Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him Hardcover – November, 1993
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Now that the Soviet spooks are able to speak, there will probably be more books like this one--providing an opportunity to see how foolishly similar the vast secret bureaucracies were on both sides of the Cold War. What Col. Nechiporenko knows about Oswald, however, is not revelatory. He was stationed at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City when Oswald appeared there in 1963 seeking visas to Cuba and Moscow. Nechiporenko recalls Oswald as highly neurotic and agitated; he brandished a pistol and babbled of being persecuted in the U.S. The colonel also had access to all the KGB reports on the odd American during his stay in the Soviet Union, and reveals how Oswald was handled as a hot propaganda potato, but was regarded as too unstable for any kind of espionage work, thus bearing out what Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko told Gerald Posner in Case Closed . On the whole Nechiporenko believes that Oswald was Kennedy's sole assassin, though, somewhat paradoxically, he feels there was a plot, and that Oswald was the planned scapegoat for it; he just acted before the conspirators were ready. There is charm and humor in the book, considerable padding and an intriguing glimpse into how official KGB theorizing works: like something out of Harvard Business School. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A colonel in the KGB at the time of his retirement, the author worked at the Soviet consulate in Mexico City when a man who was supposedly Lee Harvey Oswald visited in September 1963 to complain about his treatment by the FBI and request a visa to return to the USSR, where he had lived previously. Nechiporenko and two other KGB agents questioned the man and gave him forms to fill out but concluded that he was emotionally disturbed. The narrative is sometimes convoluted and hard to follow, but Nechiporenko's tale is still intriguing. He concludes that there was a conspiracy by highly placed Americans to kill Kennedy, that the Soviets and Castro had nothing to do with the assassination, and that Oswald did pull the trigger but that he had been psychologically manipulated into doing it. Suitable for the JFK collections of public and academic libraries. Index and photos not seen.
- Daniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
This is not one of the most ground-breaking books on Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination. In fact this is a revised book review of this tome because my original years ago was excessively harsh. Nevertheless, another reviewer, a Mr. Hilliard of Toronto, Canada, also wrote a critical review at that time that appeared in Amazon: "Nechiporenko's book is tedious, dull, and does not reveal anything that we do not already know in the 'facts' department." This is still largely true.
Usually books by former spies reveal information of historical or intelligence interest. This book does not, except for the narrow window of when Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico. The first part of his book about "facts" was written to show the KGB had nothing to do with Lee Harvey Oswald, as the KGB found him unsuitable for intelligence work. Nechiporenko used boring, bureaucratese narrative to reveal and explain archival documents that exonerate the KGB from having had anything to do with President Kennedy's assassination. This denial appears to be truthful according to the available information we have, including the Mitrokhin Archives. In addition, Nechiporenko does describe Oswald truthfully as a fanatic communist determined to go to Cuba. The critical time Oswald spent in the Soviet embassy in Mexico in the weeks prior to the JFK assassination is described convincingly, and I believe Nechiporenko, as an eyewitness and a participant in the affair, is truthful in his account. This information has been fully validated by other sources. Nevertheless, this uncolorful information has not been well received by many of the most dogged conspiracy theorists, but seems to be correct and consistent with the course of events.
Unfortunately, Parts 2 and 3 deal with speculative, bizarre, tendentious conspiracy theories, and the book rapidly deteriorates! Col. Oleg Nechiporenko's main source seemed to have been about about right-wing conspiracies: Jim Garrison, the New Orleans prosecutor; Jim Marrs' "Crossfire," "JFK," the movie by Oliver Stone, all of whom he quotes in footnotes, but to his credit, he also read the Warren Commission and was aware of Edward J. Epstein's book, Legend.
As a "loyal" ex-KGB officer, Oleg Nechiporenko wrote the book (with the assistance and permission of Russia's intelligence services), it seems, to squelch any doubts as to the KGB's involvement in the Kennedy's assassination, as well as to point fingers elsewhere: A grand conspiracy of the CIA, FBI, anti-Castro-Cubans, the Military-Industrial complex, using Lee H. Oswald as a "patsy"... I wasn't sure I would be able to finish Part 3 -- and not finishing a book, once I start is extremely rare for me. I usually plow to the bitter end. But I did finish the book, wrote and revised my review!
If you want to more read informative, intriguing, and suspenseful books on this subject, I recommend, 1) Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald by Edward J. Epstein (1978), which as written from the "right" side of the political spectrum, and 2) By Norman Mailer: Oswald's Tale:: An American Mystery (1995) by Norman Mailer (from the left side of politics). The most authoritative book is also the most enthralling on the subject: Case Closed by Gerald Posner. The most recent new material is contained in Castro's Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (2012) by Brian Latell.
Nechiporenko's book does have illustrations, particularly of its author and an index, which compensate to some degree for the serious shortcomings in the book as I have already mentioned. Although there is some valid, firsthand information in Part 1, I am not able to recommend this book for general readers because of the extensive, speculative disinformation in Parts 2 and 3, written obviously to pander to the many conspiracy theorists of the left, as well as to further (needlessly) exonerate the Soviets, including Nechiporenko himself by pointing fingers elsewhere, and to serve Nechiporenko's persistently unrepentant, communist ideology.
The reviewer Dr. Miguel Faria is a medical historian, and an Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995), Cuba in Revolution -- Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002), and numerous articles on political history, including "Stalin's Mysterious Death" (2011); "Stalin, Communists and Fatal Statistics" (2011); "the Political Spectrum -- From the Extreme Right and Anarchism to the Extreme Left and Communism" (2011); "America, guns and Freedom" (2012); etc., all posted at his website haciendapublishingdotcom