Meet Joan Mellen, a prolific provocateur of American history

There is no JFK author more provocative, more entertaining, more knowledgeable, more infuriating, and more fun than Joan Mellen.

joan mellen
Joan Mellen

A prodigious scholar of both the cinema and American history, Mellen is the envy of her fellow scribes. having published a mere twenty two books in her lifetime, the latest one about Lyndon Johnson. Joan writes a book about as often as I write a check.

It’s true that I often disagree with her–sometimes violently–but I can’t say she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. In the JFK debates, she is our leading a Garrisonian, a persistent defender of the New Orleans District Attorney who discerned (but could not prove)  conspiratorial CIA machinations in the Crescent City. She knows everything about the man, maybe too much.

I highly recommend, Our Man in Haiti, her book on George de Mohrenschildt, the itinerant engineer and bon vivant who did favors for the CIA–including keeping an eye on a volatile chap named Lee Oswald. Mellen renders the man whole, not a stock figure in a conspiracy theory, but a complex adventurer who ranged across the landscape of the 1960s and wound up playing a tragic role in the events that led to JFK’s assassination.

I always dismissed the idea that George de Mohrenschildt was murdered. Then I read Our Man in Haiti and I had to reconsider. I’m not saying she changed my mind. She made me think twice. That’s Joan Mellen.

Here she is in conversation with JFKLancer’s Alan Dale. 







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