JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy

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9781597974899: JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy

The mother of all conspiracy theories concerns the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Many of its elements have even become part of American folklore: the single bullet, the grassy knoll shooter, and the mysterious deaths of interested parties.

JFK Assassination Logic shows how to approach such conspiracy claims. Studying Lee Harvey Oswald’s character and personality, for example, doesn’t help determine whether he alone shot the president, and our opinion of bureaucrats can often cloud our judgments. How people view the JFK assassination can be a model for how (or how not) to evaluate other conspiracy theories, including those generally considered dubious—such as President Roosevelt’s foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor, desert staging of the 1969 moon landing, and U.S. government involvement in 9/11—as well as those based on fact, such as Watergate.

John McAdams addresses not only conspiracy theories but also how to think, reason, and judge evidence in such cases. By putting the JFK assassination under the microscope, McAdams provides a blueprint for understanding how conspiracy theories arise and how to judge the evidence.

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About the Author:

JOHN MCADAMS is an associate professor of political science at Marquette University. His articles have appeared in journals including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Sociological Quarterly, and Law and Contemporary Problems.

Review:

"Anyone interested in exploring JFK assassination conspiracy theories should read the Warren Commission Report, the House Select Committee Report, and McAdams’s JFK Assassination Logic. The voluminous literature will fall into place. McAdams gives you a crucial road map—not to decide what you should think, but how to make up your mind in the face of conflicting information. His book is a must read."

"A useful primer for students and everyone whose skepticism needs refreshing. McAdams does not flatly rule out a JFK conspiracy, but spells out issues that should be considered by advocates of any specific conspiracy scenario—such as, would that have made sense to the conspirators?"

"John McAdams has the distinction of being both a clear thinker and a clear writer. This book takes on a subject many consider one of history’s great mysteries and offers simple tools to dismantle its apparent complexities—and, by extension, many more such mysteries in the world around us."

"Does your favorite Kennedy assassination theory stand up to scrutiny? Or were your views on what happened in Dallas shaped by misinformation from poorly equipped researchers? Professor John McAdams shows how conspiracy theorists have misled the public about this crucial event in American history."

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