Harvard Affiliated Author Priscilla McMillan, a Former Staffer to President JFK 55 Years Ago, Today Launched New Controversial Blog

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Priscilla McMillan, a Harvard affiliate, is the author of The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race (Penguin Books: 2006), as well as the classic Marina and Lee (Harper & Row: 1977) about Lee Harvey Oswald. McMillan launched this blog to convey that government secrecy and fear mustn't be used to rob the American people of their civil liberties, or be used to silence dissenting scientists.

Priscilla McMillan, a Harvard affiliated author and lecturer, has created a new blog at http://blog.h-bombbook.com. The blog will explore the role of science in the arms race, government secrecy and civil liberties.

About Priscilla Johnson McMillan: Priscilla received a bachelor's degree in Russian language and literature at Bryn Mawr College in 1950 and a master's degree in Russian studies at Harvard three years later. Her first job was with newly elected Senator John F. Kennedy in 1953, when she helped prepare his maiden speech on the French role in Indochina (later Vietnam).

Her first book, Khrushchev and the Arts (MIT Press: 1965), was based on articles she had written for The Reporter and the journal Problems of Communism. She is perhaps best known for having interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald in 1959 when he was a young American defector staying in the same Moscow hotel. Her research for Marina and Lee began in 1964 and involved months of interviews with Marina Oswald. Priscilla was inspired to write Marina and Lee because she wanted to explain why the soft-spoken young man she had met in Moscow had been motivated to kill the President for whom she once worked.

During the 1980's, members of the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee of New Mexico suggested that Priscilla write a new account of the Oppenheimer affair. The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Arms Race was the result.

The book details how government secrecy and outright violations of Oppenheimer's civil rights resulted in the revocation of his security clearance and the silencing of scientists who urged restraint in nuclear policy. The efforts to silence and discredit Oppenheimer in 1954 were not unlike the Bush administration's recent efforts to silence today's scientists, such as Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, on issues such as global warming.

Priscilla McMillan is an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.

For additional information, contact Meryl Libbey or visit http://blog.h-bombbook.com.

Meryl Libbey

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Meryl Libbey
Life Change Partners
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