Priscilla McMillan, who knew both Kennedy and Oswald, dies at 92


Ms. McMillan asked the president’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, at a dinner in Washington, “Why did Oswald hate my brother so much?” He said he remembers asking. To which he replied: “He didn’t. Oswald liked her. He loved Jackie, too.”

But Ms. McMillan has revealed that Mr. Oswald is a confused, self-made Marxist who is dissatisfied with the American government’s aggressive prosecution of the Rosenberg atomic espionage gang and its lax civil rights enforcement and exploitation of workers like the mother of capitalism.

Ms. McMillan later told The Christian Science Monitor that although Mr. Oswald never mentioned Kennedy in his 1959 interview, he did not hesitate to resort to murder as a political weapon. “From our conversation,” she added, “I could see that he was a man who could do a lot.”

In addition to writing Marina and Lee, Ms. McMillan translated “Twenty Letters to a Friend” (1967), a memoir of Svetlana Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin’s daughter who took refuge in the United States, and “The Ruin of J” Wrote. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race” (2005) is about the scientist behind the atomic bomb who was wrongly labeled a Soviet spy during the Red Scare of the 1950s.

“Priscilla combined the best qualities of an investigative journalist, an academic, and a curious citizen who conducted extensive research and did her best to be fair to all parties,” said Mark Kramer, director of the Cold War Studies Project at Harvard University’s Davis Center. Russian and Eurasian Studies with Ms. McMillan.

Steven Aftergood, director of the Government Secrecy Project for the Federation of American Scientists, said in the 1990s: “Priscilla, accelerate declassification Cold War US government records. “He was a wonderfully generous colleague who was always ready to share his findings and support other authors and students in their research,” he added.

In Ms. McMillan’s later years, her Cambridge home, near Harvard, became a sort of hostel for dogged students and scholars, a literary and political hall in the European tradition, and a base for her campaigns on behalf of Soviet dissidents and other causes.


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