LIBRA is a fictional speculation on one of modern history's central events: the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The anti-hero is Lee Harvey Oswald, who is as hauntingly real in the book as he was elusive in reality. Here he is joining the Marines, defecting to Russia, and imagining himself as an agent of history. That is until two disgruntled CIA operatives decide that an unsuccessful attempt on JFK's life, one that can be linked to Castro, is the only way to put Cuba back into geopolitical play – and that Oswald would be the perfect instrument for their plan. Oswald's sign was Libra, the scales, and how he tilts them will determine whether Dallas will be just a political trip or the focus of exploded American dreams.
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Written 35 years after JFK died, Libra is Don DeLillo’s imaginative rendition of a world where Lee Harvey Oswald was sent by the CIA to kill the nation’s President. DeLillo counterpoints this tale with the contemporary story of an archivist named Nicholas Branch, whose job it is to piece together the fragments of evidence surrounding Kennedy’s death. Looking deeply into notions of paranoia, conspiracy and how history is written, Libra investigates significant issues surrounding one huge, very American question: are our lives as self-determined as our ideas of freedom and liberty would like us to believe? It’s also DeLillo’s most penetrating account of how government can fall prey to group-think and misinformation, and how the person at the top — the President — can be isolated on a “summit of unknowing” and suffer the dire consequences that come with being shielded from the truth.