The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case
By Sam Roberts
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780375761249, 584pp.)
Publication Date: May 13, 2003
List Price: $16.95*
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Fifty years after their execution in June 1953 for conspiring to steal atomic secrets, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg remain the subjects of great emotional debate and acrimony. The man whose testimony almost single-handedly convicted them was Ethel Rosenberg’s own brother, David Greenglass. Though the Rosenbergs were executed, Greenglass served a mere ten years in prison, after which, with a new name, he disappeared. But journalist Sam Roberts found Greenglass, and then managed to convince him to talk about everything that had happened.
So here at last is the mesmerizing inside story of the Rosenberg case: What were their lives like growing up on the Lower East Side? How was David Greenglass enlisted in a plot to hand over to the Soviets our greatest national secret? And how, finally, did the whole thing unravel? Even beyond that, The Brother reveals how David Greenglass perjured himself in testifying about his sister and her husband—testimony that virtually strapped them into the electric chair.
The Brother is a great narrative, far more mesmerizing than anything else written on the subject. It is a story of espionage. It is the story of a trial. And, most tragically, it is the story of a family.
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.