An Execution in the Family: One Son's Journey
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An Execution in the Family: One Son's Journey

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Robert Meeropol was six years old in 1953 when his parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were executed after being convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union at the height of the McCarthy era. Just before they were put to death, the Rosenbergs wrote a letter to their two sons saying they were "secure in the knowledge that others would carry on...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2003)
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Written by the son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. I found it riveting. I found him to be so honest both with what happened to him as a child, but especially his nuanced understanding of what his parents did. Were they innocent? He was open to new information over the years and did not hide behind a "pat" answer.I also like the way he laid out the "old left" and the "new left." And I appreciated the fact that he was an activist from a young age, trying to live into the legacy left by his parents....more
Although I find the story of what happened to the Rosenberg's tragic and feel strongly that there was a miscarriage of justice, this book is painful to read. Being the son of the Rosenberg's does not make you a writer. I thought that the book would be about the case and the trial, but rather it was like a long, boring, self-congratulatory journal entry.
Haunting and fascinating... this book opened my eyes to the kind of persecution that still takes place in our country and how it effects the children of people with views that are not mainstream.
Larry Bassett
Mostly because I am of a particular political persuasion, I have known about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for many years. They are martyrs in the cause of justice denied in the McCarthy years of the early 1950s. The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953 for allegedly being communist spies for the Soviet Union. They could have avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty. They had two young sons, age 6 and 10, when they were killed by the government. The boys'last name was changed when they were adopted...more
This book was full of interesting information that really made me rethink how my government operates. I struggled to try and understand how, in particular, Ethel Rosenberg could have been sent to the electric chair. I have read other sources about the Rosenbergs, and they agree that Ethel was executed as means to leverage information from Julius. Imagining my mother killed by the government would have turned me into the Unabomber. I admire both Michael and Robert for becoming such produductive,...more
Neil Crossan
In 1953 the US government executed Robert Meeropol’s parents for the conspiracy to sell the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviets. Although the case is ever present in the book, it’s by no means a complete representation of the events that lead to his parents execution nor is it the point of the book. This book is about the son’s life. It’s a very personal story at times interesting at time ordinary. Overall you get a sense of how murder causes a ripple effect through families regardless of w...more
Sybelle van Erven
See, I thought this subject would interest me. The story of what happens to the son of a couple that was executed for espionage in the McCarthy era (he was only 4 yrs. old, I belive). It should have been fascinating, but it was written in such a boring fashion that I gave up on it after a few chapters. I still think I'd like to read a first person account of something like that, but I need to find a different author.
I stumbled upon this book accidentally when researching the song "Strange Fruit". The connection to this book and the song is not worth mentioning, however I am certainly glad to have found this read since it exposed me to history that I was not aware of in depth.
Sarah Funke
Still reading it, though it goes at quite a clip and is a fairly interesting portrait of the time and place. It's by the younger son of Julius and Ethel Ros enberg, who was three when his parents were incarcertaed and six when they wereexecuted.
Regina Tabor
A memoir about one sons memory of the life and death of his "communist" parents and the people who raised him after their execution in the USA.
Great follow up to Doctrorow's The Book of Daniel.
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We Are Your Sons: The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

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