“Meeropol's captivating memoir deserves a spot on American history bookshelves.” Publishers Weekly
“What is compelling about Robert Meeropol's poignant memoir is his utter honesty in examining the question of whether his parents were guilty of espionage...His story is a personal, anguished search for truth, even while it illuminates a tragic moment in the history of our country.” Howard Zinn
“Robert Meeropol tells his story in language that is direct, unflinching, meticulous and eloquent.” Adrenne Rich
“In this touching memoir, Meeropol's honest and gripping story has never been more relevant than in the present erosion of civil liberties and mistrust of dissent.” Marge Piercy
“Meeropol's work transcends victimization. Here is a clear-eyed witness to history; here is a true voice of conscience at a time of crisis.” Martín Espada, author of Alabanza: New and Selected Poems
“An Execution in the Family is both timely and revealing. It is also a disturbing reminder of how, in the name of national security, our preciously guarded constitutional guarantees can be easily trampled. It's a deeply moving account, with painfully personal insights, into one of the most controversial cases in American history and we must never forget.” Danny Glover
“I was intrigued by this brilliantly honest memoir in which Robert Meeropol describes his struggle to honor his heritage as the son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg while striving to create his own identity. He writes powerfully of his childhood years of self muting, his adult years of self searching. And he writes with a lawyer's acumen on the question of his parents' guilt or innocence of the crime for which they were executed.” E.L. Doctorow
Bravery is rare. Tyranny is commonplace. Both define the life of Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In his heart-wrenching, honest memoir, Meeropol recounts the emotional terrors of his childhood, the kindness of Abel and Anne Meeropol-who adopted him and his older brother after their parents' execution-his struggle to vindicate his parents, and his own political activism, culminating in the creation of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which he now directs. His story, which is a story of postwar America, is compelling. He chronicles with vision and clarity his personal and political journeys and the lengthy battle to uncover the truth about his parents' case. "For as long as I could remember we'd suffered whatever was said about our parents in silence. We had never had the opportunity or the emotional freedom to give voice to our opinions about our parents' trial and execution." When Meeropol and his brother did, in the 1970s, the floodgates opened-and over the years, the case's full horror was exposed. The Rosenbergs were charged with "conspiracy to commit espionage," not with selling atomic secrets. According to Meeropol, the person who confessed to that crime, Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, was pressured to reveal co-conspirators in exchange for his wife's freedom. And he succumbed-mouthing the words an FBI agent later testified he supplied. New documents reveal the Rosenbergs were executed for a crime the government knew they did not commit. Their sons have battled valiantly to clear their names and to lead productive lives, and Meeropol's captivating memoir deserves a spot on American history bookshelves. Agents, Frances Goldin, Sydelle Kramer. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Meeropol (Rosenberg) was three when his parents were arrested as spies. He was six when they were put to death. Meeropol (We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg) has written a nuanced memoir about growing up as the son of executed Communists. Abel and Anne Meeropol, a leftwing couple, raised Robert and his brother Michael. Robert grew into a radical activist. Here, after years, he comes to terms with the death of his parents, his desire for revenge, and evolving thinking about the spying charges. He reveals his innermost thoughts and says that acting on his beliefs is the best revenge for the loss of his parents. To that end he founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children to give grants to the children of political prisoners. The only odd note in the book is the almost total silence about the Communist Party. Given his parents' party membership and the Party campaign to free them, readers are likely to expect more about its influence on his life. Strongly recommended for academic and public libraries.-Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg brings us a unique, if not particularly skillful, coming-of-age saga that began in July 1950 when the government arrested his father. Although it covers some of the same ground as We Are Your Sons (1975), co-written with brother Michael, Robert’s solo venture serves principally as a memoir of his own political activities. The Meerpol boys, who assumed the surname of the family that took them in, were unofficially adopted by the Left. Robert twice met W.E.B. Du Bois, and Paul Robeson performed at his summer camp. But the brothers were able to enjoy fairly quiet childhoods in New Jersey and New York. Robert grew up wishing to vindicate his parents, indulged in elaborate revenge fantasies, and found himself drawn to radical causes. He was a member of SDS, active in civil rights and anti-Vietnam War groups. He attended graduate school in anthropology and eventually earned a law degree. But it was not until the mid-1970s that he and his brother emerged from anonymity, became authorities on their parents’ case, and began making public appearances. Robert established and continues to administer the Rosenberg Fund for Children, an endowment to help the offspring of political prisoners; he has also become active in the campaign against the death penalty. The author admits he has few memories of his parentshe was only six in June 1953 when they were electrocuted for conspiracy to deliver atomic secrets to the Sovietsbut he believes that his father was guilty only of delivering non-atomic intelligence to the Soviets during WWII and that his mother was innocent. He argues fiercely that they committed no capital crime and worries that post-9/11America is complacently embracing a new McCarthyism. Written with unbearable poignancy and wrenching irony. (8 pp. b&w photos, not seen)