1st Edition

Secret Agents
The Rosenberg Case, McCarthyism and Fifties America

ISBN 9780415911207
Published September 6, 1995 by Routledge
320 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

When the American Bar Association recreated the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg on the fortieth anniversary of their execution, the jury acquitted the "mock Rosenbergs," finding that in today's courts they would not have been convicted of espionage.
The 1950s trial of the Rosenbergs on charges of "Atomic Spying" and "stealing the secrets of the Atomic bomb" was a major event of Cold War America, galvanizing public opinion on all sides of the question. Secret Agents presents essays by lawyers, cultural critics, social historians and historians of science, as well as a reconsideration of the Rosenbergs by their younger son, Robert Meeropol. Secret Agents gives new resonance to a history we have for too long been willing to forget.



Marjorie Garber is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Harvard University; she and Rebecca Walkowitz are also co-editors of Media Spectacles (Routledge 1993).


"Secret Agents succeeds in conveying a sense of moral engagement with its subject matter. This book also reanimates issues that conveniently dropped out of sight because, as a society, we are uncomfortable dealing with ambiguity in the historical record...Walkowitz and Garber should be both congratulated and widley read, for assembling a collection that leaves readers less comfortable for having spent time with this book." -- Boston Book Review,Dec.1995
"a remarkably cogent account." -- Boston Book Review
"the writers demonstrate with ferocious eloquence." -- Boston Book Review
"The authors have assembled an extraordinary panoply of personal testimony, political polemic, social commentary, legal observation and scientific history. Secret Agents is, moreover, an intellectual kaleidoscope of the conduct of public affairs during the '50s." -- The Boston Book Review