Books by Gus Russo

Gus Russo is the author of The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America and Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK. He is an investigative reporter who has worked for various major television


BEST OF ENEMIES by Eric Dezenhall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 2, 2018

"An unusual, entertaining story of steadfast friendship amid governmental treachery."
A rollicking tale of Cold War espionage focused on the improbable bond between a macho CIA agent and his KGB counterpart. Read full book review >
WHERE WERE YOU? by Gus Russo
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"An engrossing, politically charged accompaniment to a TV event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination."
The companion volume to a forthcoming NBC documentary on the Kennedy assassination. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2008

"A serious, intriguing look at the blood feud whose horrible consequences continue to reverberate."
Two investigative journalists recount the dangerous political duel between the brothers Kennedy and Castro. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 13, 2006

"It won't surprise any savvy reader to learn that politics, commerce and crime go hand in hand. Still, there are plenty of revelations in this absorbing, if overlong, book."
There are two kinds of power: the visible and the invisible. Those who wield the latter, writes Russo (Live by the Sword, 1998, etc.), are scarier, more pervasive and harder to bust. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 1998

Probably the last book on the Kennedy assassination you will need to read. Veteran investigative reporter Russo has reported for both ABC and PBS documentaries on the subject. Here he begins with an autobiographical introduction to convince readers he is not a conspiracy theory nut. His description of the twists and turns in his beliefs about the Kennedy assassination suggest an open-mindedness that is reason to take this author seriously, as well as a serious obsession with the subject matter. Russo argues that the critical question is not who killed Kennedy but why, an inquiry that takes us far beyond Oswald as a lone gunman. In a nutshell, the Bay of Pigs disaster left the Kennedy brothers committed to removing Castro, even to the extent of endorsing bizarre James Bond'style assassination schemes. Bobby was personally involved in this "Cuba Project," an effort pursued through a Cuban-American community so porous that all such activities were known by Castro in advance, and none of them was even close to successful. Oswald was also familiar with these efforts through his contact with the Cuban community, and he acted because he believed Kennedy was out to kill his hero, Castro. Whether Oswald had support from the Cubans remains a mystery, but for Russo the bottom line is that "JFK's actions towards Castro were so outlandish, in fact, that had it not been Oswald, someone else was bound to take a shot at him." The coverup that followed was not due to governmental complicity in the assassination, but was rather to protect Kennedy's reputation. "For three decades, Kennedy loyalists would fight tooth and nail to perpetuate the ‘lone nut' hypothesis and to keep the lid on the Kennedys' attempts to murder Fidel Castro." Russo's extremely detailed account reveals much more that was going on, but the story in the end is that the Kennedy brothers were inexperienced and incautious, and they paid the price for a reckless foreign policy. Gripping and convincing. (50 b&w photos, not seen) ($75,000 ad/promo; first printing of 100,000; author tour; TV satellite tour) Read full book review >