Customer Review

February 21, 2006
Jean Davison's "Oswald's Game" is 343 pages of impeccably-researched material detailing the very unusual 24-year life of Lee Harvey Oswald -- the man who was charged with assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

During the many years since this 1983 book was published, Davison has defended her "Lone Assassin" position (at a variety of public JFK forums) with grace, dignity, and (above all) a wealth of facts to support the idea that Oswald was anything BUT an innocent "Patsy" on November 22nd, 1963.

As the pages of this book are turned, it becomes easier and easier to climb inside the mind of Lee Harvey Oswald, and assess what probably was going through this strange man's head when he took it upon himself to carry a cheap mail-order rifle into work one day in 1963 and change the course of history.

It's also interesting to note (via these intriguing pages) how Oswald has been severely mischaracterized by conspiracy theorists over the years as a person who could easily be manipulated (i.e., a "dupe" who could easily fall prey to some kind of "Patsy" plot).

When, in reality, Lee Oswald was, himself, an expert "manipulator". This book details many, many verified instances where Oswald would cleverly manipulate his wife Marina to serve his own self-serving purposes....and how he manipulated the officials at the American Embassy in Russia, in order to secure the proper papers so that he could return to the United States in 1962 after defecting to the USSR.

There is a clear and distinct PATTERN over many years of Oswald "using" people to serve his own needs and desires. This man Oswald was no brain-dead dupe....and would certainly have not been stupid enough to be suckered into some assassination plot in November 1963, whereby he would willingly take his own rifle into his own workplace for the purpose of handing it over to some co-conspirator, who would in turn use it to kill JFK.

Conspiracists have too often (almost always, in fact) totally ignored the type of manipulative and scheming person Lee Harvey Oswald HIMSELF was in the months and years leading up to November 22nd, 1963.

After reading "Oswald's Game", it's very nearly impossible to NOT say to yourself dozens of times throughout these chapters: This guy Oswald was just EXACTLY the type of crackpot Marxist who just might want to take a potshot at the President of the United States if given THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO (which he was afforded -- on 11/22/63 in Dallas, Texas).

Here are some of my favorite passages and quotes from "Oswald's Game":

"Is it possible that Castro's warning to American leaders gave Oswald the idea that Kennedy should be killed? ... Oswald was quoted as telling a consular official {in Mexico City} that he wanted to 'free Cuba from American imperialism'. Then he said, 'Someone ought to shoot that President Kennedy. Maybe I'll try to do it'. {Daniel} Schorr had uncovered two sources that reported Oswald's threat." -- Pages 22-23


"This book will present evidence that Castro's public warning did, in fact, inspire Oswald to assassinate the president. Furthermore, the full context of Oswald's life directed him toward this reaction. In the final analysis, the assassination was a natural outgrowth of Oswald's character and background -- and of the American-backed plots to kill Castro." -- Page 23


"The argument that Oswald was the tool of a high-level conspiracy does seem plausible, until one tries to fit it into the context these theorists always leave out -- the personality and background of Lee Harvey Oswald, the individual." -- Page 25


"Ten days after his interview with Priscilla Johnson, Oswald wrote a second, remarkable letter to {his brother} Robert. ... He advised his brother of the following: 1. In the event of war I would kill ANY American who put a uniform on in defense of the American government -- any American." -- Pages 38-39


"For one thing, this model {from "the St. Elizabeths Study"} at least provides a framework for looking again at Oswald's breathtaking arrogance -- for instance, the manner in which he threatened to give away military secrets at the U.S. Embassy and then loudly complained that the embassy had acted illegally in refusing to let him sign away his citizenship. Oswald expected his adversaries to abide by the letter of the law, whereas he did as he pleased. ... The cumulative details of his life reveal more about him than any category we might use to explain him." -- Page 68


"{On the subject of "Death", Oswald told George DeMohrenschildt}: 'I have had enough time in this short existence of mine. What shall I do with eternity? When a rich man dies, he is loaded with his possessions like a prisoner with chains. I will die free, death will be easy for me'." -- Page 112


"The assassination attempt against {General Edwin A.} Walker, like his defection, revealed Oswald's extreme dedication to his political beliefs. All else was secondary to him -- his family, even the question of whether he lived or died." -- Page 131


"These credentials {presented by Oswald himself within his "resume"} indicate that {Oswald} saw himself as an experienced political operative who was qualified to work for the Cuban revolution as a soldier, lecturer, organizer, agitator, translator, or spy. ... He expected to be welcomed aboard, and he would then go out and distinguish himself in the Communist world and work his way up. ... For someone who couldn't hold a job in the United States, he had some extraordinary ambitions." -- Page 180


"When these men visited {Sylvia} Odio's apartment {on September 25, 1963}, Kennedy's trip to Dallas had not even been scheduled, let alone announced. ... No one on earth could have known that Oswald would ultimately land a job in a building that would overlook a Kennedy motorcade.

"But the frame-up theory's ultimate weakness involves the critics' conception of Lee Harvey Oswald. In every conspiracy book, Oswald is a piece of chaff blown about by powerful, unseen forces -- he's a dumb and compliant puppet with no volition of his own. If the man Odio saw was an impostor, how could the plotters be certain no witnesses would be able to establish Oswald's presence somewhere else that evening -- unless they ordered the unsuspecting patsy to stay out of sight?

"And if the real Oswald was used, how did the anti-Castro plotters get their Marxist enemy to stand at Odio's door to be introduced as a friend of the Cuban exiles?

"No one has come up with a plausible scenario that can answer those questions. ... The point to be stressed is this: Sylvia Odio gave testimony of obvious, even crucial importance, and no one could explain what it meant." -- Pages 193-195


"I began to see how similar {Oswald's} encounters with Bringuier and Odio were. Oswald had approached each of them as an eager volunteer. ... The age-old role of the provocateur is to encourage acts of violence that will discredit the group he has infiltrated. ... In other words, the mysterious Odio incident was another of Oswald's attempts to infiltrate the anti-Castro underground. The intended victim of this enterprise was not Lee Harvey Oswald, but Sylvia Odio and the Cuban exiles. Oswald was plotting against the exiles, not the other way around.

"Unlike the explanations offered by the Warren Commission and its critics, this solution FITS THE REST OF THE EVIDENCE ABOUT OSWALD. And it makes better sense, after all, that Oswald went to see Odio for some reason of his own, than that he was impersonated or duped by his enemies." -- Pages 195-196 [Emphasis is Jean Davison's own.]


"At 12:30 P.M. {on November 22, 1963}, Lee Harvey Oswald entered history. Three shots from a sixth-floor Depository window hit Governor Connally once and the president twice." -- Pages 241-242


"Marina could tell that he was guilty. If he hadn't been, she thought, he would have been loudly protesting his arrest, and besides, she sensed that he was saying goodbye to her with his eyes." -- Page 249


"{Dallas Police Detective James R.} Leavelle told the {Warren} Commission the prisoner {Oswald} seemed very much in control of himself at all times and added, 'In fact, he struck me as a man who enjoyed the situation immensely and was enjoying the publicity and everything [that] was coming his way'." -- Page 253


"{At 11:21 AM on Sunday, November 24, 1963, Jack} Ruby rushed forward and shot him {Oswald} once in the abdomen. ... When the crowd outside heard what had happened, it let out a cheer. ... A raised fist was Oswald's last comment." -- Page 254


"Although the solutions proposed by {David} Lifton and {Michael} Eddowes are more farfetched than some, they use the same style of reasoning found in other conspiracy books. All these theories are based on unexplained discrepancies in the record. ... Alternative explanations and the overall pattern of the evidence are given little attention, if any." -- Pages 274-275


"The reader {of pro-conspiracy books} will understand the difficulty these writers have sidestepped if he or she tries to invent a story that explains why an INNOCENT Oswald went to Irving for 'curtain rods', left his wedding ring behind the next morning, brought a package into the Depository, and so on. Because the evidence against Oswald is strong, any detailed reconstruction that argues a frame-up will inevitably sound less plausible than one that argues his guilt." -- Page 276


"The conspiracists' methods produce a surreal world. Every discrepancy is interpreted as a crack in the official stone wall through which one may glimpse the ugly truth of what happened. Behind the wall are disconnected scenes, each with its own set of conspirators. On close examination, many of these scenes evaporate." -- Page 277


"The assassination of John Kennedy was neither an act of random violence nor a conspiracy. It was carried out as a result of Oswald's character and background interacting with circumstance." -- Page 297


I challenge anyone who reads this book to then come away from such a reading with the following mindset: "There is no possible way to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed John F. Kennedy by himself on November 22, 1963".

Such a mindset should forever be eliminated from a reasonable person's head upon the completion of reading "Oswald's Game".

The physical evidence of Oswald's guilt in the JFK assassination has been rock-solid since the day the murder occurred in Dallas. But the question of "Why would he want to shoot the President?" had been dangling in the breeze -- never fully explained in a detailed manner -- until Jean Davison came out with this absorbing book twenty years after the President's death.

It's true, of course, that "Oswald's Game" will not convince every last person on the planet that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK all alone....but it should increase the percentage of "LNers" by a goodly number. Of that, I am certain.


In a (lone) nutshell.....

1.) This book shows (beyond a reasonable doubt, in my opinion) that Lee Harvey Oswald had it WITHIN HIMSELF the desire to shoot President Kennedy.

2.) The physical evidence positively indicates that Oswald's very own Mannlicher-Carcano rifle WAS the one and ONLY weapon used to kill JFK.

Those two things go together like bread and butter. When adding #1 to #2 above, it's pretty clear that Lee Oswald was not the "innocent patsy" that so many conspiracy theorists seem to want to believe he was. Instead, numbers 1 and 2 above, when merged, are telling the world that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
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