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 audiobook that delves into the Kennedy assassination, the New Hollywood, and the political influence on how films are made today.
In Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi, and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood, James DiEugenio looks at the John F. Kennedy assassination through the lens of Hollywood.
Voiced with urgency by Brian Troxell, Reclaiming Parkland is a takedown of Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi’s defense of the Warren Commission report and Tom Hanks’ attempt to dramatize it as a feature film. In his polemic, he painstakingly attacks the claims made in Bugliosi’s volume.
Troxell uses a full voice and brusque delivery, particularly in passages of scene, for this book that will delight conspiracy seekers.
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Comprehensive Vincent Bugliosi takedown
- Mark Lynch
I am a huge fan of James DiEugenio's writing and as such this was another enjoyable book.
I'd compare it to 'You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again' by Julia Phillips - her account of her career as a film producer.
Some books sound as if they're being read and some books sound as though the author himself is telling the story (sometimes they are): this book falls into the latter category.
I did not have an emotional reaction to the book as I know the story somewhat well, having now listened to or read a number of books on the subject. It did not make me laugh or cry but it did make me feel somewhat disillusioned with those who have a lot of power.
Great book. The narrator did a super job and he had me entertained to the very last word. This is a book I will listen to at least a half dozen times again.
- Diane Creel