The book, released when political tension between Johnson and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the dead president’s brother and attorney general, was increasing, seemed likely to worsen the already bad relations between the two men. In an ill-considered move, Jacqueline Kennedy sued Manchester to compel him to delete negative language about Johnson and personal matters of which she disapproved. During the resulting public furor, the reputations of all involved suffered. Kennedy was seen as trying to censor an author whose work she disliked. Finally, lawyers for Manchester and Kennedy reached an out-of-court settlement. The Death of a President became a best-seller. It is remembered as a significant episode in the bitter animosity between Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy. It was also the moment when Jacqueline Kennedy’s public image suffered its first serious reverse since the murder of her husband.

Related Works

Hundreds of books have since been written about the assassination; one of the better accounts is The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: A Complete Book of Facts (1992), by historians James P. Duffy and Vincent L. Ricci.