Books by Dick Russell

Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"Not all readers will be convinced, but Russell provides an earnest and eye-opening account of the possible thin line between a psychotic disorder and mysticism."
A memoir about the tight bond between a father and his mentally ill son. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 22, 2008

"For assassination and conspiracy-theory buffs, a windfall. For everyone else, another exercise in guesswork."
Just in time for the 45th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy comes this intriguing, if not necessarily convincing, collection of pieces on the matter. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"Anyone who's been held rapt in a whale's presence will find this a delight—and those who haven't will find it an inspiration."
A keen and passionate anthropological-natural history of the gray whale, twinned with a portrait of the whale's great nemesis-turned-admirer, from environmental journalist Russell (The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
BLACK GENIUS by Dick Russell
Released: March 1, 1998

Though well meaning, Russell's intended trove of biographical essays about important and inspiring African-Americans sounds an annoyingly simplistic, jingoistic rah-rah for people (Duke Ellington, Bob Moses) who deserve much better. The former TV Guide staffer just doesn—t offer sophisticated analysis. Instead, he offers ritualistic kudos directed, perhaps, to the perpetually innocent white consumer. Russell has an irritating habit of collecting profuse quotes from a fascinating elect (Cornel West, Toni Morrison) that we have heard before but usually in better-framed, more eloquent sentences. His observations are lackluster (in West's Harvard University office, "books lay stacked everywhere—horizontally, vertically, diagonally"). Russell does lay out the basic information about his 33 subjects, well-known and lesser-known (such as sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller and arts educator Elma Lewis). Yet neither individually nor cumulatively do these portraits approach an elucidation of genius in general, or of black genius in particular. This is a shame, since an intelligent biographical look at the African-American heritage for the general reader is long overdue. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 29, 1992

Giant, solo, 17-year investigation into a man allegedly hired to kill Lee Harvey Oswald and prevent the assassination of JFK. This ten-pound plate of assassination spaghetti and supposition has much to recommend it, including immense research and documentation, and may bear on any final understanding about the apparent plot to kill Kennedy. Russell shows how several schemes gathered steam and then fell through before the final plot succeeded. The thrust of Russell's book is that a double agent for the CIA and the KGB, Richard Case Nagell—who is still alive and has contributed quite a bit to the present work—not only knew Oswald before the killing and was privy to information about several plots to kill the President, but was also part of several espionage dramas played out during the summer of 1963. While under the belief that he was working for the CIA in gathering information about five different groups that were creating the climate for the assassination, Nagell discovered that his real sponsor was the KGB- -and that he was being set up to kill Oswald in Mexico City and derail the JFK assassination. Nagell allegedly has a tape recording (made secretly by himself) of Oswald and fellow conspirators making plans, while Russell says that he has eye-witness proof that the murder rifle was found on the fourth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, then moved to the sixth; and he claims that oil billionaire H.L. Hunt bought the Zapruder film before Time-Life got its duplicate—which Time-Life thought was the original. Deep wading, with a 15-page ``Cast of Characters'' to keep straight. Read full book review >