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The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union
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The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of President Kennedy remains one of the most horrifyingand hotly debatedcrimes in American history. Because Oswald had briefly defected to the Soviet Union, some historians allege he was a Soviet stooge. But as Peter Savodnik shows in The Interloper, Oswald's time in the USSR reveals a stranger, more chilling story. Oswald fled to the Sovi ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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What Peter Savodnik presents about Oswald in the Soviet Union is good, but, unfortunately, there not much of it. If you eliminate the intro part on his childhood and early youth, the author's ruminations on the assassination and the white pages between chapters of this 219 page book, we're down to 170 or so pages. Other chapters are like, but not as extreme as, the Epilogue which starts off on the subject (the KGB silencing the people of Minsk) but meanders into the Kennedy mystique and the auth ...more
11/21/2013 update - : Interview with author on The Atlantic

Savodnik does something extraordinary in "The Interloper". He removes the conspiracy theories, the sensationalism, and the hearsay, and discusses Lee Harvey Oswald in context of his itinerant and unstable early life, his early predilections of anger and violence, his lacking education / intellectual development, and his fervent desire to go to the USSR to join "The Cause".

Oswald's early life is b
Jenny Baker
This book was written like a college research paper. While the author did discuss how Lee Harvey Oswald ended up in the USSR, he also went into how Lee "felt" and what Lee "thought." Since this author never met LH Oswald, I find it difficult to give credibility to any of the subjective information in this book. He did reference the Warren Commission extensively, but this is a poor reference to use since conspiracy theorists would suggest the Warren Commission Report was just another way to hide ...more
Fascinating account of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union in the early '60s. His initial request for asylum denied, he made a half hearted attempt at suicide to convince the Russians to let him stay. As there seemed to be the chance of a slight thaw in the relations between the USSR and the US, and fearing the possible negative press resulting from his taking his life, his plea was granted. Rather than being allowed to stay in Moscow or St. Petersburg, he was sent to Minsk ...more
Walker Lamond
Finally an author chooses to do some real research and write a thoughtful, entertaining, and ultimately convincing book about JFK's assassin. After 50 years of conspiracy theories, sensationalism, and American myth making, Savodnik gives us a real biography of Oswald by diving deep into his personal history--his transient childhood, his failed stint in the marines, and most importantly, his time in Russia. Contrary to what many JFK "experts" would like you to believe, Oswald's life did not start ...more
Simply an excellent overview of what drove Lee Harvey Oswald to kill Jack Kennedy. Savodnik paints a picture of an Oswald growing in alienation, and in sense of failure, his final months in Minsk. He had left his family and his country only to find, not revolutionary textbook, by-the-numbers Marxism, but Krushchev's "thaw." He eventually realized that he was being watched by the KGB, and probably realized he was in a bit of a Potemkin village, while also realizing his factory coworkers weren't r ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union, by Peter Savodnik, Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Publisher’s note says it as well as I could:
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 twenty-four-year-old Oswald's hazy background and motivations - and his subseq
Mike Gabor
A very interesting study of Oswald and of his time spent in Russia. The author does a very good job of explaining the reasons for Oswald going to Russia in the first place. He gives us a good account of Oswald's life there, his job, his friends, his love interests. Also, how the KGB kept their eye on him. His disappointment with his life there and his eventual return to the U.S.A. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in Oswald.
Daniel DeLappe
Very in depth book on Oswald's time in Russia. It is really nice to read a book on someone involved in the JFK assassination that does not speculate to who helped Oswald. Who was Oswald working for as an agent ect ect. The author writes a tight story and gets into a lot of things never before discussed. Reading this book you get the point that Oswald was nothing but a failure in all he did and was just another low life nothing.
This book is an excellent read and a telling portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald in the years leading to the assassination. Often viewed in a sadistic and shadowy light, little has been written about Oswald as a human being...what were his thoughts, what made him tick? As the author says in his interview that has been linked below, the psychology of Oswald in the years leading to the assassination is telling. In this book you will find the rationale behind Oswald's "interloping", his desire to find a ...more
Jason Dikes
Too short, but that may be a problem with the source material. If only Ella German had said yes to Lee's marriage proposal.
Tom Pittman viii
Author makes many unexplained conclusions, this is a topic of contested opinions, no matter what your view speaking about this subject as if you are omniscient of all the factors is foolhardy.
Pretty interesting, but I am pretty interested in crazy people and communist Russia.
David marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
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Joseph Corti marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2015
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Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union ENIGMA ロシアから謎の短波が聴こえる(WIRED Single Stories 006) (Japanese Edition)

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