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Review: Beverley Roos-Muller

Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy, by Anne Sebba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Jonathan Ball)

Ethel Rosenberg’s story was a cruel, cold war tragedy. She remains the only American woman ever to be executed for a crime other than murder, yet she was innocent; and that continues, rightly, to haunt us.

She was sacrificed in the era of the 1950s anti-Communist and anti-Semitic reign of terror by McCarthyism, not very different to the fear-mongering mob mentality that dominates parts of that country even today.

This powerful book by Anna Sebba covers the Rosenberg story with efficient, chilling clarity. Ethel was born in 1915 in an America full of new immigrants from Europe, many of them Jewish, many of them fleeing pogroms and dictatorships, and yearning for a new world of equality and opportunity. It was not at all unusual, in a world struggling to…Read more

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