Conspiracy: The Definitive Book on the JFK Assassination

Anthony Summers

This massive book, laced with rare photos and oblique documents, pursues the Mafia-CIA link and addresses such matters as: Two men named the gunman they say killed Kennedy. Why did the Reagan Justice Department refuse to pursue the matter? Former chief of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division believed there was a conspiracy, carried out by “rogue” colleagues in intelligence. The president’s body was surgically altered to conceal evidence of a second gunman. And the author’s ace in the sleeve?—a Cuban woman who has sworn to tell all… and does. JB

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 657 pages

Fire in the Sky: The Walton Experience — The Best Documented Case of Alien Abduction Ever Recorded

Travis Walton

“The only facial feature that didn’t appear underdeveloped were those incredible eyes! Those glistening orbs had brown irises twice the size of those of a normal human’s eyes, nearly an inch in diameter! The iris was so large that even parts of the pupils were hidden by the lids, giving the eyes a certain catlike appearance. There was very little of the white part of the eye showing. They had no lashes and no eyebrows.
“The occasional blink of their eyes was strikingly conspicuous. Their huge lids slid quickly down over the glassy bubbles of their eyes, then flipped open again like the release of roll-up window shades. These huge, moist, lashless eyes and the milky translucence of their skin made their appearance slightly reminiscent of a cave salamander. But strangely, in spite of my terror, I felt there was also something gentle and familiar about them. It hit me. Their overall look was disturbingly like that of a human fetus!”

Publisher: Marlowe
Hardback: 370 pages

Forbidden Science: Journals 1957-1969

Jacques Vallee

Vallee, along with his mentor, J. Allen Hynek, was commissioned by the Air Force in 1967 to disprove the UFO phenomena. This volume, spanning the years from Christmas Eve 1957 through 1969, is the very personal record of a man on the frontiers of paranormal and possibly extraterrestrial investigations. In the foreword, Vallee asserts, “These phenomena (UFO) were deliberately denied or distorted by those in authority within the Government and the military. Science never had fair and complete access to the most important files. This fact has been alleged, but never proven. The present book proves it… in fact, the major revelation of these diaries may be the demonstration of how the scientific community was misled by the Government, how the best data was kept hidden, and how the public record was shamelessly manipulated.” The writing is forthright; because it is a collection of diaries, it is dated, with then-current commentary, and the existentialist philosophizing of an unruly young astronomer (along with opinions Dr. Vallee no longer holds). This pulls the reader back in time, and Vallee’s earnestness gives the book a personal tone. “These pages are nothing but a schoolboy’s notebook, in the strange classroom we call life.” An epilogue brings the reader to the present. SK

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 473 pages

Opus Maledictorum: A Book of Bad Words

Edited by Reinhold Aman

Compiled and published by Dr. Reinhold Aman, who since the mid ‘60s has collected all forms of maledicta (Latin for “bad words”), this book is a brilliant appetizer before devouring Aman’s also-brilliant International Journal of Verbal Aggression. Written in a style similar to G. Legman’s classic Rationale of the Dirty Joke, Aman’s compendium covers the scope of the human insult with clarity and wit. The instinctive balance of the writing makes for a highly entertaining read. With just the right amount of scholarship, of populism, of anthropology, of highbrow and low, the Opus Maledictorum will enrich your vocabulary and explain the heritage of malicious slang (which is, of course, as old as mankind). JK

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 364 pages

The Sixties: The Art, Attitudes, Politics and Media of Our Most Explosive Decade

Edited by Gerald Howard

Original writings from (and about) the Pop decade. Calvin Tomkins in “Raggedy Andy,” 1976: “Andy called up Charles Lisanby one day in l962. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘There’s something new we’re starting. It’s called Pop Art, and you better get in on it because you can do it, too.’ Lisanby thought Andy was putting him on. Oddly enough, the whole thing happened so fast that Andy himself almost didn’t get in on it.” Warren Hinckle in Ramparts, 1967: “Dr. Leary claims to have launched the first indigenous religion in America. That may very well be, though as a religious leader he is Aimee Semple McPherson in drag. Dr. Leary, who identifies himself as a ‘prophet,’ recently played the Bay Area in his LSD road show, where he sold $4 seats to lots of squares but few hippies (Dr. Leary’s pitch is to the straight world), showed a Technicolor movie billed as simulating an LSD experience (it was big on close-ups of enlarged blood vessels), burned incense, dressed like a holy man in white cotton pajamas, and told everybody to ‘turn on, tune in, and drop out.’” Albert Goldman, New American Review No. 3, 1968: “A discotheque like the Electric Circus is a votive temple to the electronic muse, crammed with offerings from all her devotees. The patterns on the wall derive from Pop and Op Art; the circus acts are Dada and camp; the costumes of the dancers are Mod and hippie; the technology is the most successful realization to date-of the ideal of ‘art and engineering’; the milieu as a whole is psychedelic, and the discotheque is itself a prime example of mixed-media or total-environment art.” Plus Tom Wolfe on “The Girl of the Year,” Eldridge Cleaver from Soul on Ice, Susan Sontag on “One Culture and the New Sensibility,” R.D. Laing from The Politics of Experience, Marshall McLuhan from Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, and Pauline Kael on Bonnie and Clyde. Read it quick, though, Oliver Stone has almost sucked it dry. GR

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 527 pages

Tales of the Iron Road: My Life as King of the Hoboes

“Steam Train” Maury Graham and Robert A. Hemming

“Steam Train” first hopped a freight in 1931, and hasn’t looked back since. His wanderings have taken him into America’s hobo jungles and railway yards, traveling the tracks in boxcars with partners like “Slow Motion Shorty,” “Fry Pan Jack” and “Hood River Blackie.” In his life of traveling, he has experienced danger, uncertainty and cold, all fueled by hobo stew (he offers his personal recipe). He is the permanent Hobo King of the East, and he has been elected five times as the King of the Hoboes. “Steam Train” has become a famous spokesman for a vanishing way of life. SC

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 222 pages

Diary of an Unknown

Jean Cocteau

Written during the last 10 years of Cocteau’s life, Diary of an Unknown is a collection of essays covering many of the author’s familiar topics and themes: angels, invisibility, the treachery of friends and supposed friends, the delight in paradox and contradiction, advice to the young, the birth of ideas. At times annoyingly self-referential and overly clever (“Know that your works speak only to those on the same wavelength as you”), the volume is nevertheless a masterly blend of personal experience, classical erudition and mellifluent style that is uniquely Cocteau’s. Includes intimate recollections of Proust, Picasso, Stravinsky, Sartre and Gide. The collection proves yet again that Cocteau is at his most effective and empathetic when he’s able to drop the “grande dame of French letters” persona and immerse himself in his subjects rather than himself—a feat he’s most capable of pulling off when speaking of the dispossessed, be it the homosexual or the artist: “This is where the poet’s torment comes from, a torment he knows he’s not responsible for, yet forces himself to believe he is, so as to give himself the backbone to suffer life until he dies.” Despite its minor glitches, this is an invaluable read from one of the giants of 20th century French writing. MDG

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 234 pages

Conversations: The Autobiography of Surrealism

André Breton

Only Breton would have the nerve to call this book the “autobiography” of Surrealism. It is in fact a truer portrait of him than of the history of Surrealism. Breton had a profound need for what is now called “damage control,” and was guarded about what he said about the Surrealist movement. His circumspect view and the manner in which he presents it provide an eerie and intriguing look into the workings of his mind. The book consists of a series of what might loosely be termed “interviews.” But Breton not only carefully crafts each and every response long in advance, he also provides the interviewer with the appropriate questions—giving the reader a stimulating, interesting yet wholly selective view of Breton and Surrealism. A marvelous, tantalizing book. MM

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 264 pages

On Nietzsche

Georges Bataille

Bataille’s bleak personal journals written while he was waiting out the Nazi occupation of France in the countryside, constructed as a dialogue between himself and excerpts from Nietzsche’s writings. Racked with self-doubt and far removed from the icy ecstasy of his idol’s words and his own later writings he noted: “Making my inner experience a project: doesn’t that result in a remoteness, on my part, from the summit that might have been?” SS

Publisher: Marlowe
Paperback: 256 pages