History and Historiography

The Secrets of the JFK Assassination Archive

It used to be fairly respectable to believe that John F. Kennedy was killed as the result of a conspiracy. Both the polymathic genius Bertrand Russell and the philosopher Richard Popkin, who wrote a history of skepticism, thought the Warren Commission was wrong when they concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, as did, eventually, several members of the commission itself. A special congressional investigation into the matter concluded that Kennedy “was probably assassinated” — yes — “as a result of a conspiracy.” But over the years, something changed. A taboo descended on the discussion, such that Christopher Lasch, the author of The Culture of Narcissism, would write that “the most remarkable feature of the assassination is not the abundance of conspiracy theories, but the rejection of a conspiracy theory by the ‘best and brightest.’” I am neither the best nor the brightest, but I too concluded long ago that there was nothing all that complicated about the JFK assassination, for the simple reason that a plot so huge could never stay hidden. But then I read this masterful examination by Scott Sayare of what we know, and what we still don’t, about that day in Dallas 60 years ago.

—Christopher Cox, features editor, New York

The Secrets of the JFK Assassination Archive How a dogged journalist proved that the CIA lied about Oswald and Cuba — and spent decades covering it up.

Photo: JFK Assassination Records Collection (Oswald) & CIA FOIA files (Joannides)

Read the full story

More From Today

Justin Davidson takes a trip to New Jersey to tour the largest Hindu temple in the Western Hemisphere, an opulent structure covered in 10,000 sculptures that has the Feds investigating how it got built.
From tomato-girl makeup to hot-chocolate manicures, 2023 was the year of food-themed aesthetics in beauty, writes the Cut’s Hanna Flanagan.
“I wanted to somehow capture the feeling of what it was like to be alive while making that show.” Jackson McHenry talks to The Morning Show showrunner Charlotte Stoudt about the frenetic energy of season three.
From a replica of the original Burton snowboard to ice cream shipped from Ohio on dry ice, the Strategist’s Katherine Gillespie asks five couples about the best gifts they’ve ever given each other. 
Speaking of gift-giving, financial-advice columnist Charlotte Cowles has six expert tips for figuring out how much to spend this holiday season.
Introducing The City Desk, a weekly newsletter about New York. Sign up to get it every Thursday.
Get The Newsletter

Leave a Reply