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The Kennedy Assassination - 24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson's Pivotal First Day as President
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The Kennedy Assassination - 24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson's Pivotal First Day as President

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Riding in an open-topped convertible through Dallas on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson heard a sudden explosive sound at 12:30 PM. The Secret Service sped him away to safety, but not until 1:20 PM did he learn that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Sworn in next to a bloodstained Jackie Kennedy at 2:40 PM, Johnson worked feverishly until 3:00 in the morning, agon ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 455 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Thorndike Press (first published 2009)
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Shane Amazon
Since I was young I had always been drawn to the events surrounding both the life and tragic death of John F. Kennedy. But not until now have I ever read anything about the day of his passing. After viewing the televised version of this book on the History channel I became even more curious to the events of the day and decided to pick up the literary version of the TV special. Even though the title, and the general premise, of the book is the 24 hours after the assassination, the book expands th ...more
Mike
Jan 24, 2010 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: JFK and LBJ historians
This book is the companion piece to the recent program that aired on The History Channel. Dealing exclusively with the 24 hours that followed the death of President Kennedy, Gillon has dug up conversations, and melded old interviews with survivors of that day, weaving an interesting tale of paranoia, jealousy and intrigue.
In short, after the arrival of the presidential party to Parkland Hospital, LBJ was hustled off to a separate area by the secret service to await events. The Secret Service, no
...more
Mike
This book is sufficient, but is a rehash of many other books with very little new or insightful information. As an example, only 67% of the volume is the book itself while the other 33% is comprised of end notes, tables of references, and a glossary. Its major "point" is the delay in the notification of President Johnson of President Kennedy's death while at Parkland Hospital. It compares several first party accounts and highlights ten to fifteen minute discrepancies in various memories. I didn' ...more
Socraticgadfly
Steven Gillon has a very solid look at one or two "small" corners of Jack Kennedy's assassination.

The first is, about transition of power worries of the first, and so far only, assassination of a president in the nuclear age. Contra to some people who say, "What's the big deal whether Jack Kennedy" officially was declared dead at 1 p.m. or at 12:53 p.m., if Oswald HAD been part of either a Soviet or a Cuban conspiracy, this would have been HUGE! And, as Gilliam shows, Johnson and just about ever
...more
Jason
Really enjoyable, if you could use that word in connection with this subject. Reads like a fast-paced thriller -- with entire chapters covering time spans of as little as 15 minutes. Also superbly researched with a strong and successful effort at achieving balance, including presenting the reader with contradictory evidence along with a judicious weighing and balancing of that evidence.

As the title indicates, the book focuses on the President Johnson's first day in office, starting with being th
...more
Kenneth Barber
This book deals with the assassination of JFK and the assumption of power by LBJ. The Kennedy people had never really liked LBJ, particularly RFK. The story of the transition is therefore tainted by whose side the person involved supported JFK or LBJ. The author does a good job of presenting all sides of the events and letting the reader judge what is true. Both camps and the people involved tried to shape the facts to make them look good and the others to be lacking. I enjoyed the book and woul ...more
Mike Gabor
Very intersting book concerning the first 24 hours after the Kennedy assassination. We follow Johnson as he arrives at Parkland hospital and is placed in a room not really knowing the condition of the president. He recieves various reports from the people there telling him that Kennedy has died but still he hesitates to leave as he doesn't weant to seem to be too anxious to assume power. We see the confusion over wheter he should go back to Washington on Air Force One or Two. The uncertainity of ...more
Hana Candelaria
This is a fascinating look into the hours immediately following the shooting of JFK, but it focuses on LBJ. This book answered many of the questions I've always had, such as where was LBJ, what/when did he know, what kinds of fears/concerns did he have, what did people notice [if anything:] about his overall demeanor? The book also provides some details about Jackie that I'd not seen before...what she actually said at the moment of the fatal head shot; and why she kept the pink suit on for so lo ...more
Kristin
Quick, informative piece about the power of the media and the insane actions of the major players in Dallas on that dark day. I especially liked the strange coincidences and occurences that foreshadow the outcome of JFK's death. Growing up with the hype and legends surrounding his assisination,I haven't paid much attention to Johnson. Until this book. Though I think it is hard to judge a person in a moment of tragedy, Johnson did have the eyes of the world on him for what seems to be the first t ...more
Paul
Steven Gillon's book is well-researched and fairly balanced. It's a fairly quick read and is riveting at times. Gillon's analysis is superb as Johnson's actions in the hours after JFK's assassination provide a window into the achievements and failures of Johnson's presidency.

What is also sadly apparent in the book is the pettiness of some of Kennedy's aides toward Johnson. Johnson is also guilty of some of the same sophomoric behavior but to a lesser degree during those first 24
hours. The book
...more
Steve Cornelius
I have read literally dozens of books on the Kennedy Assassination. This is the first book that concentrates solely on the transfer of power from Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson and all of the drama and miscommunication between the Kennedy and Johnson camps.

A lot of this drama was known before. LBJ was not viewed by the Kennedy camp as a worthy successor to JFK. The feelings between Robert Kennedy and Johnson have been covered in other books as well, but this book concentrates only on the 24-hour per
...more
Dave
A somewhat thin synthesis of the 24 hours from the JFK assassination to noon the following day. Except for the discussion of Kennedy's time of death, there didn't seem to be much new information here. The "revelation" that the seeds of LBJ's problems as president were evident in those 24 hours didn't seem like much of a revelation either. Anybody who knows anything about LBJ through reading Caro or Dalleck or Woods would know those behavioral and power issues were evident for a long time before ...more
Margaret Sankey
Gillion attempts to reconstruct the 24 hours after the Kennedy assassination, sorting through the bickering Kennedy-Johnson cliques and their self-serving versions of every single event, including literally fighting over the coffin and in the confusion, misplacing the poor guy with the nuclear football three time between Dallas and a return to the White House. How Lyndon didn't just punch Bobby right in the mouth is a mystery for the ages.
Matthew Bartlett
If there are any days in American history when the clock from 24 is needed, this is one of those days. This book gives a clear and concise account of what happened the moment President Kennedy was killed to immediately after. If you want to investigate and do your own research about the day JFK was shot, I would start with this one. I don't think there was a conspiracy and I think this book will help you to understand what happened that day.
Michael
I enjoyed reading Steven Gillon's The Kennedy Assassination - 24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson's Pivotal First Day As President. If you are looking for an detailed, in depth examination of the 24 hour period after President Kennedy's assassination this may not be the best book. However, if you are looking for a quick read that provides you with a few broad, general details this is the book you want.
Pam
'The Kennedy Assassination' is made for a person like me- who- born in 1964, heard only bad things about LBJ. It was nice to hear some of the good things about him and hear some of the 'heartless' behavior of some of the Kennedy's. Lots of footnotes also meant a lot of interviews and study by the author and his researchers. Well done.
Julie
From minor details such as JBKO hated hearses (hence the reason one was used to transport Kennedy's body from Parkland Hospital to Love Field and the another one was waiting when AF1 landed at Andrews.) to the major ones such as how long it took to let LBJ know that JFK was dead.
Bryan Craig
This is the first book that really explores LBJ's side of events. The author discovers some interesting things as he goes through material not published before. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone interesting in the JFK assassination and LBJ.
Russ
Intriguing close-at-hand insight into the events of Friday Nov. 22nd 1963 and their immediate aftermath, from Parkland Hospital to Air Force One, to the first few hours upon return to the White House.
Leah
This book captured the events of Kennedy's assasination and how Johnson responded. Learned more about President Johnson than I knew before, particularly his lust for power and character flaws.
Kristin
I think this book gives a lot of insight into the smaller nuances that many others have wanted to skip over when remembering this time. It was definitely an interesting read.
Stuart Lutz
Even though I knew how the story would turn out, Gillon kept enough tension in the tale to keep me turning the pages. A very good and enjoyable history book.
Tricia
Not much facts, interesting and a very light read for someone who doesn't want to get to deep.
Katie
The special based on this book was much more interesting. Author seems to be in love with Johnson.
Tom
A very interesting taken on this old story. Jackie was an amazingly strong women.
Tom Colacioppo
A very interesting taken on this old story. Jackie was an amazingly strong women.
Nikki
wow...Lyndon Johnson was a power hungry and insensitive SOB
Nicholas
Good coverage of an oft written about topic.
Liz
Liz marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
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