisted mothers, let us now add Lee Harvey and Marguerite Oswald. American Confidential is nothing less than a masterfully rendered re-telling of a story that defines us all. It’s a brilliant, riveting read." - Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight and Nein, Nein, Nein!
"Was Lee Harvey Oswald a crazed right wing gunsel or just a momma's boy gone wrong? Deanne Stillman gets into one of the darkest corners of America's past not by spinning conspiracies but by digging into the family that produced the man who killed a president. A must read, even for those who thought they knew it all about the assassination of JFK." - Lucian K. Truscott IV, author of New York Times bestseller Dress Gray
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