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The Book of Daniel

The Book of Daniel By E.L. Doctorow The Book of Daniel As Cold War hysteria inflames America FBI agents knock on the Bronx apartment door of a Communist man and his wife After a highly controversial trial the couple go to the electric chair for treason

  • Title: The Book of Daniel
  • Author: E.L. Doctorow
  • ISBN: 9780452275669
  • Page: 168
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Book of Daniel By E.L. Doctorow As Cold War hysteria inflames America, FBI agents knock on the Bronx apartment door of a Communist man and his wife After a highly controversial trial, the couple go to the electric chair for treason despite worldwide protests Decades later their son, Daniel, grown to young manhood, tries to make sense of their lives and deaths and their legacy to him Like millions ofAs Cold War hysteria inflames America, FBI agents knock on the Bronx apartment door of a Communist man and his wife After a highly controversial trial, the couple go to the electric chair for treason despite worldwide protests Decades later their son, Daniel, grown to young manhood, tries to make sense of their lives and deaths and their legacy to him Like millions of other Americans, he is attempting to reconcile an America based on the highest human ideals with the tragedy of his parents This is the framework for E.L Doctorow s dazzling masterpiece, as he fictionalizes an actual social and political drama to create an intensely moving, searching, and illuminating tale of two decades, two generations, and a troubled legacy of passion and purpose, martyrdom and meaning.
    The Book of Daniel By E.L. Doctorow

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    One thought on “The Book of Daniel

    1. Paul Bryant on said:

      Governing emotion white hot angerUnderneath that confusion for the characters, for the reader Style I m EL Doctorow and it s 1971 and society is caving in and I m gonna put anything I like in my novel, chunks of political analysis, satires of hippy revolution, childhood memoir, denunciations of the old left, lists of candy bars I once ate And I m gonna drop from first person to third person and back again sometimes in mid sentence Live with it, baby This is the way novels are these days,you got [...]

    2. Solistas on said:

      Doctorow Luther Blissett Wu Ming , project Ragtime Doctorow , , , , , , , , , Doctorow , , Doctorow Disneyland , , , , , , , , , , , , .

    3. Sarah on said:

      I bring this book almost every time I talk to writers or editors The story was almost secondary to the incredible way the book was written I wonder though if someone could read this alongside Atlas Shrugged and have a nervous breakdown, or an epiphany Maybe both The way point of view and tenses shifted so fluidly was really something to study If an author ever wonders why his switches in either aren t working I direct them to this book to see why this one worked so well I ask editors all the tim [...]

    4. Patrick on said:

      This is a fictionalised account of the execution of the Rosenbergs told through their son a decade later.ELD shifts the perspective and addresses the relationship between the sovereign state and the individual,modern American history,it s politics and movements and its judicial system and of course the Cold War.The characterisation and dialogue are strong.Written In 1971 the themes of this novel may still be relevant in modern America.

    5. Derek on said:

      SIGH Damn Wow What a novel What a work of genius Wow Without a doubt this must be one of the greatest literary masterpieces ever written The Book of Daniel is a work of genius like no other It s sad and harrowing and breaks your heart with its sincerity cruelty, and deft perception and revelation of the human condition striped of all pretensions It s a political novel, but that s not all it is It s a novel about family, but goes well beyond that marginal construct It s all encompassing And as fo [...]

    6. ☮Karen on said:

      The Rosenbergs trial and executions took place before I was born, and I had only a passing knowledge of their story heretofore The couple left behind two little boys who I assume did not have an easy go at life after losing their parents That true story is the foundation of this novel, only here the name is Isaacson and the children are Daniel and his younger sister Susan Daniel indeed is affected by the news making events of his childhood, as he reveals in this autobiography which he ends up wr [...]

    7. Summer on said:

      I loved the prose style, and the subject matter was heavy and riviting, but this book suffered from having an utterly unlikeable narrator and from that irritating brand of misogyny that one so often sees in the writing of progressives in that era Every woman in this book, including the narrator s mother and sister, is described in terms of her fuckability And let s not forget the sexual violence I suppose this is supposed to make the narrator levels of complexity, a tortured aspect, a countercul [...]

    8. Fabian on said:

      One Original American classic Is there something to denote just how close to the perfect five stars this work truly is The type of novel Europeans, Latin Americans, and all other world Masters tremble at One can say this novel is absolutely magical Devastating and lifeaffirming Art affirming Definitely my favorite novel by Mr Doctorow.

    9. Jeff Jackson on said:

      One of the great political novels An emotional jeremiad about the fallout from the Rosenberg spy case and Communist witch hunts, viewed from turbulent perspective of the late 1960s Much radical in terms of both structure and content than Doctorow s reputation would lead you to believe A harrowing howl of a book that s been overshadowed by famous lesser work.

    10. Steve on said:

      To date, this is the best Doctorow book that I ve read the other two being Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, both of which left me underwhelmed But I m not sure what that signifies Doctorow, as is usually the case with this author, has latched on to an historical event here it is the trial and execution of Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg yes, they were spies changed some names and characters, and built himself a novel And it s an interesting novel, up to a point Considering it was published in [...]

    11. Steven on said:

      Ficitional account of the events surrounding Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Although this book was written much later, it was assigned as part of my Law and Literature class in law school to represent the period of the 1950s and it could not have been a better choice.So many people think of the 1950s in America with such fondness as a simpler time wherre things were great for everyone Well, not really It certainly wasn t so great if you were black and it certainly was not so great it you were a susp [...]

    12. Vit Babenco on said:

      To hunt hunters need game And witch hunters need witches If there are no real witches then the ordinary people may always be dyed as the ones It s too fucking hot This fucking city is like an oven You want to know what was wrong with the old American Communists They were into the system They wore ties They held down jobs They put people up for President They thought politics is something you do at a meeting When they got busted they called it tyranny They were Russian tit suckers Russia Who s fr [...]

    13. Nagisa Furukawa on said:

      What can I honestly say about this book My words can t do it justice It was a story, it taught me history and politics of America It pained me, it caused me to cringe and my face to contort at some events and descriptions and all It confused the hell out of me because of its multiple narrators Daniel himself, third person, then Daniel addressing the reader Reading the book was a labor on its own, I had to be careful and pay attention to ever detail all through the story so that I wouldn t miss a [...]

    14. Derrick on said:

      Well, the style was certainly a shock to me, as I typically read the classic romantics I had just finished reading Death in Venice prior to this book, where even abhorable acts suck as pedophilia are presented in such a passive way, and with such tact, that they almost seem respectable, or at least understandable So the overtly upfront sexuality male dominant sexuality and courseness of this book sort of smacked me upside the head at first Once I adjusted I did begin to enjoy the book, though Da [...]

    15. Ellen Lee on said:

      a stunning book to start off the new year im inspired, im angry, im so so sad.

    16. Bucket on said:

      I really enjoyed the premise here that Daniel is procrastinating on his dissertation and what we re reading is what he is writing instead It s clear that he s reliving his and his sister s childhood because it s the only thing he can write while his sister is fading He unconsciously switches from 3rd person to 1st in his writing and he holds places for vignettes and scenes he wants to add later He also gets a little meta about the reader, especially when discussing things that make him look bad [...]

    17. Kaycie on said:

      There was one point in The Book of Daniel where I thought that every American needed to read it, and was going to recommend it that strongly I got THAT into it TBoD touches on hysteria in America as it pertained to a fictional Rosenberg like couple as told through the eyes of their son Daniel This book was also published only roughly a decade out from the Rosenberg executions, so it was written in the heart of the communist hysteria Crazy good look at hysteria and what it does to people and the [...]

    18. Kristin on said:

      Brilliant One of the best books written about the event that was the Rosenbergs read with Kushner s Angels in America and for a heaping of sardonic satire Coover s _The Public Burning_ Doctorow draws us into questions of self, nation, and other that feel particularly relevant during this time of patriot acts A must read for anyone interested in postwar American lit.

    19. Natalie on said:

      Eventually I imagine I will find a novel by a baby boomer about something to do with the 1960s that will not annoy the shit out of me, but that day is not yet here Also worth noting is the casual misogyny of mid to late 20th century male writers That angry explicitness about sex and the female body, what is that Am I supposed to be impressed or shocked by it

    20. Brian Kovesci on said:

      It is what it is A work of fiction which explains, in detail, the life of a man, specifically his relationship with his family K.

    21. Mimi on said:

      There are two parts to this novel that are very hard to reconcile The first element is an amazing fiction it was contemporary at the time it was written, although now I d consider it historical fiction filled with religious imagery, fabulous thoughts on the Red Scare, the effect of a treason charge on the children of the person, our government s culpability, and the legal process I d give this part of the novel 4 starsThe second part was that this novel is extremely cruel, violent, and misogynis [...]

    22. Stefan on said:

      If there is anything that E.L Doctorow can be faulted for is his unrelenting ambition The Book of Daniel is only his second published work, but he does things with it that an author penning his 50th wouldn t, in his or her right mind, pursue The novel is written as a rough draft for a graduate school dissertation by the book s protagonist Daniel Rosenberg son of alleged Communist spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg In his largely autobiographical dissertation Daniel writes about the tumultuous ways [...]

    23. Lennie on said:

      Daniel grew up in a poor family living in the Bronx His dad, Paul, owned a struggling radio repair business and his mom, Rochelle, was a housewife Both his parents were full of radical passion and loyal to the Communist Party but for them it was a bad time in history to be Red In America, there was a fear of Communists taking over Daniel s parents found themselves being hounded by FBI agents who harassed them with questions and staked out their home They even searched Paul s place of business Ev [...]

    24. Molly Jones on said:

      This is one of my all time favorite books I ve read it at least four times and have enjoyed it with every read This book causes one to question what it is to be American what are our principles and how do we stand by them or abandon them during times of international uncertainty In Doctorow s fictionalized version of the Rosenberg case, he clearly takes the liberal side of things and implies that the Rosebergs here, Isaacsons weren t actually guilty of anything, but instead used as scapegoats a [...]

    25. Ash Cb on said:

      This has to be one of the most overwhelming books I ve ever read I just started cause of the plot, and I gotta say that it took me a while to adjust myself to the style I haven t read anything from Doctorw and looking forward but I kind of sense that it is his way double speeches from the same character at the same time but with different voices, inner reflections, informative summaries, historical refferences that represented a challenge cause of my ignorance bout american political history an [...]

    26. Charly on said:

      The Rosenberg case is disturbing, revealing of 1950s America, and hugely important to learn about Go pick up a biography of the actual Rosenbergs rather than this pile of misogyny, pretentious, and hippie era self hating PoMo trash If this were written by Norah Whatshername, everyone would agree that it is sexploitative, woman hating ridiculousness Fine, there are touching moments, like when they run away from the institution, and Doctorow is a technically gifted writer still, a protagonist who [...]

    27. Lindsay on said:

      February 2010 This book is not doing much for me so far It makes me want to punch the narrator in the face I will probably finish it eventually because it fits in my purse quite nicely, but in the meantime I ll be reading other things, too.July 2010 Okay, I finally made it through this I think maybe the story might possibly have been interesting, but I was too distracted by wanting to do violence to the narrator to really be able to tell you what happened He does get beaten up at least once so i [...]

    28. Ian on said:

      For what I thought was going to be a bitter polemic against American society in 1971, I felt Doctorow was surprisingly even handed The Cold War execution of the Rosenbergs is than echoed in Daniel Isaacson s parents But despite the obvious loaded dice of the authorities in stitching up his parents whether they did pass secrets to the Russians or not is almost irrelevant , their naive communist faith is exposed as much as the fatuous Hippie protests Daniel s sister s hospitalisation and his wife [...]

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