top of page

Why Should I Read Killing Kennedy? | Summary and Personal Thoughts

john f kennedy and jackie in dallas before jfk assassination

The Basic Bio

John F. Kennedy is a name many have heard, but he’s only really remembered by people today for his infamous assassination in Dallas. For those wanting to really know who JFK was as a president and as a man, this is the right book. For those wanting to know the basics of why and how Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated a president, this is also the right book.

A Summary of Killing Kennedy (No Spoilers)

Writer’s Note: I think we all already know how the book ends; it’s literally the title, but I’ll try not to spoil that much of the book if you want to read it

Killing Kennedy begins by telling the story of PT-109 and how JFK became a war hero during World War II while fighting in the South Pacific. From there, it follows JFK through the toughest parts of his presidency, giving a semi-fictionalized historical view behind the Bay of Pigs Invasion and Cuban Missile, as well as several other events during the Kennedy presidency.


The book also covers the personal life of JFK, as it talks about his affairs and family life during the presidency.

In addition, the book cuts back and forth to the story of Lee Harvey Oswald, telling the stories of JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald side by side. Covering Lee Harvey’s stint in the US Marines before defecting to the Soviet Union, getting married, and coming home to America, Killing Kennedy gives a fascinating narrative of how a strange but relatively ordinary man devolved into being the assassin of one of America’s most beloved leaders...

Why Should You Read Killing Kennedy?

Killing Kennedy is a good book for those interested in history and in the Kennedy family specifically. It's a book that provides an interesting fiction-like narrative of real stories like taking a camera behind closed doors. Killing Kennedy also interestingly switches narratives between JFK and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. 


All in all, it’s a good read for those who want to learn a little more about the Kennedy family and JFK’s presidency, as well as a general overview of how the Kennedy assassination went down.

HEADS UP: There are spoilers past this point!


3 Key Takeaways from Killing Kennedy

john f kennedy and john f kennedy jr play in the oval office