The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald inside the Soviet Union

Overview

Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of President Kennedy remains one of the most horrifying—and hotly debated—crimes 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 Soviet Union looking for a utopia but quickly became just as dissatisfied with his adopted country as he had been with the United States. When he...

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The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union

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Overview

Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of President Kennedy remains one of the most horrifying—and hotly debated—crimes 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 Soviet Union looking for a utopia but quickly became just as dissatisfied with his adopted country as he had been with the United States. When he returned to America, he was more adrift and alienated than ever—and was soon groping for an outlet for his desperate rage.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/12/2013
Unlike previous accounts of the man who assassinated Kennedy, which focus on whether he acted alone, journalist Savodnik here delivers a genuine biography that emphasizes the nearly three years Oswald spent in the Soviet Union and attempts to address the oft-neglected question of why he wanted to kill the President. A mildly rebellious youth whose mother never provided a stable home, Oswald joined the Marines at age 17—his service was undistinguished and men in his squadron considered him odd because he was already expressing pro-communist views. Soon after discharge, he traveled to Moscow where he requested Soviet citizenship; suspicious authorities dithered for months before assigning him a factory job in Minsk. Oswald made friends and enjoyed success with women who considered him exotic, but he became bored and dissatisfied. His marriage to Marina Prosakoba briefly improved matters, though he soon resumed efforts to return home, passing the last year and a half of his life growing increasingly irascible. Savodnik’s impressive research—which includes many Russian sources—does not turn up any revelations, but it paints an intriguing portrait of a restless, tormented soul who accomplished little in a short life until he turned himself into an infamous historical figure. Agent: Ted Weinstein, Ted Weinstein Literary Management. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Harvey Klehr, co-author of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America
“A riveting account of a troubled loner’s embrace of communism as an answer to his psychological problems. Savodnik further discredits the conspiracy theorists who have long posited an elaborate plot behind the Kennedy assassination, and reminds us yet again how often history is changed by one deranged man.”

Richard Pipes, Professor of History, Emeritus, Harvard University
The Interloper is a meticulously researched account of the three years spent in the Soviet Union by Lee Oswald, a semi-literate failure who could find a home neither in his native America nor in the USSR. It explains a great deal about the psyche of the man who robbed us of John F. Kennedy.”

Jack F. Matlock, Jr., author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended
“If you have any doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting President Kennedy, you should read Peter Savodnik’s The Interloper to set you straight. If you are convinced—as you should be—that Oswald was the sole assassin but don’t understand why he did it, you will find a convincing answer in this insightful book.”

Robert Service, Professor of Russian History, Oxford University
“What an astonishing addition to the literature on the Kennedy killing. Oswald’s childhood is well known; his activities in the days leading up to the shooting are, as well. But Savodnik has filled in a hole in the narrative by tracing what Oswald got up to in the USSR—and what effect his time there had on him. The Interloper adds an indispensable chapter to this awful story.”

Miriam Elder, foreign editor at BuzzFeed
“With The Interloper, Peter Savodnik has written a fascinating study that will forever change the way we view Lee Harvey Oswald as well as the all-encompassing ideological struggle that blanketed the Cold War. Savodnik’s unrivaled research into Oswald’s time in the Soviet Union, his keen analytical eye, and his beautiful prose make The Interloper a book not to be missed.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482930085
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Savodnik’s writing has appeared in Harper’s, Time, the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and many other publications. Formerly based in Moscow, he has traveled and reported extensively in the former Soviet Union. Savodnik holds a master’s from the University of Chicago and lives in Washington, DC.

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