The Interloper

The Interloper

Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union

Book - 2013
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Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 remains one of the most horrifying and hotly debated crimes in American history. Just as perplexing as the assassination is the assassin himself; the 24-year-old Oswald's hazy background and motivations--and his subsequent murder at the hands of Jack Ruby--make him an intriguing yet frustratingly enigmatic figure. Because Oswald briefly defected to the Soviet Union, some historians allege he was a Soviet agent. But as Peter Savodnik shows in The Interloper , Oswald's time in the U.S.S.R. reveals a stranger, more chilling story.

Oswald ventured to Russia at the age of 19, after a failed stint in the U.S. Marine Corps and a childhood spent shuffling from address to address with his unstable, needy mother. Like many of his generation, Oswald struggled for a sense of belonging in postwar American society, which could be materialistic, atomized, and alienating. The Soviet Union, with its promise of collectivism and camaraderie, seemed to offer an alternative. While traveling in Europe, Oswald slipped across the Soviet border, soon settling in Minsk where he worked at a radio and television factory. But Oswald quickly became just as disillusioned with his adopted country as he had been with the United States. He spoke very little Russian, had difficulty adapting to the culture of his new home, and found few trustworthy friends; indeed most, it became clear, were informing on him to the KGB. After nearly three years, Oswald returned to America feeling utterly defeated and more alone than ever--and as Savodnik shows, he began to look for an outlet for his frustration and rage.

Drawing on groundbreaking research, including interviews with Oswald's friends and acquaintances in Russia and the United States, The Interloper brilliantly evokes the shattered psyche not just of Oswald himself, but also of the era he so tragically defined.

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2013.
ISBN: 9780465021819
Branch Call Number: 364.1524092 OSWAL-S
Characteristics: xvi, 267 p. ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

This biography by journalist Savodnik emphasizes the nearly three years that Oswald spent in the Soviet Union and attempts to address the question of why he wanted to kill the President.

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Nov 04, 2013

"Peter Savodnik's writing has appeared in Harper's, Time , the New York Times , the Atlantic Monthly ...." so states the Author Notes, but Harper's has run some pretty anti-progressive and dishonest stories the last few years (Kevin Phillips blaming the economic meltdown on the CPI [Consumer Price Index]? Atlantic Monthly praising Palantir Technology recently, the company which tried to market disinformation campaigns against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?). This author unequivocally states that Oswald was guilty, yet no court was every convened because, somehow, most mysteriously, Jack Ruby approached and killed Lee Oswald while he was IN POLICE CUSTODY! And from the Warren Commission Report, we learn a fact that was most conveniently never followed up on, namely that Mayor Earl Cabell knew Jack Ruby quite well, as did many members of the Dallas PD (could it be because Ruby was the mob's payoff guy to the Dallas Police?). Another pre-financed, misinformational and disinformational book published just in time for the 50th year recognition of the takeover in 1963! Lee Oswald had nothing to do with the murder of JFK, as much crowd sourced information and evidence has concretely revealed. (Best to read the highly well-researched books of David Talbot, Donald Gibson, Peter Janney, James Douglass, Mark Lane, Fletcher Prouty, Russ Baker, and Lance DeHaven-Smith, etc.)

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