I Married a Communist by Philip Roth

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Radio actor Iron Rinn (born Ira Ringold) is a big Newark roughneck blighted by a brutal personal secret from which he is perpetually in flight. An idealistic Communist, a self-educated ditchdigger turned popular performer, a six-foot six-inch Abe Lincoln look-alike, he marries the nation's reigning radio actress and beloved silent-film star, the exquisite Eve Frame (born Chava Fromkin). Their marriage evolves from a glamorous, romantic idyll into a dispiriting soap opera of tears and treachery. And with Eve's dramatic revelation to the gossip columnist Bryden Grant of her husband's life of "espionage" for the Soviet Union, the relationship enlarges from private drama into national scandal. Set in the heart of the McCarthy era, the story of Iron Rinn's denunciation and disgrace brings to harrowing life the human drama that was central to the nation's political tribulations in the dark years of betrayal, the blacklist, and naming names. I Married a Communist is an American tragedy as only Philip Roth could write it.

About Philip Roth

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Philip Roth was born in New Jersey in 1933.  He studied literature at Bucknell University and the University of Chicago.  His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1960.  He has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, New York City, Princeton, and New England.  Since 1955, he has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where is now Adjunct Professor of English.  He is also General Editor of the Penguin Books series "Writers from the Other Europe."  Recently he has been spending half of each year in Europe, traveling and writing.
Published October 22, 1998 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 341 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The story of Ira's violent youth, spectacular career, and eventual disgrace is rather ham-fistedly assembled from Nathan's own memories (as Iron Rinn's devoted acolyte), the stories Ira told him, and--most movingly--the immensely detailed recollections poured forth by the ever-garrulous Murray Ri...

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Publishers Weekly

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Disconcerting echoes of Roth's relationship with Claire Bloom, as revealed in her memoir, Leaving the Doll's House, haunt Roth's angry but oddly inert 23rd novel.

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Book Reporter

The rhetoric is sometimes original, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes pasteboard crap (the speech of the incognito), sometimes maniacal, sometimes matter-of-fact, and sometimes like the sharp prick of a needle, and I have been hearing it for as long as I can remember...whatever the reason, the boo...

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of I Married a Communist

Entertainment Weekly

It may be pure coincidence, but in 1996 Philip Roth's ex-wife, Claire Bloom — an actress with a cultivated, patrician aura — published Leaving a Doll's House, a scathing memoir of her 18 years with Roth.

Oct 16 1998 | Read Full Review of I Married a Communist


The blacklistings and betrayals of the McCarthy era cast their long, disturbing shadows in this darkly brilliant new novel by Philip Roth, whose American Pastoral won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

Oct 19 1998 | Read Full Review of I Married a Communist


Even Roth's literary alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, writes novels in which he creates alter egos.

Sep 29 1998 | Read Full Review of I Married a Communist

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