Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE OSWALDS by Paul R. Gregory


An Untold Account of Marina and Lee

by Paul R. Gregory

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-63576-821-3
Publisher: Diversion Books

An inside look at a troubled relationship reveals truths about a notorious crime.

Some six decades after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Gregory offers his reflections on the time he spent with Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife, Marina, shortly after their arrival from the Soviet Union. Refuting prominent conspiracy theories that have implicated various foreign and domestic powers, the author makes a convincing case that Lee acted alone. “The army of assassination buffs are wasting their time on missing bullets, Oswald doppelgangers, and Soviet, Cuban, or Mafia assassinations,” he writes. “We need to look no further than Oswald himself.” Focusing on the interactions he observed between Lee and Marina, Gregory documents his impressions of Lee’s capacity for violence, desperate need for recognition, and uncanny effectiveness at manipulating others in order to achieve his warped goals. The author is particularly effective in countering the notion that Lee was unintelligent and incapable of plotting the assassination without the help of others. “We misjudge Oswald by focusing on his working-class attire and simple manner of speech,” writes Gregory, “all the while not noticing his street-smart intelligence, craftiness, and wiliness.” A clear portrait emerges of a disturbed individual who had the motivation and means to carry out an attack intended to make him famous. Ultimately, Gregory doesn’t provide any groundbreaking revelations about the Oswalds’ marriage or who else may have been involved in plotting the assassination. Works by such authors as Priscilla McMillan, Norman Mailer, Gerald Posner, and Thomas Mallon have already provided a thorough understanding of the dynamics of Lee and Marina’s relationship and the serendipitous events that gave an ambitious deviant a chance to make his mark on history. Nevertheless, Gregory delivers a lucid, insightful summary of these topics, and this book will serve as an excellent introduction to more in-depth considerations.

An informative view of a killer’s marriage and lethal motivations.