ABE AND JULIA: Honor and Survival During Hoover's Reign by David Kotelchuck

Image of ABE AND JULIA: Honor and Survival During Hoover's Reign by David Kotelchuck

Published by Blue Thread Books and Music, our magazine's publishing imprint.

Abe and Julia Kotelchuck were pursued as Communist Party activists by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI with a relentless vindictiveness that reached deep into their work and family lives for well over two decades. This thoroughly researched memoir by their adult son, Dr. David Kotelchuck, uses 2,200 pages of Abe’s and Julia’s FBI files, interviews with family members, news articles (particularly by the great independent journalist, I.F. Stone), books by historians of the McCarthy Era, and personal memory to create a portrait of resistance to government repression that is at once chilling and heartwarming.

Kotelchuck reveals his parents as “persons of great moral courage” who “refused to change their views in the face of governmental persecution.” He also reveals Hoover’s FBI as using dirty tricks, forgeries, illegal wiretaps, and intimidation while “hounding . . . domestic opponents of U.S. policies during the Cold War period, often illegally, without prior evidence of or subsequent findings of wrongdoing,” a pattern that “deserves public attention as our country continues to this day to struggle with individual citizens’ rights to dissent from and organize against governmental policies on the one hand, and the nation’s right to investigate and protect itself from potential domestic and foreign threats on the other.”

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