Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legacy of a False Promise: A Daughter's Reckoning

By Margaret Fuchs Singer

From the book jacket:

“Margaret Fuchs was thirteen in June 1955 when she learned that her parents had been Communists while working for the U.S. government in the 1930s and ‘40s. This book chronicles the years during which her parents were exposed and her father was subpoenaed before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Eventually he named names, and subsequently lost his job as a law professor at American University and was blacklisted from teaching. This book also details the author’s quest as an adult to learn whether or not her parents ever spied for the Soviet Union.”

It was never a question of if Margaret Fuchs Singer’s parents were Communists, as her father openly admitted he was – at one time – a member of the party. It was a really a matter of how deeply involved they were. And that’s exactly what Margaret sets out to try to find out.

In “Legacy,” she tells her parents’ story, especially her father’s, and talks about how it affected her and her brother when they found out they were being investigated, as well as when her father faced possible imprisonment and lost his job. She then goes on to talk about how she conducted her research and what she finally discovered.

Margaret did an excellent job writing this book. I’ve read other books where the authors describe their research and it becomes a dry read. This was anything but that. It really brings a difficult time in our country’s history to light and provides a better understanding of the tension during that era and why the government found it necessary to conduct the investigations.

I applaud Margaret’s tenacity and bravery she needed to write this book. She went about it with honesty and revealed her own personality so the reader feels a true part of the story.

“Legacy” is a poignant and well-written memoir most people will definitely enjoy.

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