PBS is set to air a documentary on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald–March 13 at 9:00 pm.
Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?
Lee Harvey Oswald was, of course, the man accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy. Did he gun down the thirty-fifth president with brutal precision? Or, in his own words, was Oswald “just a patsy?” The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone when he shot JFK from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. But the majority of citizens believe in a broader conspiracy.
In order to solve the most notorious conspiracy of the twentieth century, one must examine the evidence, and look at the accused with a critical eye. L.D.C. Fitzgerald has published a compendium of Oswald’s own words, including personal letters, a self-titled ‘historic diary,’ political rants, and even a manuscript on life in Russia.
With Fitzgerald’s insightful, witty commentary, the documents tell a story of a passionate young man who follows his dream to defect to Communist Russia, and then becomes bitterly disillusioned when he recognizes the utter drudgery of his life, and the imperfections of the political system he idealized.
Oswald was an oddball, a malcontent, and a lone nut. A man smart enough to teach himself to read and speak Russian, he was incapable of holding down even menial jobs. A self-declared Marxist, he executed his fanatical defection to Russia with foresight and tenacity, but he never learned the simple skill of driving a car.
Oswald’s words chronicle his indifference to family, search for notoriety, pursuit of a perfect political system, and his renewed interest in defecting.