The Book of Daniel

Curator Reviews

Maaza Mengiste

I no longer remember how many times I’ve read this, but each time, the sentences jump off the page, electrifyingly charged. Based on the real-life trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg during the McCarthy era, the novel is told through Daniel Isaacson, an angry young man trying to piece together the truth about his parents, executed decades earlier for being Soviet spies. What Doctorow achieves in this book is symphonic, a series of a brilliant set pieces held together by Daniel’s brutal, pained voice. It is a masterpiece, and a cautionary tale for our times.

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