Pledge of Allegiance

Mark Lapin, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-24979-5
In this convincing first novel, Lapin effectively depicts the paranoia rampant during the McCarthy era. Set in New York City in 1953, when Communists were holding vigils in Union Square for the recently sentenced Rosenbergs, the story is narrated mainly by nine-year-old Josh Rankin, whose parents joined the Party in the '30s. Josh's father, editor of the Party paper, has gone underground and the Party has become family for Josh; his sister, Vera; and his mother, Elsa, who works at Party headquarters. At school Josh is ostracized by classmates for being a ``Commie'' and refused a place on the baseball team. He meets a stranger who plays ball with him and offers to take him to see the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. But then Josh discovers the identity of the stranger and what information he wants in return. Josh Ranklin is a seductive mix of innocence and wisdom; Lapin tells his affecting story with depth and moments of hilarity. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 377 pages - 978-1-56054-195-0
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