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American Confidential: Uncovering the Bizarre Story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his Mother

American Confidential: Uncovering the Bizarre Story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his Mother

Previous price: $29.99 Current price: $28.99
Publication Date: November 14th, 2023
Publisher:
Melville House
ISBN:
9781685890681
Pages:
256
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Description

"In dazzling, evocative prose, Stillman effectively employs the tools of cultural criticism to shed light on the forces that might have left Marguerite dangerously disillusioned with the American dream." - Jonathan Darman, Air Mail

"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.”

About the Author

Deanne Stillman is a widely published, acclaimed writer. Her books of literary nonfiction include Blood Brothers (which received a starred review in Kirkus, was excerpted in Newsweek, and won the Ohioana Book Award); Desert Reckoning (winner of the Spur, LA Press Club, and Southwest Book of the Year Awards, an amazon editors pick, based on a Rolling Stone piece, recipient of raves in Newsweek and Kirkus); Mustang (an LA Times "best book of the year," silver medalist for the California Book Award, starred review in Publishers Weekly, in audio with Frances Fisher, Anjelica Huston, John Densmore, James Morrison), and Twentynine Palms (an LA Times "best book of the year" which Hunter Thompson called "A strange and brilliant story by an important American writer").

Her essays have appeared in the LA Review of Books, NY Times, Tin House, and LA Times, and they have been cited as "Notable" in three editions of Best American Essays. Her plays have won prizes and been produced around the country and she was a founding nonfiction professor in the UC Riverside Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing Program where she taught for thirteen years.

Praise for American Confidential: Uncovering the Bizarre Story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his Mother

"In dazzling, evocative prose, Stillman effectively employs the tools of cultural criticism to shed light on the forces that might have left Marguerite dangerously disillusioned with the American dream." - Jonathan Darman, Air Mail

"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

“By now, an entire library is necessary to house all the books concerning John F. Kennedy’s death. American Confidential should be on the top shelf among the most well-reasoned. With a novelist’s sense for narrative and character, author Deanne Stillman composed a non-fiction account of the Oswald family and Lee Harvey’s place in it.“ -- David Luhrssen, The Milwaukee Shepherd Express

"This fascinating book is a must-read, and deserves its spot on any shelf in this genre.” -- The Bookworm Sez

"...from a unique perspective — ideal for those who just can’t get enough of Kennedy-Oswald noir.” - The Washington Independent Review of Books

"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

"Like a chest filled with treasure, AMERICAN CONFIDENTIAL brims with jewels both dark and brilliant.  The chest is our republic's continuing fascination with the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  The jewels are Deanne Stillman's revelations and interpretations of the powerful love-hate between assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and his manipulative mother, Marguerite.  The stunning comparisons - and implied contrasts - that AMERICAN CONFIDENTIAL draws between Oswald and our contemporary mass shooters are incisive and chilling.  Both necessary and entertaining, this is a must read for anyone with an interest in the modern mythology and history of the United States.” — T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of California Girl

“A heady combination of deep research and plausible speculation, Stillman's book shines a fascinating light into some of the dark corners of the Lee Harvey Oswald story.  Highly recommended for the way it answers some questions and poses others.” — Karen Joy Fowler, author, Booth

"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

"In American Confidential, Deanne Stillman takes a deep dive into the geographical, cultural, historical, and — most important — family influences on the development of Lee Harvey Oswald. I've read a great deal of the literature about the tragic events in Dallas on November 22, 1963, yet I learned much from Stillman's first-rate book, especially about Oswald's troubled and troubling mother, Marguerite. This book adds to our understanding of the Kennedy assassination." — W.K. Stratton, author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film

"A born writer who presents a balanced insight into an enigmatic American mystery. No matter your theory on culpability, it's a worthy read." — Tony Gilkyson, X, Dave Alvin, and Lone Justice

"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!