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Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi, and the JFK Assassina [Hardcover]

James DiEugenio
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2013
Reclaiming Parkland details the failed attempt of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman-cofounder of the production company Playtone-to make Vincent Bugliosi's mammoth book about the Kennedy assassination, Reclaiming History, into a miniseries. It exposes the questionable origins of Reclaiming History in a dubious mock trial for cable television, in which Bugliosi played the role of an attorney prosecuting Lee Harvey Oswald for murder, and how this formed the basis for the epic tome. Author James DiEugenio details the myriad problems with Bugliosi's book, and explores the cooperation of the mainstream press in concealing these many faults during the publicity campaign for the book and how this lack of scrutiny led Hanks and Goetzman to purchase the film rights. DiEugenio then shows how the film eventually adapted from that book, entitled Parkland, does not even resemble Reclaiming History, though the script for that film displays the same imbalance that Reclaiming History does. Reclaiming Parkland also includes extended looks at the little-known aspects of the lives and careers of Bugliosi, Hanks, and Goetzman-including Bugliosi's three attempts at political office and a review of the Tate-LaBianca murders in the light of today's knowledge of that case. DiEugenio also looks at the connections between Washington and Hollywood, as well as the CIA influence in the film colony today. Reclaiming Parkland is a truly unique book that delves into the Kennedy assassination, the New Hollywood, and the political influence on how films are made today.

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Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi, and the JFK Assassina + Not In Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK + They Killed Our President: 63 Facts That Prove a Conspiracy to Kill JFK
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (1 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626365334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626365339
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parkland 2 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read many books on the Kennedy assassination, but Reclaiming Parkland is one of the best. It is absolutely incomprehensible that there are people who keep on defending the Warren Report. Reclaiming Parkland is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the subject. Chapter by chapter Vincent Bugliosi"s Reclaiming History is dissected completely with strong arguments put forward by the authors.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb deconstruction of Bugliosi 31 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a tremendously impressive bit of work. To state perhaps the main and most obvious thing first, Mr. DiEugenio thoroughly dissects and reveals the emptiness of Vincent Bugliosi's 2600 page (including notes) tome Reclaiming History that tries to re-justify the Warren Commission report. Many people have apparently found Bugliosi convincing and cite him as their irrefutable evidence that Oswald killed JFK and acted alone. What DiEugenio does is pick Bugliosi's duplicitous account apart, revealing his omissions and distortions in stark clarity and beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Mr. DiEugenio deserves our gratitude for bothering to undertake this important yet tedious task, and our pity for having to wade through every page of Bugliosi's enormous door-stopper. I would be willing to bet he is the only person in the world who has accomplished that unenviable feat. One can't of course do an honest review if one fails to finish the book, and Bugliosi's book is one that has sorely needed this kind of treatment. Now it has been definitively exposed for what it is, thanks to DiEugenio's efforts. And rest assured you are in good hands with this author; not only is he as well versed in JFK research as anyone alive, he is a remarkably clear, logical, even-handed, and engaging writer as well. He writes with humor, but he never stoops to the kind of scathing derogatory ad hominem verbal violence that is so startlingly off-putting in Bugliosi's style. DiEugenio sticks to the facts, and doesn't assert anything he can't amply back up with documents and witnesses.

The stranger and more interesting thing really, given what is ultimately the flimsiness of Bugliosi's defense of the Lone Nut hypothesis, is why Bugliosi would have put his reputation on the line over it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed 24 Jan 2014
By pearl
Again, the central features of this case remain unchallenged by conspiracy theorists.
LHO left work early saying he thought " there would be no work that day."
He had NO permission to leave, indeed his employers would have required him to stay to answer Dallas PD enquiries as did everybody else at the TSBD.
But he goes. He KNOWS there has been a stupendous crime committed a few feet away, but he CANNOT know how serious - for all he knows JFK may have been only slightly injured - but his words and actions prove he knew it was more serious.
Then, consider.
The conspiracists say he is the patsy, he takes the rap BUT they can't be sure so they have to have multiple shooters from the front to make sure. But this DISPROVES their own theory. How can LHO both be the patsy and not the patsy? How can he take the rap when the shots come from the front as well?
Then, there is the mail order point that has still not been disproved, he ordered it, his palm print was on it.
Bugliosi's book is far and way the best account.
Robert Neville
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3 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentally flawed ... yet again 18 Nov 2013
Jim DiEugenio, once again, skirts around the central core facts of the JFK assassination which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that one man alone murdered JFK. Instead he attempts to discredit Bugliosi, and anyone else who attempts to alter his warped world view. This is how Jim tends to work. Just listen to his ranting and raving on Black Op Radio. In particular, his debate with John McAdams on Black Op Radio is very interesting, as well as cringeworthy (listen to Jim fail to answer the final question).

Never mind that ballistics prove that the bullets that killed JFK came from a rifle that Oswald owned. Never mind that Neutron Activation Analysis proves the single bullet theory. Never mind that the shots came from the place that Oswald worked. Never mind that Oswald was seen taking his rifle into work that morning. Never mind that Oswald was seen shooting at the President from the sixth floor, south east window of the TSBD. Never mind that Oswald took off in the wake of the assassination and murdered a policeman shortly afterwards ...

... (Jim thinks that there were no shots fired from the sixth floor that day, by the way. How can anyone take him seriously?)

In Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi gives 53 reasons that Oswald was guilty as hell. It's all kind of obvious, really. Why can't Jim DiEugenio see that? Read this book and the answer to that particular question will in turn become obvious.

Parkland, the film will be - I hope - the perfect antidote to the almost continuous lie that is Oliver Stone's "JFK".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaiming the truth 16 Feb 2014
By TLR - Published on
Jim DiEugenio is one of the best JFK researchers active today. The heart of the book is a lengthy and detailed dissection of Bugliosi's epic fraud, RECLAIMING HISTORY, previously published on the internet. We also learn a great deal about Bugliosi's background as assistant District Attorney of Los Angeles, his questionable ethics and his considerable ego.

He also covers the hopelessly flawed mock trial of Oswald on British TV, and the background of Tom Hanks and his attempt to make a miniseries out of Bugliosi's book. Very relevant to our own time is a look at the close CIA and Pentagon relationship with Hollywood to ensure that movies and TV shows portray the military-industrial complex in the best possible light.
66 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid scholarly work and a great read 12 Oct 2013
By Joseph McBride - Published on
The best book on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (and there are many fine ones) remains Sylvia Meagher's 1967 ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT: THE WARREN COMMISSION, THE AUTHORITIES, AND THE REPORT. Meagher was a private citizen who took it upon herself first to compile a proper index to the Warren Report and then to dissect its findings piece by piece in as thorough and revealing an autopsy as has ever been done (and in stark contrast to the dishonest U.S. Navy autopsy performed on President Kennedy). The logic and lucidity of Meagher's counter-argument is devastating and breathtaking in its brilliance. So when I compare James DiEugenio's new book, RECLAIMING PARKLAND: TOM HANKS, VINCENT BUGLIOSI, AND THE JFK ASSASSINATION IN THE NEW HOLLYWOOD, to Meagher's masterpiece, that is the highest compliment I can pay to a book on the assassination.

The great public service DiEugenio provides us today is to do a relentless and deeply knowledgeable autopsy on another one of several attempts to replicate and rescuscitate the discredited Warren Report. This is the thoroughly specious, monstrously long, arrogant, and mendacious work by former prosecutor Bugliosi entitled RECLAIMING HISTORY: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY. That ridiculous yet pernicious book, first published in 2007 and later whittled down to more readable dimensions, ostensibly served as the basis for the lamentable 2013 movie PARKLAND, a dishonest and shoddy attempt to rewrite Oliver Stone's impressive JFK, which was attacked for the wrong reasons. Critics of Stone claim he falsified evidence to exonerate Lee Harvey Oswald, when he was presenting and dramatizing actual evidence to replace the falsified "so-called evidence" (as Oswald himself called it) used by the Warren Report. Bugliosi, like Gerald Posner and other overrated fabricators, has tried again to hoodwink the public into believing the phony conclusions of the original Report. These disinformation specialists have not succeeded, since as many as eighty percent of the public are sharp enough to disbelieve the official version.

What DiEugenio does so well is to patiently read through Bugliosi's grotesque pile of lies and tear it apart piece by piece, showing the contrary and actual evidence that discredits his myriad errors and omissions. His prose, like Meagher's, is lucid, sober, and yet devastatingly mocking in a subtle way. RECLAIMING PARKLAND is a great read and will be even for someone who hasn't tried to climb through Bugliosi's jungle of prose and notes. DiEugenio is one of the most scholarly writers on the assassination. He has digested the wealth of material that has been revealed in the last two decades since the creation of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. And he has made himself familiar with all the other evidence brought forth by independent researchers in books, magazines, journals, and forums (including his own fine magazine, Probe). He writes entertainingly and incisively and is an excellent teacher about the assassination.

Any reader will learn a great deal of surprising information from RECLAIMING PARKLAND, on a wide range of important topics concerning the case. This is a book for both newcomers to the case and for seasoned researchers; succeeding in that double mode of address alone is quite a feat. And DiEugenio does a devastating job skewering Tom Hanks and his recent dud of a movie about the assassination, which spends half of its time misrepresenting key facts and the other half leaving out evidence that would discredit itself and show that Oswald was, in fact, innocent. The public is following Sam Goldwyn's dictum: "If people don't want to go see a picture, nobody can stop them." Or as Sam also said, "Go see it and see for yourself why you shouldn't see it." DiEugenio provides disturbing analysis of why filmmakers such as Hanks distort our history and how the CIA and other elements of the U.S. government have managed to get Hollywood to cooperate so thoroughly in that deception. A footnote: For those interested in more of what DiEugenio has to say, go to the Feral House website for parts of RECLAIMING HISTORY that his publisher suppressed, with further background on Bugliosi and Hanks and a section on the legend created about Oswald's non-visit to Mexico. See [...]
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DiEugenio Calls Out Bugliosi for Throwing It All Away 19 Jan 2014
By Dean T. Hartwell - Published on
Disclaimer: Jim DiEugenio gave me a favorable review to a book I wrote five years ago.

I became interested in this book for a number of reasons. I had tried to read Bugliosi's book "Reclaiming History" but became turned off by what I perceived as his refusal to consider any possibility other than Oswald acting alone. I have read other Bugliosi books on the topics of the O.J. Simpson trial, the 2000 Presidential Election, the Bill Clinton/Paula Jones case and others. I have heard him speak about President George W. Bush's rush to judgment to war in Iraq based on non-existent evidence.

I wanted to understand how Bugliosi, so brilliant on these other subjects, could blow it on the JFK assassination. So I read DiEugenio's book "Reclaiming Parkland" and went point by point on Bugliosi's myopic arguments. DiEugenio presents fact-based observations, which I had expected, having been familiar with his work.

But what is Bugliosi's problem? DiEugenio gives the best answer to this question in discussing some of the Hollywood elite. His discussion of Tom Hanks, in particular, strikes at the root of this problem of getting a subject so wrong. Hanks, with the fictional "Mr. Wilson's War," promotes popular myth, not history. DiEugenio sums it up correctly by saying that "Tom Hanks is no historian. He is a mythologist."

It seems Bugliosi has thrown away his reputation of a decent historian for Hollywood. Kudos to DiEugenio for exposing it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterwork by our most devoted JFK historian 11 Mar 2014
By Robert Couteau - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
James DiEugenio is a name that every schoolboy should know. He has devoted his life to uncovering the truth not only behind the JFK assassination but also the behind the JFK character assassination, promulgated by the corporate-controlled mainstream media, that has followed. I highly recommend this book as well as the Second, Revised edition of DiEugenio's classic on the subject, "Destiny Betrayed." With each tome, he sticks to the facts, avoids groundless speculation, and supports his work with scholarly research, methods, and sources.
56 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth Will Out 9 Oct 2013
By Nick Anez - Published on
James DiEugenio's "Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood" is in part a rebuttal to Vincent Bugliosi's massive disinformation tome, "Reclaiming History," a hopelessly futile defense of the thoroughly discredited Warren Report. Numerous books, from Sylvia Meagher's "Accessories After the Fact" and Mark Lane's "Rush to Judgment" to Walt Brown's "The Warren Omission" and Gerald McKnight's "Breach of Trust" have indisputably exposed the Report as a fraud.

In view of this, only a person with a gigantic ego could even begin to think that he could resurrect the Warren Report from oblivion. Vincent Bugliosi was once known as the fearless district attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson and subsequently reaped fame and fortune from his chronicle of the case entitled "Helter Skelter" (even though a first year law student could have successfully convicted Manson and his murderous lunatics).

With such a reputation, Bugliosi must have thought that his name alone would validate the Warren Report and thus effectively destroy the credibility of the critics, despite the monumental evidence that they have amassed proving irrefutably that there was a conspiracy. Of course, Vince knew that his book would receive the support of the government lapdogs in the mainstream media and was probably certain that it would forever silence those danged researchers who had the nasty habit of uncovering the unvarnished truth about the crime of the century.

Unfortunately for Bugliosi, such distinguished researchers as David Mantik, Jim Fetzer, Allan Eaglesham, Michael Green, Gary Aguilar, William Davy and a host of others very quickly exposed the innumerable fallacies of his book. But these critics served as only a prelude to Jim DiEugenio's nuclear devastation of Vince's paperweight.

DiEugenio meticulously dissects Bugliosi's book chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, all with factual data and documentation to support his merciless destruction of Vince's folly. Jim exposes Bugliosi's omissions, distortions, fabrications, inaccuracies and misrepresentations so thoroughly that the former prosecutor should hide his head in shame. Indeed, it is tempting to almost feel sorry for Vince. That is, until it is remembered how he sarcastically ridiculed, belittled, attacked and maligned everyone who disagreed with his fraudulent thesis.

In addition to being an erudite rebuttal to Bugliosi, Jim's book provides unassailable facts surrounding the assassination and the subsequent cover-up. He also provides incisive analysis on why the establishment is still so committed to maintaining the Warren Report's lies. He exposes the corruption at the core of the Warren Commission, beginning with the ineptitude of Earl Warren, who was the chairman in name only. The actual powers of the Commission were Allen Dulles, John McCloy and Gerald Ford. And he shows why these three men, along with evil ogre behind the scenes, J. Edgar Hoover, comprise "four of the most repellant characters in postwar American history."

But exposing Bugliosi's preconceived agenda is only one part of DiEugenio's book. It is also an exposé of just why self-appointed historian Tom Hanks and his production partner Gary Goetzman attempted to salvage Bugliosi's balderdash by purchasing film rights and making a ten-part miniseries for HBO. Jim shows why this attempt failed and eventually led to the film "Parkland." Prior to this less ambitious but equally deceptive piece of celluloid waste, Hanks also produced and starred in "Charley Wilson's War," which glorified a perfidious congressman whose CIA-condoned policies led to catastrophic results in Afghanistan and in the United States. Jim's comprehensive history of the historical facts shows just how dishonest and untruthful that movie was.

DiEugenio exposes Hank, along with his close friend Stephen Spielberg and other Hollywood celebrities, as pompous elitist allies of what is essentially a brutal hegemony. The Old Hollywood that produced Oliver Stone's 1991 film "JFK" was replaced by the New Hollywood. Stone's movie infuriated the powerbrokers because it dared to challenge the government's official report on the assassination. Other provocative movies portrayed the CIA as a criminal organization with unbridled power. The Agency was determined to change that image - and to change Hollywood as well. Thus, in 1996, former CIA agent Chase Brandon became the Agency's official liaison to Hollywood and subsequently persuaded studio moguls and celebrities to rehabilitate the Agency's tarnished image. Jim fully illustrates the ways and means by which Brandon succeeded in making the film capitol a subservient lackey of the Establishment.

DiEugenio illustrates why Oliver Stone would never be able to make "JFK" in the New Hollywood. The manner in which the Establishment castigated Stone was a warning to all filmmakers what would happen to them if they dared to follow in his footsteps. Thus we have Hanks and Goetzman meekly obeying the government's dictates. They paved the way for another great thinker, Leonardo DiCaprio, who with his father will make a government-sanctioned mob-did-it movie based upon another absurdly deceptive book about the assassination. Jim's meeting with Georgio DiCaprio reveals the rampant ignorance behind still another attempt to conceal the truth about the tragedy.

However, despite books like Bugliosi's and movies like "Parkland," truth will out, thanks to indefatigable researchers. Jim's book follows closely on the heels of two other terrific accomplishments. Joseph McBride's "Into the Nightmare," the result of three decades of research and investigation, is a landmark work that is as informative as it is passionate. And Walt Brown's essential CD Rom, "The Master Analytic Chronology of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy" is a monumental achievement that encapsulates everything anyone might need to know about the assassination.

"Reclaiming Parkland" exposes the truth about the culture of corruption responsible for so much of the New Hollywood's product as well as the deceit represented by toadies like Bugliosi and Hanks. It is an indispensable and informative book that reveals the extent of the corruption of America and of Hollywood.
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