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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 18 reviews
This book's contribution appears to be that it compiles almost everything that is known outside of Russia and Cuba about Lee Harvey Oswald. There has always been something screwy about the fact that the man who shot John F. Kennedy was an American who had defected to Russia. This is obviously a spectacularly rare kind of person, and this fact has spawned an infinite number of conspiracy theories.

While this book occasionally bogs down in tedious detail about Oswald's life, it is insightful in a very subtle way -- it gives the reader some idea what Oswald was actually like. This in turn allows the reader to make his or her own judgment as to whether Oswald was acting under the control of an external power or agency, or was acting on his own. Spoiler alert -- I will give my own opinion in the next portion of this review. While I do not think that these comments will spoil the book for anyone, my review policy generally is to eschew spoilers.

In my opinion, the evidence in this book makes it almost certain that Oswald, at one time or another, was intended by the Soviets to be a tool for Soviet espionage against the United States. This explains the somewhat lavish lifestyle that it allowed Oswald while he lived in Russia, as well as the relative ease with which Oswald returned to the USA and the fact that the Russians allowed his new Russian wife to return with him. (It was notorious that the Russians rarely allowed Soviet spouses of Westerners to leave Russia.) Oswald had associations with probable Soviet agents once he returned to America, and he and his wife lived a strange, lie-infested lifestyle that was frankly bizarre. The reader will lose track of how many times the Oswalds tried to inflict Marina Oswald on some hapless friend or other as a semi-permanent houseguest on pretexts that were straight lies.

This book sets forth facts that suggest to me that Oswald did not remain under Soviet control once he returned to the United States. He appears to have "gone rogue" and committed numerous acts which cannot have been at the direction of the Soviets. One spectacular example is the fairly well-documented fact that Oswald tried to shoot right-wing extremist General Walker. On the other hand, the possibility exists that Oswald was acting under Cuban direction to shoot President Kennedy, although my own opinion is that he did this on his own in the belief that this was what the Cubans wanted, as revenge for the US government's attempts at assassinating Fidel Castro. If this is true, then the Warren Commission's conclusion is essentially correct.

Quite appropriately in my view, the book concludes by focusing on the Yuri Nosenko affair. Nosenko was ostensibly a defector to the CIA from the Soviet KGB. He adamantly reported that the KGB had no connection with Oswald or involvement in the Kennedy assassination. For a very long time the CIA believed Nosenko was a false defector and Soviet disinformation agent. Later the CIA and FBI did an abrupt about-face and concluded that Nosenko was genuine. Today, most experts seem to believe that Nosenko was in fact a fake defector and Soviet disinformation agent. This book reaches that conclusion with which I concur. This does not mean that the Soviets were controlling Oswald at the time he assassinated the President. It does suggest that the Soviets were morbidly (and rationally) afraid of being tarred with the brush of their own previous involvement with Oswald.

Overall, this is a pretty readable book that probably will satisfy most anyone's curiosity about the bizarre life of Lee Harvey Oswald. It does not answer all questions about the Kennedy Assassination, but nothing seems likely to ever do that. I will say that this book does a better job than most in supporting the ultimate conclusions of the Warren Commission. Recommended. RJB.
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on October 30, 2016
I read this book thirty years ago and just had to have another look.
This book cuts through the muck to present the many incongruities
of Oswald's life.
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on October 6, 2016
Seminal research into the identity of accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald...
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on December 2, 2016
A different perspective on the assasination.
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on July 1, 2016
Good work on a difficult subject.
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on October 5, 2012
Basically the book gives a portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald. It is concerned with whether or not he acted alone, or if he colluded with anyone, or any government, in the assassination of President Kennedy. It agrees that the evidence Oswald shot the president is overwhelming. The book has a nice addendum addressing the evidence.

What the book primarily focuses on is the defection of a KGB agent named Yuri Ivanovich Nosenko. Without giving too much away of the book, he claimed to have firsthand knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald's time in the U.S.S.R. Little was known of Oswald's time in that country. Now here was a KGB agent, Nosenko, who claimed to have knowledge of that time period. Was his information reliable? That is what the CIA, FBI, and the Warren Commission wanted to know. Epstein masterfully tells the story of how the CIA came to one conclusion and the FBI another. He details how facts can be massaged to help government agencies save face, while the truth can get buried in the process. It is up to the reader to figure out if this happened in the Nosenko case.

The book has a copyright of 1978. It is quite possible that more information has become available in the ensuing years concerning Nosenko. I'm quite certain conspiracy buffs would challenge some of Epstein's conclusions. Be that as it may, I enjoyed the book and could hardly put in down.
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on May 15, 2012
This book tells the story of Lee Harvey Oswald and his career, most probably, as a Soviet spy before he went to the Soviet Union, then returned and assassinated John F Kennedy. I don't believe the Soviets were behind Oswald's actions although it is not clear if Cuba may have contributed. It is clear that the FBI and J Edgar Hoover were complicit or authored a cover-up of Oswald's career, including his connections with the KGB. He was a Marine radar technician in Japan at the time the U-2 was flying missions over the Soviet Union and China in 1959. He had an odd social life in Japan that included relationships with expensive bar-girls who could not be afforded on his Marine salary as a corporal. His time on the Soviet Union is mysterious, as is the history of his wife Marina. It is obvious that the FBI, shocked by its failure to watch him after he returned from the USSR, still a Marxist, did not want the Warren Commission to know his story. The book, an ebook, is highly recommended for those who are still interested in the Kennedy assassination.
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on September 29, 2013
a lot of research went into this and what a life! it is good to learn more about this man who killed such a good man!
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on December 10, 2012
This book makes a good case for the idea that LHO was a paid assassin for the communists. It is well researched
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