Cold War Exile: The Unclosed Case of Maurice Halperin

Don S. Kirschner, Author
Don S. Kirschner, Author University of Missouri Press $44.95 (332p) ISBN 978-0-8262-0989-4
Hardcover - 344 pages - 978-0-8262-6088-8
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During the early 1950s, Maurice Halperin, a former OSS agent, was accused by a confessed Soviet courier named Elizabeth Bentley of committing espionage for the Soviet Union. His subsequent summons before the Senate Internal Security Committee during the McCarthy era led to years of self-exile in Mexico, the Soviet Union and Cuba. ``Very few American leftists actually saw the Soviet Union,'' notes Kirschner, ""and almost none of them experienced both Russia and Cuba in a serious way.'' In his probing psychological/ideological study of Halperin, Kirschner traces the shifting ideas, attitudes and moods of this abrasively outspoken fellow traveler, revealing how he became a Marxist in the 1930s and was later disillusioned (``In the motherland of socialism, socialism did not work''). Kirschner also presents an objective analysis of the espionage charge brought by Bentley. Their stories are contradictory, and readers are left to decide which of them was lying. Halperin was never tried. Kirschner is a history professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where Halperin resides. (May)
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