JFK and the Unspeakable

Why He Died and Why It Matters

JFK and the Unspeakable

The acclaimed book Oliver Stone called “the best account I have read of this tragedy and its significance,” JFK and the Unspeakable details not just how the conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy was carried out, but WHY it was done…and why it still matters today.

At the height of the Cold War, JFK risked committing the greatest crime in human history: starting a nuclear war. Horrified by the specter of nuclear annihilation, Kennedy gradually turned away from his long-held Cold Warrior beliefs and toward a policy of lasting peace. But to the military and intelligence agencies in the United States, who were committed to winning the Cold War at any cost, Kennedy’s change of heart was a direct threat to their power and influence. Once these dark “Unspeakable” forces recognized that Kennedy’s interests were in direct opposition to their own, they tagged him as a dangerous traitor, plotted his assassination, and orchestrated the subsequent cover-up.

Douglass takes readers into the Oval Office during the tense days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, along on the strange journey of Lee Harvey Oswald and his shadowy handlers, and to the winding road in Dallas where an ambush awaited the President’s motorcade. As Douglass convincingly documents, at every step along the way these forces of the Unspeakable were present, moving people like pawns on a chessboard to promote a dangerous and deadly agenda.

JFK and the Unspeakable shot up to the top of the bestseller charts when Oliver Stone first brought it to the world’s attention on Bill Maher’s show. Since then, it has been lauded by Mark Lane (author of Rush to Judgment, who calls it “an exciting work with the drama of a first-rate thriller”), John Perkins (author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, who proclaims it is “arguably the most important book yet written about an American president), and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who calls it “a very well-documented and convincing portrait…I urge all Americans to read this book and come to their own conclusions.”
  • Touchstone | 
  • 560 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439193884 | 
  • October 2010
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for JFK and the Unspeakable includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author James W. Douglass. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Since John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, myriad authors have written works attempting to uncover the reasons behind the loss that changed the American landscape.

With meticulous research, compelling arguments, and an expert sense of narrative, James W. Douglass boldly supplies fully formed answers to the “why” of JFK’s death. JFK and the Unspeakable offers a fresh perspective on one of America’s greatest leaders, as well as insight into the political events that have shaped the America we currently inhabit. By the book’s conclusion, we not only believe Douglass’s depiction of the unspeakable forces that led to Kennedy’s assassination; we yearn for the chance to advocate the vision of peace for which he gave his life.


1. In the book’s introduction, Douglass asserts that because John F. Kennedy was turning toward peace he was in deadly conflict with what Thomas Mer see more

Articles About This Book

Off the shelf vertical blog post

Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Michelle Howry

The 2009 book JFK AND THE UNSPEAKABLE has become a classic among Kennedy fans, presidential historians, peace activists, and conspiracy buffs (an unlikely coalition of readers, to be sure!). In it, author Jim Douglass outlines, with meticulous...

About the Author

James W. Douglass
Photograph by Robert Schneider