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Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him Hardcover – November, 1993

2.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Birch Lane Pr; First Edition edition (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155972210X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559722100
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like this book. Has very good footnotes and index. It is written in an unusual style, but has a lot of information gleaned from a broad range of sources. This guy does not see to have a single goal like most other authors, he presents a broad spectrum of ideas and scenarios. Interesting book. Would buy it again...
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Format: Hardcover
This fascinating account of Oswald's attempt to go to Cuba can be told by no other writer. Oswald went to Mexico City 7 weeks before the JFK assassination and tried to get a visa to go to Cuba. The Cuban Consulate said they could not issue such a visa on such short notice and suggested he go to the Russia Consulate. He did and had an encounter with Comrade Oleg Nechiporenko that explains Oswald's attempts to manipulate authorities. Oswald tried to solve his feelings of insignificance by coaxing Russian authorities to let him have a visa to go to Russia via Cuba and tried to demonstrate his affiliation with communism. He also pulled a gun and explained that he had to carry it because of persecution by the FBI. Nechiporenko recounts Oswald's manipulations, instability, and desperation in a way that no other person has ever done. This book should be re-issued for the general public to understand Oswald.
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Format: Hardcover
Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him by Oleg Nechiporenko is a disappointing book from an ex-KGB officer for an intriguing subject!

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I think that when the curtain came down on the good old Soviet Union the author looked around and decided he would make a little money with a book. Unfortunate for him the spy tell all books were coming out of Russia faster then one could count. The author must have then decided well lets milk the JFK assignation market. There are interesting bits about how the KGB worked and what good old Henry did in the USSR, but overall a bit of a dull, less then built up book. The author took a 15 page magazine article and made a 300-page book out of it. If you are interested in this topic go straight to the tour de force of the group - Crossfire by Jim Marrs.
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Format: Hardcover
Any book that touts Yuri Nosenko as a bonafide defector is problematic for me, b/c there is ample evidence that he was a provocateur/mole sent to discredit Anatoliy Golitsyn, a KGB officer who came over to our side first. Check out "Spy Wars" by Tennent H. Bagley.
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