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American Confidential

American Confidential

Deanne Stillman

On Sale Date: November 14, 2023

Regular price $29.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $29.99 USD
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"In dazzling, evocative prose, Stillman effectively employs the tools of cultural criticism to shed light on the forces that might have left Marguerite dangerously disillusioned with the American dream." - Jonathan Darman, Air Mail

"Deanne Stillman's American Confidential takes the familiar and makes it new - makes it thrilling. You won't believe this story; it resonates with deep American echoes." - Darin Strauss, author of Chang & Eng

On the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination, a critically acclaimed writer presents an astonishing new account of one of the 20th century's most notorious assassins, Lee Harvey Oswald—and the mother who raised him . . .

Was Lee Harvey Oswald—as he himself claimed—a patsy? A hired gunman? In this startling account, Deanne Stillman suggests that there was indeed a conspiracy behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy—that of Oswald and his mother, Marguerite, who were locked in a desperate pursuit of fame and recognition. It was a struggle that would erupt on November 22, 1963, with Kennedy’s murder—after which the assassin joined the roster of infamous immortals, while his mother spent the rest of her life in the harsh glare of the media limelight. 

American Confidential is a noirish mother-son tale that plays out across the Wild West of mid-twentieth century America, delving into Oswald’s nomadic boyhood, and the world of his restless and disillusioned mother, who passed along a legacy of class resentment and a clamorous need to matter. 

In this new and surprising investigation into the short, troubled life of the ordinary man who would take down the leader of the so-called Free World, Deanne Stillman also presents a fascinating portrait of Oswald as a predecessor of the many violent young men and boys of America today, who take selfies with their rifles, and have come to define a new era of brutality.

Following in the tradition of Joan Didion and Charles Bowden, and continuing her celebrated exploration of America’s shadowlands, Stillman recounts a haunting tale of the promise and failure of the American dream, the dream that led Oswald to note that he hoped to have a son, adding, “Maybe he’ll grow up to be President.”

Includes 10 haunting black-and-white photographs.
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