The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair

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Overview

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for and convicted of conspiring to steal atomic secrets. In 1953, their execution tore American apart. Fifty years later, the acrimonious debate over the Rosenbergs' guilt, and the raw emotions unleashed by a case that fueled McCarthyism and the cold war, still reverberate.

One man doomed the Rosenbergs: David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's brother, the young army sergeant who spied for the Soviets...
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Overview

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for and convicted of conspiring to steal atomic secrets. In 1953, their execution tore American apart. Fifty years later, the acrimonious debate over the Rosenbergs' guilt, and the raw emotions unleashed by a case that fueled McCarthyism and the cold war, still reverberate.

One man doomed the Rosenbergs: David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's brother, the young army sergeant who spied for the Soviets at Los Alamos during World War II and whose testimony later sealed his sister and brother-in-law's fate. After serving ten years in prison, he was released in 1960 and vanished.

But Sam Roberts, a New York Times editor, found David Greenglass and, after fourteen years, finally persuaded him to talk. Drawn from the first unrestricted-access interviews ever granted by Greenglass and supplemented by revelations from dozens of other key players in the case--including the Russian agent who controlled Julius Rosenberg; by newly declassified American and Soviet government documents; and by personal letters never before publishes, among them on from Albert Einstein; The Brother is the mesmerizing inside story of misplaced idealism, love and betrayal behind the atomic-espionage case that J. Edgar Hoover condemned as the Crime of the Century.

In more than fifty hours of tape-recorded conversations with the author, Greenglass intimately detailed his recruitment into espionage on Manhattan's Lower East Side, how he spied for the Russians at American's most secret military installation, and how the plot unraveled and led to the arrests of David, Julius, and Ethel.

But even beyond that, this book reveals howGreenglass perjured himself during his riveting courtroom testimony--testimony that virtually strapped his sister and brother-in-law into Sing Sing's electric chair.

Delivering a narrative punch on every page, The Brother is the story of a family. It is a story of atomic espionage. It is the story of the trial that turned a nation upside down and that even now divides the American left. Convincingly and with authority, The Brother tells a tale driven by secrets, suspense, and intense human intrigue.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When Soviet atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 -- the only instance of U.S. civilians being executed for espionage -- the testimony of Ethel Rosenberg's brother, David Greenglass, was the deciding factor. Greenglass was himself a Soviet spy, as well as a U.S. Army sergeant. He served ten years in prison before being released in 1960. Here, New York Times editor Sam Roberts catches up with the reclusive Greenglass and gets him to talk. What he has to say about the infamous Rosenberg case will keep the reader spellbound, as well as raise a crucial question: Did Greenglass perjure himself on the stand?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413223415
  • Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/18/2001
  • Pages: 543
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Roberts is a New York Times reporter and host of NY-1's cable talk show New York Close-Up. He is the author of Who We Are: A Portrait of America Based on the Latest U.S. Census. He lives in Manhattan with his family.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Brother of Death 5
Chapter 2. The House on Sheriff Street 25
Chapter 3. Ethel and Julius 38
Chapter 4. Drafted 47
Chapter 5. Mail Call 54
Chapter 6. The Replacement 63
Chapter 7. Los Alamos 70
Chapter 8. The Go-Between 81
Chapter 9. Route 66 88
Chapter 10. I Spy 96
Chapter 11. Espionage 101 111
Chapter 12. Moscow Gold 124
Chapter 13. Little Boy and Fat Man 133
Chapter 14. Diamonds 144
Chapter 15. Blackmail 152
Chapter 16. Venona 165
Chapter 17. Liberal 172
Chapter 18. The Bomb 181
Chapter 19. Shmel 191
Chapter 20. What Did You Do in the War? 204
Chapter 21. "Red Hot" 208
Chapter 22. The First Confession 235
Chapter 23. The Formula 245
Chapter 24. Mr. Cooperation 255
Chapter 25. A Lever 281
Chapter 26. Talking the Talk 291
Chapter 27. Trial and Error 299
Chapter 28. The Gamble 316
Chapter 29. The Defense 352
Chapter 30. Death by Electrocution 378
Chapter 31. Sing Sing 387
Chapter 32. Relativity 400
Chapter 33. Blindman's Buff 413
Chapter 34. Lewisburg 434
Chapter 35. The Search for David Greenglass 463
Chapter 36. The Final Confession 473
Chapter 37. The Final Chapter 485
Acknowledgments 499
Notes 503
Selected Bibliography 519
Index 527
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