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Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination
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Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  22 reviews
November 22, 1963. A policeman’s wife was fetching their sick child from school. A young shoe store manager had no idea what lay in wait for him that day. A future president was tending to his farm. A future vice president was standing on the steps of his college library. A Georgetown student was looking forward to playing the piano for the president when he returned to Wa ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Lyons Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I was at the library, I walked right by this book at first. It didn't seem like a book that I would interested in- just a bunch of people talking about where they were when President Kennedy was shot. But for some reason I went back to look at it, and then I checked it out. I started to read it, and it surprised me. I have been busy with school and other things in my life, I get in the habit of starting a book and not completing it, and or getting distracted by another book. But this book k ...more
Kathy McC
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I remember vividly where I was, so it was easy to relate to the stories and memories of the wide variety of individuals who responded to the question, "Where were you?"
The same basic theme ran through every story, "there was optimism and hope for the future until that day in November."

"We felt that Kennedy gave his life for us. It was the moral mandate that America had to change. Without Kennedy's life and death, Johnson couldn't have gotten the Civil Rights Bill through Congress." Andrew Yo
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book gives insights on Kennedy’s assassination different from any I’ve read before. Acquaintances of Oswald share their observations of him. One of the memories is from the widow of the police officer. There is the story of Oswald’s capture, along with stories of Oliver Stone’s movie. There are a couple of sections that could have been omitted, such as the one by Robert DeNiro. Overall, this is a worthwhile read.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it

Jack Kennedy used the pictures to cover up what he was. He loved the glamour shots. He loved being handsome. He loved Jackie being beautiful. He loved all that photography. He loved the kids. He loved Macaroni the pony. I think he liked that idea because it created a certain thing he could manipulate and use. The inner Jack Kennedy was far less romantic and far tougher.

- "Chris Matthews", from "Where Were You?"

“Where Were You?” is a collection of stories, told of the JFK assassination, his presi
Doug Tabner
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This could have easily rated 5 stars. All they needed to do was to omit the final 1/3 or so of the book, when they stopped treating the assassination as a historical event and begin treating it as a pop culture phenomena.

The beginning gives voice to people you usually don't hear from; Ruth Paine, with whom Marina was living. The guy who gave Oswald a ride to the depository on 11/22. The "smaller" players in the tragedy. Those were highly fascinating.

Then it moves on to more famous personalities
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have a terrible weakness for books (or almost anything) on the JFK assassination. This book gathers 50 perspectives based on the premise that everyone remembers 'where they were' when they heard that Kennedy had been shot.

The first section (and my favorite--the only one I would recommend) was Dallas. We hear reflections from: Buell Frazier who drove Oswald to work at the book depository on November 22. Marie Tippets, the wife of Officer Tippets (who was also shot and killed by Oswald). Robert
Cathryn Conroy
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was in fourth grade at Silverside Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday, November 22, 1963--the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. For decades after, people would ask each other: "Where were you?" Now Gus Russo and Harry Moses have asked that question of a historic lineup of more than 50 people. And the answers are fascinating!

Those featured include people who were in Dallas on that tragic day, including Dan Rather and Marie Tippit (the wife of slain police officer
Deb Ristow
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a Good Reads giveaway. The assassination of JFK happened before I was born but it still had an impact on me. Growing up, I watched my mother with almost absolute reverence my mother handle the media that she had saved from JFK's assassination and had heard many times where she was when she had heard about the death of the president. I enjoyed reading this book which divulged information about JFK's life that I wasn't aware of. I also enjoyed the retelling from the differe ...more
I was beyond excited to receive this as a first reads giveaway.

Oral history books are usually amazing, and this one doesn't disappoint. It is much more than the title suggests. The contributors span from politicians and journalists to musicians and actors who remember the time and Kennedy himself vividly. They discuss not only where they were and what they remember of his assassination, but what they remember of his character and the incredible era in America that constituted his presidency.

Nicole Overmoyer
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
The most fascinating part of this collection of memories of the JFK assassination is the first section in which people who were in Dallas or knew the Kennedys or the Oswalds remember the event. That's fascinating.

What Steven Spielberg and Bill Clinton and Robert DeNiro remember is all well and good but it's not really relevant to the larger picture of what America remembers because, and this is the cynic in me speaking, no one would consider them in terms of what "America remembers" if they hadn
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the companion book to the NBC 2-hour documentary and contains thoughts about and reactions to the events of November 1963 of various recognizable cultural and political figures. I clearly remember where I was, and my mind recalls the sounds and sights--down to the industrial green of the walls--of a high school classroom on that fateful day fifty years ago. Where were you?

From the Foreward by Tom Brokaw...
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, wealthy young aristocrat, war hero, and ladies' man, remai
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book on Goodreads. It is an interesting book, but perhaps especially so because 2013 is the 50th. anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Almost everyone will agree that Kennedy's assassination was a pivotal point for the country. This book is more than just "Where were you when you heard of Kennedy's death?" The people chosen came from a broad spectrum of America (Pat Buchanan to Jane Fonda) and were prominent in the arts, business, and politics. Each gave a brief background about ho ...more
Christopher Fox
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
For those of us who lived through those pivotal days, this wide-ranging collection will be a nostalgic trip filled with deep and perhaps long forgotten emotions. Most of the contributors (an incredible diverse cross-section) cover three aspects of that time: their personal connection(s) (if any) with JFK and the Kennedy family; the answer to the title filled out with their emotions and actions; an appreciation, not always adulatory or even positive of Kennedy as a man and as a President done wit ...more
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quite-enjoyed
I was not around for the Kennedy years. But I love reading about them. So this book was amazing. It's just cooler than most because it is from the point of view of people that were there. Not necessarily in Dealy Plaza, but by people who were alive at the time. From what I understand, the Kennedy assassination is like 9/11 in the way that everyone remembers exactly where they were and exactly what they were doing when they heard. If you are all into all things Kennedy...this would be a great boo ...more
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a very enjoyable book. It contains interviews with well known public figures and less well known people about their relationships with John Kennedy and where they were at the time of the assassination in 1963. It includes photographs from then and now, and the immediate reactions to the tragedy. One of the best chapters is about how Joseph Kennedy Sr. hired Mort Sahl to write comedy one liners for his son to use. He wanted Sahl to put a stiletto through Nixon's 5th and 6th rib rather th ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading the thoughts and feelings of so many people who were impacted by JFK's death was powerful. Some, I think, used it to spread their ideas and rant a bit, but that was to be expected. My parents remember vividly where they were when they heard the news. It's one of those moments in history where you will always remember where you were and how you felt. President Kennedy was and remains inspirational - it's just one of those tragic times where we will always wonder "What if he had lived?" ...more
Excellent book about one of the most life-altering moments in American history. For those of us who experienced those unbelievable days as well as for those who are interested in American history, this book adds to the existing knowledge of Nov. 22, 1963. I particularly enjoyed the different perspectives presented in the book. I highly recommend this book.
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book! I will definitely attempt to incorporate it into my curriculum as a American History/Cultural Studies teacher. What a great way to illustrate perspective and the impact on a single event on the lives of people from all walks of life. I will definitely be recommending this book!!
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was just ok. The beginning had some very important people that were related to JFK's assassignation. It was very interesting to read their narratives. I thought that the second half of the book really did not have anything to do with JFK. The second half of the book was just people remembering how they founbd out JFK was assassignated. ...more
Jul 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Easy nice read. It gives lots of details about various people personal experience relating the assassination. It helped me as a guide to go on further reading and watching documentaries about kennedy years.
Harolyn Legg
A collection of recollections from various Americans on what they were doing when John Kennedy was killed.
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Irene McAleer
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Dec 16, 2013
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John Owens
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Jun 25, 2014
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Gus Russo is a veteran investigative reporter, musician, and author. His first book, Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK (Bancroft, 1998), was praised by the New York Times as “compelling, exhaustively researched and even handed.” Kirkus Reviews called Sword, “Probably the last book on the Kennedy assassination you will need to read....Gripping and convincing!” T

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