The closest friend of Lee Harvey Oswald and his Soviet wife Marina upon the couple's arrival in Texas breaks a sixty-year silence with a riveting story of his time with JFK's assassin and his candid assessment of the murder that marked a turning point in our country's history.
Merely two hours after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, television cameras captured police escorting a suspect into Dallas police headquarters. Meanwhile at the University of Oklahoma, watching the coverage in the student center, Paul Gregory scanned the figure in dark trousers and a white, V-neck tee shirt and saw the bruised and battered face of Lee Harvey Oswald. Shocked, Gregory said, "I know that man." In fact, he knew Oswald and his wife Marina better than almost anyone in America.
After sixty years, Paul Gregory finally tells everything he knows about the Oswalds and how he watched the soul of a killer take shape.
Identified by the FBI as a "known associate of LHO," Gregory soon faced interrogations by the Secret Service. Later he would testify before the Warren Commission. Here, in The Oswalds, he offers the intimate details of his time spent with Lee and wife Marina in their run-down duplex on Mercedes Street in Fort Worth, Texas, and his admission into the inner world of a young marriage before candidly assessing the murder that marked a turning point in our country's history. His riveting recollection includes memories both casual and deadly serious, such as the dinner at his parents' house introducing Marina to the "Dallas Russians," a front-yard incident of spousal abuse, and a further rift in the marriage when he exposed to Marina that Oswald was not the dashing, radical intellectual whose Historic Diary would be a publishing sensation. And Gregory also gives a fascinating account of his father's role as an eyewitness to history, serving as Marina's translator and confidante in the first four days after the assassination.
As a scholar and skilled researcher, Gregory debunks the vast array of assassination conspiracy theories by demonstrating that Lee Harvey Oswald did it and did it alone--that the Oswald he once called a friend had the motive, the intelligence, and the means to commit one of the most shocking crimes in American history.
About the Author
Paul Gregory is a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a pioneer in the study of Soviet and Russian economics. A student of the fabled Harvard Russian Research Center, he received his PhD from Harvard in 1969. His textbook on the Russian economy was used to teach more than two generations of students. In addition to his scholarly work, he has been an active blogger on Russian affairs for Forbes, The Hill, and other media platforms. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
"Nearly sixty years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald, conspiracy theories abound. In his revelatory book, Paul Gregory offers a compelling, credible account of why we should reject them and go 'no further' than Oswald himself. Gregory actually knew Oswald, one of the very few people who can stake that claim, and gives us a clear-eyed, often chilling portrait of a demented loner with the mind and motives of a killer."--Mark K. Updegrove, author of Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency "An invaluable record of life with JFK's assassin. Insightful."--David Pietrusza, author of 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon--The Epic Campaign that Forged Three Presidencies "The Oswalds offers the most vivid portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald that has ever appeared. Could Oswald really have acted alone? Paul Gregory, who was the assassin's friend--really, his only friend--puts that question to rest. An astonishing account--and a major contribution to our history."--Peter Robinson, the Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the host of Uncommon Knowledge "At last, a book, deeply felt and remembered, by someone who really knew Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina before the assassination of President Kennedy. Paul Gregory makes a powerful case that Oswald acted alone, an inadequate man wanting to make a name for himself in history. A true cracker of an account."--Robert Service, author of Kremlin Winter: Russia and the Second Coming of Vladimir Putin "Paul Gregory's compulsively readable memoir is filled with shocking revelations, among them that when the twenty-one-year-old University of Oklahoma student Paul Gregory first started taking Russian language lessons from the twenty-one-year-old Marina Oswald, there was always the same six-month-old Time magazine on prominent display in the extremely modest duplex. The cover photo was Time's Man of the Year for 1962: President John F. Kennedy. Paul Gregory relates that Lee Harvey Oswald had carried this old copy with him when he and Marina emigrated from the Soviet Union to Dallas. No novelist would construct such a scene. History is unbelievable."--John Batchelor, host of CBS Eye on the World "Some sixty years ago, an insignificant school dropout who had failed at almost everything he had tried to do, Lee Harvey Oswald, brought his Carcano rifle to the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas and became one of the most infamous criminals in history. Ever since then, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 has been engulfed in a morass of falsehoods and ludicrous conspiracy theories. This book finally sets the record straight about Oswald, building on the earlier seminal work of Priscilla Johnson McMillan. . . . Paul Gregory, who later became one of the world's leading experts on the economy of the former Soviet Union, happened to know Oswald (and later Oswald's Soviet-born wife, Marina) exceedingly well. In this book, Gregory brings to bear his authorial skills and academic expertise in showing how the pathetic young man he had known in Texas could have committed such a monstrous crime. Gregory's book offers a definitive personality sketch of Oswald and a great deal of evidence that should put an end, once and for all, to the notion that shadowy forces intent on murdering the president would have enlisted such an unreliable and tempestuous loser. . . . Gregory's book will stand the test of time."--Mark Kramer, Director of Cold War Studies, Harvard University "An engrossing psychological portrait based on Gregory's time as Oswald's only friend. There are many conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination. Gregory shows that the key to what happened was completely banal--the disturbed mind of one insignificant individual."--David Satter, author of Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union
"An informative view of a killer's marriage and lethal motivations."