Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Rosenbergs: A Case of Love, Espionage, Deceit and Betray


Much has been written on the Rosenberg Case. A quick perusal of a public library will produce at least two dozen books, all of or a significant portion of deal with the Rosenbergs. Works sympathetic to Julius and Ethel are numerous, often suggesting a conspiracy on the part of the government, which is, in certain respects, true. Others, particularly those that are more recent, present evidence that the Rosenbergs were indeed guilty. Many of the latter are bolstered in their positions by Freedom of Information Act revelations, or by accounts and information obtained from recently released KGB files and personal accounts from Russian principals, both sources resulting from the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Whether authors are supportive of the Rosenbergs' innocence or guilt, almost all agree that their executions were unwarranted.

Copies of theRosenberg Letters: A Complete Edition of the Prison Correspondence of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, as was stated earlier, can be found in the two volumes produced by their sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol.

The Crime Library particularly recommends two books presently in print: Ilene Philipson's psychobiography of Ethel Rosenberg, andRosenberg File, by Radosh and Milton. Both books are available in paperback editions. Several other volumes not currently in print that shed light on this case can be found in used bookstores for nominal amounts. Among these are the books by Lamphere and Nizer. The first describes the investigative process, the second analyzes the legal proceedings. Both have vivid depictions of people and events.

At least two novels have been written on the Rosenberg Case. The most well known is the one by E.L. Doctorow,Book of Daniel which has also been made into a film.

The second is by Tema Nason,Ethel; The Fictional Autobiography.

In addition to the 1983 film of Doctorow's novel, now entitled "Daniel," the Discovery Channel has produced "The Rosenberg File" (1997), and Court TV will telecast "The Rosenberg Trial" in October, 1998.

BOOKS: (publishing information varies; some are now available as reprints)

Doctorow, E.L. 1971.Book of Daniel. Random House.

Garber, Margerie, & Walkowitz, Rebecca, eds. 1995.Secret Agents: The Rosenberg Case, McCarthyism & Fifties America. Routledge.

Gentry, Curt. 1991.J. Edgar Hoover; The Man and the Secrets. Norton.

Goldstein, Alvin. 1975. The Unquiet Death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Lawrence Hill.

Lamphere, Robert J., & Schachtman, Tom. 1986.FBI-KGB War; A Special Agent's Story; A Special Agent's Story. Random House.

Larsen, Anita and Marcy Dunn Ramsey,Rosenbergs

Meeropol, Robert & Meeropol, Michael. 1986.We Are Your Sons; The Legacy of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. University of Illinois Press.

Meeropol, Michael, ed. 1994. The Rosenberg Letters. Garland.

Nason, Tema. 1980.Ethel; The Fictional Autobiography. Delacorte.

Navasky, Victor S. 1980. Naming Names. Viking.

Neville, John F. 1995.Press, the Rosenbergs & the Cold War. Greenwood.

Nizer, Louis. 1973. The Implosion Conspiracy. Doubleday.

Philipson, Ilene. 1993. Ethel Rosenberg: Beyond the Myths. Rutgers University Press.

Pilat, Oliver. 1952. The Atom Spies. Putnam.

Powers, Richard Gid. 1995. Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism. Free Press.

Radosh, Ronald & Milton, Joyce. 1997. The Rosenberg File: A Search for the Truth. Yale University Press.

Rhodes, Richard. 1995.Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb Touchstone.

Roberts, Sam. 2001. The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister Ethel Rosenberg to the Electric Chair. Random House.

Schneir, Walter & Schneir, Marian. 1983. Invitation to an Inquest. Pantheon.

Sharlitt, Joseph. 1989. Fatal Error. Scribners Reference Library.

Sharp, Malcolm. 1956. Was Justice Done? The Rosenberg-Sobell Case. Monthly Review Press.

Sobell, Morton. 1974. On Doing Time. Scribner.

Sudoplatov, Pavel, et al. 1994.Special Tasks

Teller, Edward. 2001. Memoirs: A twentieth Century Journey in Science and Politics. Perseus

Von Hoffman, Nicholas. 1988. Citizen Cohn. Doubleday.

West, Rebecca. 1964. The New Meaning of Treason. Viking.

Williams, Robert Chadwell. 1987.Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy. Harvard University Press.

Yalkowsky, Stanley. 1990.Murder of the Rosenbergs. Crucible Publications.

Zion, Sidney. 1988. The Autobiography of Roy Cohn. Lyle Stuart.

RECENT ARTICLES: (all are from 1997)

Dobbs, Michael. "Julius Rosenberg Spied, Russian Says." Washington Post, March 16

Milton, Joyce. "The Old Left: Fort McNair Postcard." New Republic, April 11

Radosh, Ronald. "Final Verdict." New Republic, April 11

Scheir, Walter. "Tales from the KGB." Nation, April 7