Foreword written and narrated by best-selling author Joseph Finder. The inside story of Lee Harvey Oswald's path to killing John. F. Kennedy.
Reissued to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, Marina and Lee is an indispensable account of one of America's most traumatic events, and a classic work of narrative history. In her meticulous, at times even moment by moment, account of Oswald's progress toward the assassination, Priscilla Johnson McMillan takes us inside Oswald's fevered mind and his manic marriage. When Marina, only a few weeks after giving birth to their second child, hears of Kennedy's death and discovers that Lee's rifle is missing from the garage where it was stored, she knows that her husband has killed the president.
McMillan came to the story with a unique knowledge of the two main characters. In the 1950s she had worked for Kennedy and had known him well for a time. Later, working in Moscow as a journalist, she interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald during his attempt to defect to the Soviet Union. When she heard his name again on November 22, 1963, she said, "My God! I know that boy!" Marina and Lee was written with the complete and exclusive cooperation of Oswald's Russian-born wife, Marina Prusakova, whom McMillan debriefed for seven months in the immediate aftermath of the president's assassination and her husband's nationally televised execution at the hands of Jack Ruby.
The truth is far more compelling, and unsettling, than the most imaginative conspiracy theory. Marina and Lee is a human drama that is outrageous, heartbreaking, tragic, fascinating... and real.
©2013 Priscilla Johnson McMillan (P)2013 Steerforth Press LLC
"This classic of the JFK assassination literature, originally published in 1977 and now reissued for the 50th anniversary of the murder...unfolds like a Russian novel with an American ending, a tale of galling social constraints, claustrophobic relationships and thwarted ambitions that birth a monstrous drive for self-assertion. Oswald is the most vivid of many sharply etched characters - arrogant, grandiose, calculating but feckless, his narcissism fed by Marxist dogma and Cold War paranoia, seizing a chance to shoot his way from failure to fame." (Publishers Weekly)
"McMillan achieves with art what the Warren Commission failed to do with its report. She makes us see… It is not at all easy to describe the power of Marina and Lee…It is far better than any other audiobook about Kennedy…Other audiobooks about the Kennedy assassination are all smoke and no fire. Marina and Lee burns." (New York Times Book Review)
"Fully as persuasive as the conspiracy lore that has preceded it. [McMillan] has a novelist's sense of when to dramatize, through dialogue and the use of exact detail, the crucial twists and turns of domestic life…Priscilla McMillan's extraordinary book makes the necessary and subtle connection between private frailties and their power to change the history of the world. (The Atlantic Monthly)
I've been a student of the Kennedy assassination since that day in high school when we heard the news. For many years I assumed, like a lot of people, that there was a conspiracy, that LHO was as patsy, etc. etc. Until I read Case Closed by Gerald Posner.
But I never knew why Oswald did it. Then I read Marina and Lee. I can summarize his motives (as I understand them) in four words, but I probably shouldn't. Might ruin the ending for you. What a great book. I never got a round to reading it when t first came out. That's the nice thing about audio books. They make it easy to catch up on your reading.
Narrator R.C. Bray is so obnoxious with his faux Russian accent that I wanted to slap him every time I heard it. It really ruined the audio experience for me. Also, assuming the quotes from Oswald's wife Marina were accurate, I grew to dislike her intensely. She comes off as an arrogant, condescending, smarmy, sarcastic bitch. It appears Jack Ruby did Oswald a favor.
Finally, the author really disrupts the flow of the story with her "Interludes," in which she attempts to psychoanalyze the players. Her analysis comes off as mumbo-jumbo nonsense and undermines her credibility. She should have stuck to the chronological history and left the Freudian bullshit out of it.
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