Tema Nason Ethel

ISBN 13: 9780006177630


9780006177630: Ethel

This novel, told in the first person, describes the life of Ethel Rosenberg, as she awaits her execution in prison. Living in the early fifties in America at the time of the anti-communist witchhunts, Ethel looks back over a politically active life alongside her husband Julius.

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From Publishers Weekly:

"How did all this happen to me? How did I get from my kitchen to here?" asks Ethel Rosenberg from her cell on the Death Row at Sing Sing in 1951. She and her husband Julius have been convicted of passing atomic secrets to Russia; they were executed in 1953. In writing this "fictional autobiography" of Ethel, Nason's premise is that the couple was unjustly accused, framed by the FBI. We read of Ethel's youth in an immigrant New York family; her ambition to go on the stage, thwarted by the reality of a Depression job as a shipping clerk; her marriage to electrical engineer Julius; and, eventually, their bewildered involvement in a witch hunt--compounded by the mistakes of an ineffectual lawyer--that condemned them to death. Evoking Ethel's voice and speech patterns-- pregnant with Yiddishisms--Nason also sketches in her protagonist's idealistic commitment to social justice as a union activist and (touched on only tangentially) as a member of the Communist Party. She is not successful, however, in conveying Ethel's emotional anguish in Sing Sing, nor are we convinced of the reasons for Ethel's unwavering determination to go to her death, and leave her children orphans, rather than betray her principles. Although her six years of research included talking to the psychiatrist who saw Ethel in prison, Nason does not touch the wellsprings of Ethel's personality, nor does she accord the woman a measure of dignity.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Nason's well-researched fictional autobiography of convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg is written in the form of a prison journal kept by Rosenberg while she was awaiting execution. The author movingly portrays Rosenberg as a woman forced to make the most difficult of choices. Should she lie, betray her husband and her ideals, in order to live and raise her young sons, or should she remain true to herself and die with her husband? As Ethel recalls her past--her desire to become a singer and actress, her radicalization in a shipping clerks' strike, her family and friends--she emerges as an ordinary but good woman struggling to make the world a better place, who is caught up in events beyond her control, and faces a horrifying fate with dignity. An excellent first novel, this is highly recommended for fiction collections.
- Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nason, Tema
Published by Fontana Press (1990)
ISBN 10: 0006177638 ISBN 13: 9780006177630
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Fontana Press, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6177638

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