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Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (The Killing of Historical Figures)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  34,975 Ratings  ·  3,496 Reviews
A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln

More than a million readers have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the page-turning work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. No
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2011)
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Julia Glenn Could it be for style? I enjoy very much reading Bill O'Reilly's books, partly because they are almost conversational, not just dry info. It feels…moreCould it be for style? I enjoy very much reading Bill O'Reilly's books, partly because they are almost conversational, not just dry info. It feels like a telescope into the events of that time. Admittedly, I have not read a great deal on Kennedy's assassination, so much of this info is new to me. But isn't this one of the benefits to reading anything? I was 16 years old when Kennedy was assassinated, and most of what I know about it I remember from the events unfolding at that time. Nothing as in depth as I am getting from the book. I guess it is this difference in tastes that account for so many categories in literature, bookstores and libraries. Happy reading.(less)
Killing Kennedy by Bill O'ReillyCrossfire by Jim MarrsReclaiming History by Vincent BugliosiDead Wrong by Richard BelzerJFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass
The JFK Challenge
1st out of 41 books — 41 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankKilling Kennedy by Bill O'ReillyIn Cold Blood by Truman CapoteKilling Lincoln by Bill O'ReillyThe Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Non-fiction for Fiction Lovers
2nd out of 78 books — 100 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 25, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

I remember......... like so many Americans who were of age during the time of the Kennedy assassination exactly where I was, what I was doing and what was happening all around me.

I remember........ the announcement in school, the early dismissal, tears, shock, disbelief and then much silence.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, sadly, had less than three years left to live when he took office in 1961 at the you

Gary Schantz
Oct 15, 2012 Gary Schantz rated it it was ok
I see that many people have rated this book as high (or higher than the Lincoln book) but my viewpoint is that there is nothing new here...NOTHING.

One hundred pages in, there is a total of 2 pages on the assassin and the rest on Kennedy's lifestyle. Who cares? So what that Kennedy was the Elvis of presidents? So what the he cheated on his wife? This is new?

I enjoyed the book on Lincoln as I felt that it moved quickly with a new insight to how and why Lincoln was assassinated. Yet the Kennedy boo
Oct 21, 2012 Patty rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
Written in a juvenile fashion, this book gave me nothing new. In fact, I knew more than the book was presenting. It begins with JFK's inauguration and goes until the assassination, and that section doesn't include anything about any of the conspiracy theories. Disappointed, because Killing Lincoln was so good.
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 28, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
I read Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General and thought it a good and thought provoking book. Could I, I would give this book maybe a half star less, but that could be subjective.

Mr. O'Reilly tells us that there's nothing new here as he opens...he's right. So let me say this, if you were born too late to actually remember the events recounted in this book it will be far more valuable than it will to those of us who remember them.

There are events in history
Jonathan Tomes
Nov 12, 2012 Jonathan Tomes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
My experience this book is so intertwined with my experience of 11/22/63 that I can't mention one without the other. I'm cross-posting this review to King's book.

I recently was given Bill O'Reilly's Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot as a birthday gift. I probably would not have bought it although I like his television news show because, being a lawyer, I read enough nonfiction and like to escape to fiction to relax. But it was eminently readable and certainly took me back to that dark day in N
Robert Morrow
Oct 11, 2012 Robert Morrow rated it did not like it
Killing Kennedy? It was Lyndon Johnson, Texas oil executives & their friends in U.S. military intelligence who did it.

Is it worth your $20 and, more importantly, your precious time to read this book? No, because the author feels that he can just ignore 49 years of very fine research into the JFK assassination pretend this massive amount of quality research just does not exist.

The Warren Report farce has not just been machine gun riddled, shot up like Swiss Cheese. It has been put into a blen
Apr 20, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
This book was fascinating in a weird tabloid sort of way.

I was only 4 when JFK was elected, but at a young age I was happy to know that a Catholic like me was president of the United States. I knew that it was controversial that Kennedy was a Catholic; but I doubt that word was in my vocab at the time.

This is how I have always pictured JFK:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

He even had children like me:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Although people would probably hate him today because he was such a rich guy (wink wink), no one cared back then:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As I grew old
Nov 13, 2012 Tom rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: High school students wanting to know a bit.
Recommended to Tom by: The author
A very easy read written in a style of short vignettes that follow the various lives that converge in the killing of President Kennedy. The book includes a few interesting insights, altho not many.

It is an embellished essay about this epic tragedy.

If one wants a simple, easy to read, summary of what happened, this is a fair candidate. Were O'Reilly's name not on the cover, this would likely be lost in the dusty shelves and lists of nice books of little or no import in the world of literacy and
Feb 05, 2013 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I was 10 years old when JFK was killed. This book, which I listened to as opposed to reading it (read by Bill O'Reilly) was very helpful to me. It allowed me to know the whole story as an adult, in order, written as a story but factual (as far as we have the facts today). The "facts" have been available for years, but to have it all at once and delivered well gave me a better understanding of world affairs, the Kennedys and other politicians as flawed people; an ego driven villain in Oswald and ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Ned rated it did not like it
As he demonstrates on FOX News, Mr O'Reilly has trouble separating historical fact from hearsay, history from his own prejudices. I read his previous book, Killing Lincoln, a year or so ago and while it did not contain much in the way of new information as it claimed, the book was actually well written and held my interest. Killing Kennedy did neither. In the introduction, Mr O'Reilly claims he will "cut through the fog and bring you the facts". Facts, to Mr O'Reilly are whatever he chooses to b ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great non-fiction (that felt like a novel) about JFK and his assassination. There might not be a lot of "new" material, but it was a great refresher. Actually I did learn several things I didn't know and made me want to learn even more. My parents were teens/young adults when he was killed and could tell me exactly where they were when they heard the news. Highly recommend to anyone wanting an entertaining/short version on the details of the JFK murder.
Tom Smith
Dec 21, 2012 Tom Smith rated it did not like it
O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" is a major disappointment for anyone seeking new theories or information on the assassination. This book largely follows the inept findings of the Warren Commission despite O'Reilly claiming that he would "offer different scenarios for the reader to come to their own conclusions". In the end, however the reader is left with the same cliches and speculation that we have all known for years, ultimately right back to the original investigation.

I have a problem with an
Larry Bassett
Jun 05, 2016 Larry Bassett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Listening to this book in the audible format was a very emotional experience for me. I was a teenager when Kennedy was assassinated in the 1960s were a very significant decade for me. Listening to the story of Camelot was also very emotional for me because I am in the midst of what may be the end of my father's life. My father is just recently in a nursing home as he approaches is 96 birthday following a fall that resulted in some serious head injuries. My emotions from that experience our gushi ...more
Shavon Jones
Jan 03, 2013 Shavon Jones rated it really liked it
The story reads like a movie. The way O'Reilly switches back and forth from the glorious Kennedy to the pathetic Oswald with objectivity makes Killing Kennedy seem like as accurate an account as we who were not born at the time can hope to have - devoid of the hero-worship spin put on Kennedy by other so-called reporters who come off as little more than fans rather than as historians. In this book, Kennedy was at once flawed and impressive - in other words, he was human. And the troubled Oswald ...more
Nov 30, 2012 Joni rated it it was ok
I give this book two stars because it was certainly entertaining. However, it will never get a Pulitzer Prize for history. Good historians lay the facts before their readers, and allow the readers to come to their own conclusions based on facts. That doesn't happen with this book. Bill just can't help inserting his own spin into the story. I loved how he tried to pin the Vietnam War on Kennedy rather than Eisenhower. I also was amused at his supposed inside knowledge of how people were thinking. ...more
Sandy Sopko
Jul 03, 2013 Sandy Sopko rated it did not like it
The ascension, administration, and assassination of President Kennedy is truly a riveting topic, but this text is poorly written and, furthermore, written to such a low reading level that the grammatical errors and simplistic style are entirely distracting -- perhaps that is based on the audience to which O'Reilly wishes to appeal. For example, "kids" should be "children" for heaven sake, unless you're writing to an elementary reading level, and the verb tense should be consistent and should NOT ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Terri rated it really liked it
There is something about major disasters that elevates them in the minds of most people. We understand them on a grand scale as national or world tragedies, but we seldom think of the countless personal heartbreaks they entail. I was a child during the campaign of 1960, but I vaguely recall hearing adults in my small, Protestant hometown worry over what would happen if a Catholic were elected President. I do not recall ever hearing about the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis on the news. I ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Brian rated it did not like it
Very disappointing, exploitative book. Nothing new or enlightening on the murder of a sitting President. Robert Caro's book offers more on the assassination of President Kennedy then did O'Reilly. When all is said and done, Killing Kennedy was all about making a fast buck for O'Reilly. Skip're missing nothing at all.
Karen Malena
Sep 09, 2014 Karen Malena rated it it was amazing
This book was a slice of history for me! I've always loved all things "Kennedy" but this was like a trip to places I've never been and events I never saw before. What a great book, so much knowledge by Mr. O'Reilly. I recommend it to history buffs or general JFK fans!
Neil Mudde
Oct 03, 2012 Neil Mudde rated it it was ok
Having read most of what has been written about the assasination, including the complete Warren Report, this makes for an interesting read, very much 'readers digest' format.
Brenda Honeycutt
Feb 08, 2013 Brenda Honeycutt rated it liked it
If you are interested in the Kennedy assasination, you will enjoy this book just because of the subject matter. But having read many books on this topic over the years, I found this one very superficial. It gives very little detail, no more than you would get from reading a newspaper article written around that time. Most of the book is about Kennedy's earlier life and the first years of his Presidency. I did learn much about Kennedy's ealier life that I had not known. The book almost seems like ...more
Lynn Crouch
Oct 09, 2012 Lynn Crouch rated it really liked it
As a young bride during the Kennedy years, all of the events in this book during the Kennedy presidency were all very real to me. I so remember the standoff with Russia about the Cuban missle sites, I was scared to death my little girl, husband and I would be blown to smithereens at any moment, most of my friends thought I was bezerko. I wish they were here now so I could say, "see I told you so." The behind the scenes reporting not just of the missle crisis, the racial situation in the country ...more
May 12, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-pick
This is my second read of this book. This book is absolutely amazing. I've listened to and read other accounts of this event, but I was only seven (7) years old in second grade when this happened. I've never heard a better work and heard something more passionate and more accurate. I really have a lot of respect for Bill O'Reilly. He did a masterful job of writing and narrating this. I can't believe how so much information was gathered to make this book come together. It was a marriage of appear ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
As with the readability of "Killing Lincoln", the previous biography written by the same authors, "Killing Kennedy" is an engrossing read and difficult to put down once started. While it's very informative historically, it almost reads like a suspense novel.

In spite of being a well-liked president, Kennedy had many enemies such as Russia, Cuba, J. Edgar Hoover, the mafia, etc. So, whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald acted completely alone is still something I wonder about. I don't doubt that his w
Michael McManus
Dec 05, 2012 Michael McManus rated it it was ok
Shelves: can-t-recommend
O'Reilly spends the 80% of the book talking about all of the reasons people and countries had for wanting Kennedy out of office. And yet, when he gets to the end of the story, he leaves us to believe that a man who was not a proven sharpshooter, who was positioned 6 stories above the ground many, many yards away, who had little more than a grudge against Kennedy was the only one involved with his death. What about the 100 deaths (many of which were never explained) that happened to people involv ...more
Jul 20, 2013 Eric rated it liked it
A good example of how history is a guided tour and you only see what the guide points out. This is a very slick book. My best analogy would be if Dan Brown wrote the report for the Warren Commission. There is all sorts of tawdry details regarding sex, drugs, miscarriage, power struggles, etc.

While Bill O'Reilly is the large print author credit I believe that Martin Dugard was probably the one doing most of the writing. The whole thing tracks like a countdown to Armageddon. This device becomes m
Jeff Kelleher
Feb 10, 2013 Jeff Kelleher rated it really liked it
History as National Enquirier feature.

I own a library of more than 50 volumes on JFK and have read them all. So I approached this treatment by the Fox News personality skeptically. Fortunately, I can report that, apart from a few careless mistakes (Kennedy was not a second lieutenant; Johnson did not appoint Sarah Hughes), the history is basically sound and unbiased.

What is distinctive is the staccato Walter Winchell/National Enquirer style. The book consists of set-piece dramatic scenes, with d
Feb 06, 2013 Joy rated it really liked it
How a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita
Heather McWhorter
Oct 27, 2012 Heather McWhorter rated it it was ok
Well... Put on your tin foil hats America! You won't get any non-Warren Commission sanctioned info from this book. O'Reilly goes from giving what seems to be a great insiders view of life "in the Kennedy Camelot" - to the government fabricated story of who killed JFK & why. I was not especially fond of his portrayal of Oswald. The fact is - we don't know if LHO killed JFK. There is no substantial evidence against him. There IS however, substantial evidence that should have proven his innocen ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Ricki rated it it was amazing
Yes, I remember where I was on Nov. 22, 1963 (sitting in my elementary school classroom)when we learned the terrible news. I was 10 and not sure what it all meant. Perhaps for those of us who still remember and wonder, the tragedy is still a mystery. Due to my age I don't remember the"Bay of Pigs" or the Cuban Missile crisis. This was written in such a way as to make me see how it affected people at the time...not just dry facts. O'Reilly and Dugard have done an excellent job of telling the whol ...more
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Nike Chillemi ~ ...: The End of Camelot 1 1 Apr 26, 2015 06:48AM  
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Bill O'Reilly is an American television/radio host, author, syndicated columnist, and political commentator. He is the host of the cable news program The O'Reilly Factor. Prior to hosting The O'Reilly Factor, he served as anchor of the entertainment program, Inside Edition.

O'Reilly also hosts The Radio Factor, a radio program syndicated by Westwood One, and he has written seven books.

More about Bill O'Reilly...

Other Books in the Series

The Killing of Historical Figures (6 books)
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever
  • Killing Jesus: A History
  • Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
  • Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency
  • Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan

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“Most people live their lives as if the end were always years away. They measure their days in love, laughter, accomplishment, and loss. There are moments of sunshine and storm. There are schedules, phone calls, careers, anxieties, joys, exotic trips, favorite foods, romance, shame, and hunger. A person can be defined by clothing, the smell of his breath, the way she combs her hair, the shape of his torso, or even the company she keeps.
All over the world, children love their parents and yearn for love in return. They revel in the touch of parental hands on their faces. And even on the worst of days, each person has dreams about the future-dreams that sometimes come true.
Such is life.
Yet life can end in less time than it takes to draw one breath.”
“Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.” 1 likes
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