A brilliant tragicomedy based on the most infamous espionage trial of the 20th century. Thirty years after they walked hand in hand to the electric chair, sentenced to die for giving the gift of the atom bomb to the Soviet Union, Solomon and Dolores Rubell are the targets of a new investigation - conducted not by the FBI, or some paranoid Senate subcommittee, but by Gerald Lerner, boyhood Communist and author of such classic chronicles of the American Jewish experience as Hot Pastrami Sandwich and Kosher and Topless. What does Gerald hope to find, all these years later, by placing ads in the Jewish Daily Forward and Screw seeking former Soviet spies willing to chat? The short answer: His sanity. With a gleam in its eye and tenderness in its heart, David Evanier’s irreverent and incisive novel peers into one of the darkest chapters in American history - the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on charges of spying for the Soviet Union. Because, as Suzie Sizzle - great-niece of Dolly and Solly Rubell and star of a "goodly number" of hardcore films - explains to Gerald, this is not really a story about death, despite its gloomy ending. It is a story about love - the true love two proud Jewish underdogs had for each other, and the misguided love an entire generation of American leftists had for a political system whose grand promises masked terrible, irreconcilable truths. They say love will make you do crazy things. So, too, will Communism.
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"This is a novel about the joys of espionage," writes Gerald Lerner, the fictional author of this fictionalizedok? account of the Rosenbergs--here called Dolly and Solly Rubell--and the American Communist movement. Evanier ( The One-Star Jew ) has Lerner tell the story in a loose series of vignettes that often read like hastily shuffled notes. Interspersed with the account of the arrest, trial and execution of the Rubells in 1954 are disjointed histories, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, of various members of the circle, and the story of how Lerner tracked them down in the '80s. Most are "misfits and losers" who came from New York City's Lower East Side, attended City College and yelled in Union Square rallies. Two of the best pieces show the disillusionment of two young men, one in the Spanish Civil War, the other in Stalin's camps. Comic relief is provided by a badly translated play ("Vomit You Fascist Despoilers into the Sea"), and a conspiracy theorist whose agenda is summed up by his use of "Franklin D. Rosenfeld." Although the sloganeering is tiresome, Evanier does a fine job in showing the shades of gray between helping the Soviets "live a little better" and espionage. Readers who are willing to deal with the episodic structure will find an evocative path back to the days of sincere revolutionary fervor.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Scribner, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0684191911
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