I was too young to remember the first time I met David and Emily Alman, but I know that by the time I was five years old they were two of my favorite people. Emily died in 2004 at the age of 86, after a distinguished career that led her first to Chair the Sociology Department at Douglass College of Rutgers University, before “retiring” to practice law for 25 more years. David, a novelist, businessman and social activist is still with us at 91.
Their connection to me springs from another aspect of their lives. They founded and were the driving force behind the National Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case. They were some of our (my brother’s and my) principal protectors during the dark days between our parents’ arrests in 1950 and our adoption by Abel and Anne Meeropol in 1954. I remember their egg farm in Englishtown, NJ, as an oasis of relative calm during that time, and loved returning to it as a teenager.
As an adult, years might pass between the times I saw Emily and Dave, but on those occasions I always felt a special connection with them. As the years became decades, I knew that they were preparing a major work about my parents’ case and their experiences during the struggle to save my parents’ lives. Unfortunately, Emily did not live to see its completion, but Dave has carried on and now it is a completed book.
A few weeks ago I received an advance copy of Exoneration: The Rosenberg-Sobell Case in the 21st Century.
While it is a remarkably engaging and insightful document, I’m most captivated by its humanity. Reading it has given me a qualitatively deeper appreciation of the people involved in the campaign to save my parents’ lives than I ever had. I provided the following blurb for the publisher:
“Join David and Emily Alman on the front lines at the height of the McCarthy era hysteria battling to save the lives of my parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. David and Emily, polished authors with an engaging literary style, were co-founders and leaders of the National Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case. This is the only first hand account ever published by people who were immersed in that momentous struggle and it is a revelation.”
This book won’t be published in its final form for several months, but I’ll let you know when it comes out.
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