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Kennedy's Last Days: The Assassination That Defined a Generation (The Last Days Series)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  639 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
On a sunny day in Dallas, Texas, at the end of a campaign trip, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is assassinated by an angry, lonely drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes briefly, but is hunted down, captured, and then shot dead while in police custody.

Kennedy's Last Days is a gripping account of the events leading up to the most no
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Jun 20, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
I don't agree with much of what O'Reilly has to say, but I have to admit that he writes a thorough, engaging book. This is a younger readers' companion to his adult bestseller, and a title that should be in every school library. Very comprehensive and straight-forward, with excellent research and resources.
Jun 29, 2013 Claire rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
A good summary of "Killing Kennedy". Adapted for young adults, or adults like me that want to read the book but are short on time!
Linda Wells
Jul 09, 2013 Linda Wells rated it it was amazing
Kennedy's Last Days is a well-written book that describes President John Kennedy'srise to the presidency,the years of his presidency and events leading up to his assasination. The story of his bravery as a PT boat captain in World War II is included as well. This unbiased account of our youngest president allows the reader to see the man inside the political office and a look at his private life as well.
From his bravery in WWII to facing the Cuban missile crisis, he served with distinction and g
Jul 27, 2014 Wade rated it really liked it
Nicely done! A quick read and very informative. I didn't know it was Juvenile literature when I acquired it, but it was still a good read. I've asked a lot of people who were alive back then, and they all remember the details as well as I remember 9/11...and where I was, and what I was doing at the time. I'm going to preview "Lincoln's Last Days" and hope to use it in my classes when we get to that era.
Logan Meador
Sep 23, 2014 Logan Meador rated it it was amazing
This book was a very good book. In the beginning of the book he introduces explains what happened when he was in the marines. Towards the middle of the book it explains the way that Lee Harvey Oswald got to the place where he shot Kennedy. Closer to the end it gets into some detail on how and what happened when he is shot. Over all, I thought that this was a good book.
Dec 09, 2015 Steve added it
Very factual, gut wrenching reenactment of the most horrific assassination of the 20th century. Best part of the book is that it clearly establishes that Oswald did murder our most beloved president JFK! Would have liked more follow up on post assassination Kennedy trials and tribulations
Dec 01, 2016 Kim rated it it was amazing
So interesting.....and put so much history together. Sad story.
May 11, 2016 Nora rated it really liked it
I don't agree with a lot of what the author says, but overall it was a very engaging book.
Ryan Kozlowski
Jan 25, 2017 Ryan Kozlowski rated it it was amazing
Wow. Never before have I read a book that made me feel like I was at the assassination. Bill does such a great job capturing every detail about Kennedy's last moments. I can now believe that all of these theories are not real. Lee Harvey Oswald's life was explaining perfectly and made sense on why he killed Kennedy. Would highly recommend.
Karina Dulin
Jan 30, 2017 Karina Dulin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Wonderfully written, balancing the weight of the tragedy with a factual tone that never feels dry or impersonal. And the length is just right as an introduction to the event for young students.
Richie Partington
Sep 15, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie's Picks: KENNEDY'S LAST DAYS: THE ASSASSINATION THAT DEFINED A GENERATION by Bill O'Reilly, Henry Holt, June 2013, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-8050-9802-0

"And the night comes again to the circle studded sky
The stars settle slowly, in loneliness they lie
'Till the universe explodes as a falling star is raised
Planets are paralyzed, the mountains are amazed
But they all glow brighter from the brilliance of the blaze
With the speed of insanity, then he dies."
-- Phil Ochs, "The Crucifixion" (1965)

As we c
Mar 03, 2017 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved it. I've read many books about JFK but I still learned a lot from this one. it was informative and interesting.
Samantha Bartley
Feb 27, 2017 Samantha Bartley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, 2017
I loved how the author turned a historic event into what reminded me of a fiction novel. He gave all of the characters their own personalities and made them seem more than just historic figures. It was so detailed and I really felt like I could have been there during the events. Definitely recommend this book to any young history buff.
Sammie O'Connor
Nov 29, 2015 Sammie O'Connor rated it it was amazing
Kennedy's Last Days, written by Bill O'Reilly is a powerful, descriptive voice focused on the life and legacy of president John F. Kennedy. Within the prologue, O'Reilly explains that all Americans who were old enough to comprehend the assassination of the president will and have remembered that day for as long as they have or will live. Throughout the book, the author writes
about Kennedy's life in the navy and how he received a medal for heroic conduct after leading his crew to safety when th
Apr 25, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-booktalks
It’s 1961. On TV is a talking horse named Mr. Ed. For 50 cents, you could go to the movies and see Disney’s newest movie, 101 Dalmations. Fruit Loops cereal was new, and James and the Giant Peach was a best-selling book. The Blackhawks beat the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. And a candy bar costs 5 cents.
On January 20, 1961, the country witnessed his inauguration as our 35th President. And less than 3 years later, they would witness his assassination.
But what happened during the 2 years he w
Kaleb Munro
Oct 04, 2015 Kaleb Munro marked it as to-read
Kennedy's Last Days by Bill O'Riley is a book JFK. He has been elected president and a lonely drifter from the marine corps named Lee Harvey Oswald has moved to the Soviet Union. Jfk (John Fitzgerald Kennedy) has been making big changes in the u.s while Lee Harvey Oswald is gone Oswald then becomes a communist. At the time the Cold War is raging. Since the war lee Harvey Oswald moves his family back to U.S.

Lee Harvey Oswald is raging because u.s has won civil war and communism is losing. Lee H
Apr 09, 2014 Keeganw rated it really liked it
The authors main idea in this book is to inform people around the world about who JFK really was. The setting in this book varied from the battle field to dinner with his family. This book is more of a book about facts about JFK and his assassin which means it does not have a perspective of a person. This entire book takes you through most of president JFK's life. It also takes you through the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy's assassin. This book all lead up to the assassination and what happ ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Zpro rated it it was amazing
In "Kennedy's Last Days", the author Bill O'Reilly followed the lives of John F. Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. JFK served in the military during World War II and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1946. In 1960, he defeated Richard Nixon and became president of the United States. O'Reilly discussed how JFK dealt with the Cold War, the failure of The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Civil Rights Movement as president. Meanwhile, Lee Harvey Oswald had returne ...more
Gerald Kinro
Dec 17, 2013 Gerald Kinro rated it liked it
I read the author’s “Killing Kennedy” before this one, and therefore cannot give this a higher rating. Much of the prose used in this version is the same, however. This book is a more condensed version of the Kennedy assassination. He gives background information on what made Kennedy so popular and then went into the events that led to that fatal November day. This one is more like a large “Life Magazine” article with many wonderful pictures. The detail is not as great as in “Killing Kennedy.” O ...more
Steven Howes
Jul 10, 2013 Steven Howes rated it it was ok
I probably would have given this book a somewhat higher rating had I not already read the author's previous book, "Killing Kennedy" which I thought was pretty good. This book is a "Reader's Digest' version of the first one and if you have read it, I wouldn't bother with this one. However, if, like me, you are intrigued with the Kennedy Assassination and lived through it, this book might be a good way to refresh your memory; especially since this year is the 50th anniversary. On the other hand, t ...more
Dec 24, 2015 Leninha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A maioria das pessoas vive a vida como se o fim estivesse sempre longe. Elas medem os dias em amor, risadas, conquistas e perdas. Há momentos de sol e de tempestade. Há compromissos, ligações telefônicas, ansiedades na carreira, alegrias, viagens exóticas, comidas preferidas, romance, vergonha e fome. Uma pessoa pode ser definida por sua roupa, pelo cheiro de seu hálito, pelo modo como penteia o cabelo, pela forma do torso ou mesmo pelas companhias que mantém.No mundo inteiro, as crianças amam ...more
Alvin Qi
Nov 22, 2016 Alvin Qi rated it liked it
In this book, it tells you about the brave story of Kennedy's days, they include the story of his near death experience in World War 2 where he was a commander of a torpedo boat, another story also includes his story of how he became president with his presidency also what he did. During Kennedy's presidency, many events has happen, like how the Cold War was won or the invasion of Bay of Pigs failed. Another point of view this books tells is the story of the assassin who Kennedy, this assassin i ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Red rated it it was ok
It was interesting to hear about Kennedy's brave military service. I had assumed he & his family all rode rich Daddy Joe's coattails. I now understand Kennedy's connections to the Boston mob. However fellow Catholic O'Reilly shows Kennedy in an ultra positive light being the 1st Catholic to be elected as the U.S. President.
O'Reilly fails to explain that with Kennedy's back injury and constant excruciating pain how did he manage to entertain all of his girlfriends at the Whitehouse while Jack
Jan 23, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I cannot express enough how much emotion it invoked from me. I kept wondering "What if" throughout the book trying to figure out how our country would be different if JFK had lived. I cried quite a bit too, especially thinking about Jackie Kennedy and her children after the loss of her husband. Although I was not born yet when JFK was president, I wish I could go back in time and experience the "Camelot" years. The use of images and pictures throughout the book only ...more
Nov 28, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
 This adaptation of O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" is meant for young people and as such it covers the events leading up to the day our 35th president was assasinated with adequate depth to satisfy any teen inquiry. From the background on the military exploits of both Lee Havey Oswald and John F. Kennedy to the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs and the aftermath of the death of JFK, this book is full of tidbits that will be previously unknown to many readers. I would've liked to have seen ...more
Pam P
Oct 19, 2013 Pam P rated it really liked it
After reading Swanson's book on the same topic (for young adults) I found that I liked Swanson's book better though both books offer some different information. This starts out a little slow and dry but picks up rather quickly. O'Reilly does help one understand the anguish Kennedy felt over the Bay of Pigs and the Civil Rights Movement. The assassination receives a good amount of attention and offers the horrific feelings the family must have felt. I was not crazy about the info on the author at ...more
Jun 25, 2013 Lauren rated it liked it
I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. With all the photos and illustrations it ends up being a very quick read. It's adapted from Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy. I enjoyed O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln so when I saw this on sale at Costco, I grabbed it. Despite all that's been written about the Kennedy assassination, I still learned new details about both Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald. I also appreciated that it stuck to facts and didn't go down the conspiracy road for which, quite frankly, I' ...more
Aarifa -Books Will Do-
Mar 20, 2016 Aarifa -Books Will Do- rated it it was amazing
100/5 stars.........
My parents told me about him and how he was such a nice president.... And when I found this book, I totally agreed. I wish he was NOT assassinated, because if he was still going to be president, he deserved to finish his term. He loved his family, he made jokes, he played and went on lots of vocations, he made things fun! He let his kids bring in dogs even though he was allergic to them, but he didn't argue! I wish I was alive when he was the president.....

And the most inter
Aug 15, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Overall, I thought this book was well done. It was engaging and I when I finished it, I felt I had learned something - which is what I'm looking for on a nonfiction book. I had three minor issues with the book though. Personally, I didn't care for the present tense in much of the writing. I found the rather many afterwards a bit distracting and I was mildly disappointed that while the author alluded to the conspiracy theories that still dour round the shooting, he did not a address them head on. ...more
Jacob Biggs
Nov 21, 2014 Jacob Biggs rated it really liked it
This book was great, I like American history. This book was very helpful about Kennedy and his final days. Most history book get boring but this book was the opposite.

It begans as Kennedy becoming president. It then talks about his childhood and him as a soilder. We won a medal by saving him fellow soilders. A couple after that he tries for president. Then talks about Cuba and Russia. Finally it talks about Kennedy's assassination.

I rate this book a 4/5 because it was my favorite book but it
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HMSA Reads: Book Review: Kennedy's Last Days 1 2 Aug 22, 2016 06:37PM  
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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 Last Days Series (5 books)
  • Lincoln's Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever
  • The Last Days of Jesus: His Life and Times
  • Hitler's Last Days: The Death of the Nazi Regime and the World's Most Notorious Dictator
  • The Day the President Was Shot: The Secret Service, the FBI, a Would-Be Killer, and the Attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan

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