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Jack Ruby [Paperback]

Garry Wills , Ovid Demaris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 1994
A detailed account of the day that Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills and crime writer Ovid Demaris describe Ruby's background and reconstruct his crime on 24th November 1963. The text reveals the man who claimed to have done his duty as an American.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press Inc; 1st Da Capo Press Ed edition (April 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306805642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805646
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,291,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Garry Wills, born in 1934 in Atlanta, Georgia, was trained as a classicist, receiving his Ph.D. From Yale, and taught ancient Greek at the Johns Hopkins University for five years before becoming a free-lance writer and a contributing editor of Esquire magazine. He is the author of Chesterton, Politics and Catholic Freedom, and Roman Culture. Ovid Demaris born in Biddeford, Maine, received an A.B. from the College of Idaho and an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. He was a reporter with the Quincy Patriot Ledger and the Boston Daily Record before joining the United Press, and later became Ad Copy Chief of the Los Angeles Times. For the past years he has been a free-lance writer. Mr. Demaris is the author of sixteen paperback originals, which have been translated and published in eighteen countries, and the bestseller The Green Felt Jungle (with Ed Reid). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet the real Jack Ruby. 18 Aug 2010
This outstanding 1968 book by Demaris and Wills brings Jack Ruby to life as no other books have every really managed to do.

The authors were able to interview those who knew Ruby well and were best placed to offer accurate insights into his life and times. (Conspicuously absent from the huge cast of characters are Beverly Oliver and Judyth Vary Baker. Most readers will know why they don't figure in this - or any other - telling of Ruby's story.)

If you are looking to find and understand the man who gunned-down Lee Oswald, then you really need look no further than this.

Demaris and Wills re-trace Ruby's steps throughout that fateful weekend by assembling the recollections of the many who encountered him. These close-up snapshots of this complex man provide a narrative that is trustworthy and compelling.

The authors also take time to treat the reader to a revealing insight into the Dallas of '63. (There's some excellent material concerning the local Citizen's Council which comprised of the City's elite).

Ruby's trial, its key personalities feature prominently; it really is a great read from start to finish. Seeing Ruby increasingly marginalised at his own trial is particularly poignant. His lead advocate - Melvin Belli - used him as little more than a laboratory rat as he sought to outsmart Wade, Alexander and the jury with his spurious 'psychomotor variant' defence.

Your 'assassination bookshelf' is incomplete without this indispensable examination of Jack Ruby; unless, of course, you are a conspiracy buff, in which case, you won't want it.

('Jack Ruby's Girls', by Diana Hunter and Alice Anderson is also required reading for those who seek to know the real Jack Ruby as opposed to the mythical creations of those who never even met or knew him.)

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Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You All Know Me! I'm Jack Ruby!" 25 Aug 1997
By Michael E. Kreca - Published on Amazon.com
Books like these have fallen largely out of favor if they were ever in favor at all, now that pricey films, slick pulp paperbacks and the Internet have turned the assassination of John F. Kennedy into a major portion of a tremendously profitable nostalgia industry. The authors of "Jack Ruby" are not so much concerned with the activities of presumably sinister entities, be they Masons, Mafiosi or renegade CIA operatives.

Rather, Wills and Demaris are more interested in Texas in general and Dallas in particular as unique cultural institutions and how they shaped the attitudes and behavior of a small-time Chicago-bred nightclub owner who eventually got the public adulation he so desperately craved his entire life, but which quickly degenerated into historical infamy. The authors explain Dallas is a highly stratified, ethnocentric, self-consciously "new money" city obsessed with gaining positive cultural acknowledgement from the rest of urban America but is also planted firmly in the brash, no-holds-barred, us-versus-them frontier assertiveness that is Texas legend.

This, they claim, is what ultimately led to that live televised shooting in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters and the initial hailing of Ruby as a hero and then his pillorying as a murderer. Put simply, Ruby's "hit" was pure Texas, while his plaintive cry of "You all know me, I'm Jack Ruby!" to the police officers who cuffed him represented the secret yearning of many Dallasites who looked enviously upon the burgeoning cities of the Northeast (or even to their better-off neighbors) for social acceptance.

The book's only flaws are the lengthy parade of supporting characters and situations which are erratically introduced and dismissed and a writing style that often lapses into near-stream of consciousness. This can cause a newcomer to the already confusing world of JFK assassination historiography some distress, but the thesis and the evidence to support it are a refreshing alternative to what has become accepted (or not accepted) about the events in Dallas during the last week of November, 1963.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By M. Tomory - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A recommended read for those who are really into the JFK assassination story. The book gives the reader the nitty gritty of Ruby's life in Dallas.
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong title 2 May 2013
By Torihama - Published on Amazon.com
Lee Harvey Oswald didn't kill anyone. The title should be "The Man Who Killed the Man Who did not Kill Kennedy nor Tippit". With so much information out there, do the authors still think Lee did it? They should read "Me and Lee".
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