Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy: Anne Sebba and Bill Goldstein in Conversation / Anne Sebba and Bill Goldstein in Conversation - 92Y, New York

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Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

Anne Sebba and Bill Goldstein in Conversation
Bill Goldstein and Anne Sebba
Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple with two young sons, were led separately from their prison cells on Death Row and electrocuted moments apart.

Both had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the US government was aware that the evidence against Ethel was shaky at best and based on the perjury of her own brother. Battling the political paranoia of the McCarthy era, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and a mother who never valued her and because of her profound love for and loyalty to her husband, she refused to incriminate him, despite government pressure on her to do so. Instead, she faced the death penalty for a crime she hadn’t committed, orphaning her children.

Much new evidence has surfaced since then including tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement.

Hers is the resonant story of what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.

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Bill Goldstein

Bill Goldstein reviews books for NBC's Weekend Today in New York, and was founding editor of The New York Times books website …

Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba is a prize-winning biographer, lecturer, and former Reuters foreign correspondent …

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