Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.
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This week’s neglected bookEthel Rosenberg by Anne Sebba
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 8, 2021
Genres: Biography & Autobiography / Women
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New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba's moving biography of Ethel Rosenberg, the wife and mother whose execution for espionage-related crimes defined the Cold War and horrified the world.
In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple with two young sons, were led separately from their prison cells on Death Row and electrocuted moments apart. Both had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the US government was aware that the evidence against Ethel was shaky at best and based on the perjury of her own brother.
This book is the first to focus on one half of that couple in more than thirty years, and much new evidence has surfaced since then. Ethel was a bright girl who might have fulfilled her personal dream of becoming an opera singer, but instead found herself struggling with the social mores of the 1950’s. She longed to be a good wife and perfect mother, while battling the political paranoia of the McCarthy era, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and a mother who never valued her. Because of her profound love for and loyalty to her husband, she refused to incriminate him, despite government pressure on her to do so. Instead, she courageously faced the death penalty for a crime she hadn’t committed, orphaning her children.
Seventy years after her trial, this is the first time Ethel’s story has been told with the full use of the dramatic and tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement. Hers is the resonant story of what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.
Why did I add Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy to my bookshelf?
The publisher sent me a review copy of this book almost 2 years ago and I think it sounds really interesting. I am not sure if I won this book in a giveaway or really how this book landed on my doorstep. The next time I am in the mood for a bit of non-fiction, I think that I will give this one a try.
What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it?