Michel Jacques GagnéFeb 21, 2023
Thinking Critically about the Kennedy Assassination
Debunking the Myths and Conspiracy Theories
As we approach the 60th anniversary of the violent public assassination of President John F. Kennedy, over half of all Americans surveyed continue to believe that he was killed by a conspiracy involving multiple assassins. Through its reasoned and detailed analysis of the content and evolution of JFK conspiracy narratives, Thinking Critically about the Kennedy Assassination: Debunking the Myths and Conspiracy Theories (Routledge, 2022) also serves as a comprehensive case study of paranoid reasoning and modern mythmaking. The book’s opening chapters lay out the "official" academic consensus concerning the Kennedy assassination (better known as the "Lone Gunman Theory") and discuss the origins of popular interpretations of Kennedy’s life and death, such as the nostalgic myth of "Camelot," the unsympathetic "Irish Mafia" narrative, and the many conspiracy theories critical of both. Subsequent sections scrutinize the alleged motives of leading conspiracy suspects, the ballistic, forensic, and medical evidence related to JFK’s murder, and the most popular "proofs" of an enduring government cover- up. The book concludes that no clear evidence exists to suggest that JFK was the victim of a conspiracy and ends with a discussion of the causes and consequences of paranoid thinking in contemporary public discourse.
Michel Jacques Gagné is the host and main writer-researcher of Paranoid Planet podcast. A 20% discount on the book is available at here.
Roberto Mazza is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter and IG: @robbyref