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Un-American Activities: A Memoir of the Fifties (edición 1994)
por Sally Belfrage (Autor)
Un-American Activities: A Memoir of the Fifties por Sally Belfrage
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"My mother was a mere English eccentric, but my father was a Red and so in trouble all the time, if not in jail," writes Sally Belfrage early in Un-American Activities. "The phone was tapped from the minute I could talk on it, and the FBI had been at the door since I was tall enough to turn the knob. ... When my teens began it dawned on me: that the only untried, unheard-of, truly original ambition I might pursue was to be normal. Let the Reds take on injustice and get persecuted for their pains. Let the Beats in Greenwich Village reinvent Bohemia. Let the bunch of them get seasick on the waves they made. Me, I'd be conventional!" Un-American Activities is the story of Sally Belfrage's desperate, and often desperately funny, attempt to be conventional in the fifties - something that seemed to come naturally to most people. Sally had the basic equipment (blond hair, blue eyes), but attending a largely Jewish school, with her father - Cedric Belfrage, editor of the National Guardian - under attack from Joe McCarthy, and with her parents, both English, under constant threat of deportation, she had her work cut out for her. Fortunately she latched on to a trusty guide - downstairs neighbor Debbi-with-an-i Giglio, drum majorette and aspiring airline stewardess, a girl who "had her kick pleats down pat." Throughout, Un-American Activities is animated by the tension between Sally's deep love for her father and her Herculean efforts to distance herself from the consequences of his politics. "Schizophrenia can be kid stuff if you learn it as a kid," as she says. This tension - peaking when she gets pinned to a West Point cadet - makes her memoir an enormously affecting father-daughter story as well as a lively portrait of the fifties as seen through teenage blue eyes, from the Bomb to bobby sox, from the Rosenberg case to the poodle skirt.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)974.7 — History and Geography North America Northeastern U.S. New York
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