The Red Squad
By Esther Broner
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307455840, 224pp.)
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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A wonderfully comic novel about the interwoven lives of a group of 1960s grad students who, forty years later, learn that they were under FBI surveillance during their activist days.
There’s Anka, who enraged the right-thinking newspaper with her outspoken politics; Kevin, a priest in the process of formally leaving the church; “The Farmer,” an unhappy father and husband; Noble, the gay poet; Ron, the black professor of Victorian studies; and the irrepressible Bernstein, who yearned to start again in the promised land of Israel. One became a spy, one became a fugitive. And when their long lost comrade resurfaces, his plight reunites them in a glorious, unexpected finale that collides past and present.
E. M. Broner is the author of ten previous books. She has taught at Wayne State University and Sarah Lawrence College, and has been a visiting scholar at Ohio State University, Oberlin College, UCLA, and Haifa University. An award-winning playwright and NPR writer, she has also lectured around the world. She lives in New York City.
“Superbly ties together the liberals and the conservatives, the passionate and apathetic, across all genres of society in both the past and the present.” —Los Angeles Times
“With high spirits and deep politics, The Red Squad takes us into the lives of Midwestern peaceniks of the Sixties. . . . E. M. Broner gives us new friends and lasting values; who could ask for anything more?” —Gloria Steinem
“A deft mystery. . . . Brimming with energy.” —The Daily Beast
“Profoundly crafted.” —The Tucson Citizen
“A charming entry into the ranks of the academic novel.” —Haaretz
“The most marvelous, original, feisty, political, comical, serious, delightful activist academic novel in memory.” —HASTAC
“This is a vivid tale of the Sixties, told by one of our most original novelists, from a marvelously unusual point of view. If ever a book demonstrated that the personal continues to be political, this is it. For those of us who were there, The Red Squad is an eye-opener; for those who weren’t, it’s an education. Either way, a pleasure to read.” —Vivian Gornick
“An insightful, affecting, and often funny tale of higher education. . . . One of those books that will grow in readers’ estimation long after they’ve finished reading it.” —Booklist
“Only E. M. Broner could have written a book like this: a brilliant comic political novel, as original as it is fiercely anti-war.” —Marilyn French