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Oswald, the SWP & the Militant

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Somewhere in another thread there was posted a link to a copy of the Militant that included a letter from someone from Dallas, Texas signed with initials that could have been Oswald.

Thanks to Terry Priest for finding these links and to John McAdams for posting them.



Since Oswald did subscribe to the Militant, and is photographed with a copy of the magazine in the backyard photos, and wrote to them offering to work for them as a photographer, I thought it possible the letter could have been from him.

While I can't seem to find the thread that the letter was mentioned, I did read the letter and agreed that it could have been written by Oswald.

What stands out as interesting in the letter are the references to two people, a Mrs. Marie Oritz, apparently a Dallas resident, and welfare mother with six children who had been in the news at the time.

I was wondering if she was Cuban or Mexican, but can't find anything on her, yet.

Then there is the offhand mention of a Congressional candidate from Massachusetts named Hughes.

I found the biograhpy of this Huhges very interesting, and worth calling attention to, as Oswald or the author of the letter does.


H. Stuart Hughes


Henry Stuart Hughes (May 16, 1916 New York City – October 21, 1999 La Jolla, California) was an American historian, professor, and activist; he also advocated the application of psychoanalysis to history.


Hughes was born to privilege as the grandson of Charles Evans Hughes, 1916 Republican Party nominee for President, and claimed in his memoirs to have been used as a "campaign baby" as an infant. Hughes' father left for World War I while Stuart was still an infant, returning a year later when his son was three. Stuart was his parents' second child and second son and was born only 14 months after his elder brother, Charles Evans Hughes, III; the couple was later to have two daughters as well.

In 1922, Hughes' family moved to suburban Riverdale, Bronx, New York, where he spent most of his boyhood.[1] This was interrupted in early 1929, when Hughes' father Charles Evans Hughes, Jr. was appointed United States Solicitor General by the new President, Herbert Hoover. The family's stay in Washington, D.C. was relatively brief; Charles Hughes, Jr. was compelled to resign as Solicitor General when his father was appointed Chief Justice of the United States upon the death of William Howard Taft in 1930. He moved his family back to New York. Stuart was soon sent to boarding school at Deerfield Academy. He then attended Amherst College from 1933 to 1937. While in college, Hughes spent two summers in Germany in summer study programs, which were to serve him in good stead later.

Hughes then attended graduate school at Harvard University, where he wrote his thesis on "The Crisis of the Imperial French Economy, 1810-1812." He was in Paris working on this thesis when World War II started on September 1, 1939. Hughes soon returned to Cambridge.

With his new Ph.D., Hughes was appointed a junior faculty member at Brown University. He remained there only briefly before enlisting in the United States Army as a private. The Army soon recognized that a historian who was fluent in French and German would better serve by being in military intelligence than in the field artillery. Hughes was soon after Pearl Harbor commissioned as an officer (initially, a second lieutenant) in what was soon to become the Office of Strategic Services. During the war, he served as an intelligence analyst whose work was generally well received, despite his association with political views that were, especially in the context of the United States military establishment of the time, decidedly left-wing.

Hughes, by then a lieutenant colonel, was honorably discharged from active duty in 1946 and was soon reassigned as a civilian intelligence analyst, returning to Europe. In this role, he was to befriend pioneering black State Department official Ralph Bunche. In the State Department, Hughes bemoaned the rise of the Cold War mentality. In late 1947, he left to return to Harvard as an instructor and as the associate director of its new Russian Research Center. However, Hughes felt that he unwittingly sabotaged his career there by his early support for former Vice President Henry Wallace for President in 1948. In 1950, Hughes married his first wife, Suzanne, a member of a wealthy and influential French Protestant family. Failing to be published as a historian at a level sufficient to allow him to be promoted in the atmosphere of the Harvard of that time, and somewhat ostracized for his activism, Hughes left Harvard for Stanford University in 1952 at the height of the McCarthy era.

Acclaim and activism

While in California, Hughes was published at a level sufficient to encourage Harvard to recall him, which it did in 1957. During this second stay at Harvard, Hughes became involved with SANE (then the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, now Peace Action). Early in this period, he also engaged in a series of debates with a young Harvard professor of government, Henry Kissinger. In 1962, Hughes filed as an independent candidate for the final two years of the unexpired U.S. Senate term of President John F. Kennedy. Major-party candidates included Democratic Party members Edward M. Kennedy, the President's youngest brother, and Eddie McCormack, nephew of the Speaker of the House, and Republican George C. Lodge. Hughes collected well over the 72,000 signatures then required under Massachusetts law to be placed on the ballot as an independent candidate; the September Democratic primary eliminated McCormick from further contention.

For most of the campaign, Hughes was taken seriously, even engaging in two televised debates with Lodge. (Kennedy, by now an overwhelming favorite, declined to participate.) Any chance, however slim, that Hughes might have had to win the election or even receive widespread support was destroyed in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, only weeks before the election, in which the President and his other brother, Bobby, took the nation "to the brink" of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. A pro-nuclear disarmament candidate suddenly seemed unrealistic and out of touch; Hughes received less than two per cent of the vote and far fewer votes than he previously had signatures. ("Ted" Kennedy won the election resoundingly and served in the seat until his death in 2009.)

Support of psychoanalysis and psychohistory

As a beneficiary of it, Hughes saw the value of psychoanalysis. His widow, Judith Hughes, is a European historian and psychoanalyst. He, in the words of his wife, "could not have lived the life he did, at least the last 40-plus years of it, without benefit of psychoanalysis." [2]

As a historian Stuart Hughes saw enormous value of the Freudian world view applied to history. In Gentleman Rebel he reported being close to his Harvard colleague Erik Erikson and serving in the "supporting cast" of psychohistory. [3] When Richard Schoenwald established the first psychohistory newsletter (the predecessor to The Psychohistory Review), Hughes made serious contributuions and encouraged the new and bold direction of the publication.

An important bibliographer of psychohistory, William Gilmore, calls "History and Psychoanalysis: The Explanation of Motive," in Hughes' book, History as Art and as Science (1964), an indispensable "classic" and "a must reading."[4] Hughes' memoirs are particularly revealing, as he does not begin his account with any mention of his distinguished family, but instead with a question from his psychoanalyst, Avery Weisman.

Later career

Early in 1963, Hughes and Suzanne filed for divorce. In the fall of 1963, Hughes agreed to become co-chairman of the SANE organization, alongside renowned pediatrician and fellow activist Dr. Benjamin Spock. In March 1964, Hughes married his second wife, Judy, whom he initially had met as one of his graduate school students. As SANE expanded its anti-nuclear activities to include anti-Vietnam War activism, Hughes was branded by the State Department's Passport Office as a potential subversive. He also found himself in an increasingly isolated position on the Harvard faculty, opposed to both the Vietnam War and also many of the actions that began to be taken in opposition to it. Hughes, however, served as the sole chairman of SANE from 1967 to 1970 after Spock resigned his co-chairmanship.

Hughes also became associated with male support for feminism. In part, this seems to have been prompted by his perception of academic discrimination against his wife after she had earned her own doctorate. It was this discrimination that, in large measure, seems to have led to the Hughes' departure from Harvard for the University of California at San Diego; unlike his first departure from Harvard, it could not now be linked to any failure to have been sufficiently published. They moved to San Diego in 1975; Hughes taught at UCSD until taking emeritus status in 1989 and died in the suburb of La Jolla (actual site of the UCSD campus), following a protracted illness, in 1999.

Books by H. Stuart Hughes

  • An Essay for Our Times (ISBN 0-374-94032-0) (1950)
  • Oswald Spengler: A Critical Estimate (ISBN 0-8371-8214-X) (1952)
  • The United States and Italy (Cambridge:Harvard Press ISBN 0674925459 ) (1953)
  • Consciousness and Society: The Reorientation of European Social Thought (Cambridge:Harvard University Press ISBN 0-674-70728-1) (1958)
  • Contemporary Europe: A History (Prentice Hall ISBN 0-13-291840-4) (1961)
  • An Approach to Peace, and Other Essays (Athenanum ASIN B0007DFG2V) (1962)
  • History as Art and Science: Twin Vistas on the Past (1964)
  • Prisoners of Hope: The Silver Age of the Italian Jews, 1924-1974 (Cambridge:Harvard University Press ISBN 0674707273 ) (1983)
  • Between Commitment and Disillusion (1987), comprising two earlier works:

The Obstructed Path (1968) and The Sea Change (Wesleyan University Press ISBN 0-674-70728-1)

  • Sophisticated Rebels: The Political Culture of European Dissent, 1968-1987 (ISBN 0-674-82130-0) (1988)
  • Gentleman Rebel (New York:Tichnor & Fields ISBN 0-395-56316-X) (a memoir) (1990)

Note:ISBNs referenced are to editions currently available and may not reflect the ISBN assigned to the first edition of a given work


  1. ^ Eder, Richard. "BOOK REVIEW Living at the Low End of the Upper Crust GENTLEMAN REBEL The Memoirs of H. Stuart Hughes.", Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1990. Accessed May 4, 2008. "Surely, that baked Henry Stuart into the upper crust. Perhaps, the bottom of the upper crust, he muses. But then there were the Kennedys; much richer, and beginning to be more powerful. When Joseph P. Kennedy moved from Riverdale to greater things, the Hugheses thriftily bought his house. Yet they-the Hugheses-were received by Hudson River Society; the Kennedys were not."
  2. ^ November 1999 telephone communication with Paul Elovitz, editor of Clio's Psyche.
  3. ^ Hughes, Gentleman Rebel, p. 237.
  4. ^ William Gilmore, Psychohistorical Inquiry: A Comprehensive Research Bibliography (1984), p. 44.
  5. ] References

  • Harvard Magazine, November-December 2004
  • Cohen, Joel I. Hughes for Senate, 1962: A campaign history (ASIN B007EVEIG)

Retrieved from ""Categories: 1916 births | 1999 deaths | Amherst College alumni | Harvard University alumni | Brown University faculty | Harvard University faculty | Stanford University faculty | American academics | American historians | American military personnel of World War II | American anti-war activists | Guggenheim Fellows | People from the Bronx | Riverdale, Bronx | United States Army officers | Deerfield Academy alumni

Edited by William Kelly
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Thanks to Ken Rahn for posting this. I wonder if he knows that Oswald wrote a letter that was published in the Militant tht mentions Hughes? I wonder if Hughes knew it? - bk

A Most Unstuffy Man

lH. Stuart Hughes

The Nation, 14 December 1963, pp. 408–409

H. Stuart Hughes, author of
Consciousness and Society
and other works, is professor of history at Harvard University. In 1962 he ran as an independent candidate for the United States Senate from Massachusetts.


This has been a cruel year. In the space of six months we have lost Pope John and our own President. Together they stood for a new and better relationship between Catholics and non-Catholics—for the great ecumenical hope that is hovering over us all.

This was the first of two changes that the advent of President Kennedy epitomized. His election meant that our choice was also no longer restricted by practice and unwholesome tradition to one particular category of American citizens. Now that a representative of the largest of our minorities had broken through the invisible barriers that had confined our choice of leaders, there was no reason why others should not follow him. In actuality now, rather than in civics-text platitude, the Presidency had been thrown open to everyone, regardless of religion or color—or even of sex.

The second great change was the coming to power of a new generation, the generation born during the First World War which had fought the Second War together. For them—for those of my own age—the President had suddenly and rather surprisingly become their contemporary. He was no longer a father; he was one of us, whether friend or rival. For myself, I had played football with him as a boy, and although life had completely separated us in subsequent years, I could never think of him except as Jack, long before the newspapers had made the nickname a national cliché. Even in death I find it impossible to speak of him with the usual solemn formality, and I think he would have preferred it that way. He was a most unstuffy man.

I will not here give a eulogy or recount a life. You know it all—the papers have been full of it. Nor would it be quite proper for me to do so; life cast me too often in opposition to him. Those of us who in the past years were committed to the scramble of American politics were too close up against the President to see fully who he was. Now that he is gone—now that we compare him to others—we suddenly see a void and feel our loss. It is as though we could appreciate his full stature only after his death. So we should search our consciences. Were we always fair in judging him?—or, beyond that, were we always charitable?


Like so many, I was in a public place when the news began to come in. People did not know what to do—whether to go about their ordinary pursuits or to give themselves wholly to their grief. These first moments were the most impressive part of the first forty-eight hours—the disarray, the broken phrases, the inability to say what one felt—before the TV sets began to grind and the official mourning took over.

I heard just one expression of anger. A Negro came by shaking his head and muttering in bitter irony: “Only in America.”

His anger reflected what most of us at first thought: that the crime had been committed by a Southern racist. Indeed, if we look deeply into our souls, I think many of us will recognize that we were disappointed to learn that such was not the case. As I have tried to meditate on these matters, I have finally come to the conclusion that it is better this way. Had the assassin been a Southern extremist, it would have fitted our own prejudices and our own political commitment. Our grief would have been tinged with a spirit of hatred and revenge. This way, our sorrow is pure: there is no hate in our hearts.

Does this mean that what the President experienced was no more than an ambiguous martyrdom—that he died a senseless death? I do not think so. Nothing can take away the memory of courage and good humor with which he went into the South—where he knew so many people hated him—nor the sense of strength and mastery that he conveyed at the end. His death stands as a dreadful warning against the violence lying just under the surface of our bland and agreeable national character. Again and again in the past months it had broken out in mad killings. We have tried to forget them, we have tried to push it under the rug and to think of other things. Now it has struck our President; we can no longer pretend it isn’t there. Now we know that we can permit such things to happen no longer—that the blind killing must stop.

As with Pope John, Jack Kennedy’s last months were his best. As in the case of the Pope, he seems to have had a sense that there was not much time left. It was now or never if he was going to leave his mark on history. Jack Kennedy had been a hard-driving boy; as a man he gave the impression of not being able to wait; of feeling that his every minute was counted. So it was just at the end that he made his start in the two great directions that emerged from the struggles of last summer and autumn—toward peace with the test ban, toward human equality with the civil-rights bill. Both were aimed against violence and hatred. They are his legacy to us.

Jack Kennedy died at the top of his form. There was no loss of capacity, no diminuendo, no anticlimax. I think that was the way he would have preferred to die. We saw him at the last at his very best, bearing witness against the multiple evils that beset our world, his death a symbol of our hope to still the violence and hatred in our hearts.

Back to Pre-WCR Reactions of the Left

Back to Pre-WCR Reactions

Back to WC Period

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The Militant. Published as the journal of the U.S. Trotskyist movement beginning with issue Volume 1, No. 1 Nov. 15, 1928. As the Trotskyist movement fused and split over the next 10 years, the paper, like the name of the movement itself, went trough several permunations (always published in New York): Communist League of America, 1928-34; New Militant, published by the Workers Party of the United States, Dec. 15, 1934 – June 6, 1936; Socialist Appeal (see below) from 1936 through 1941</EM>; The Militant, again, published by the Socialist Workers Party, 1941-present.

The contemporary version of the paper is on-line and available at www.themilitant.com. From that:

A 12-week introductory subscription to The Militant is available for $10 in the United States. Longer term subscriptions are six months for $20, and one year for $35. To subscribe send a check or money order to: The Militant, 306 W. 37th Street, 10th floor, New York, NY 10018. The Militant is also shipped around the world. If you would like information on international rates please contact us at the address above, or by email at: themilitant@mac.com

Joseph Hansen


Hansen on Cuba: Articles that Oswald could have read: http://www.marxists....11/acidtest.htm


The Militant covers COPA meeting in NYC:



Corllins Lamont: Oswald gave out Lamont's article on Cuba with FPCC leaflets


Albert Schweitzer - Oswald applied to attend Schweitzer College when he defected to USSR instead


A.J. Muste (CNVA) coordinated the San Fran to Moscow Walk that went through Minsk while Oswald there,

and the Quebec to Guantamano Walk that included three Oswald sightings along the way.


Harold Isaacs - Associated with Oswald's cousin Marilyn Murret in Asia and MIT CIA Center


Edited by William Kelly
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