on May 22, 2015
Hard to review a book you haven't read yet, but I am doing just that. I am currently reading Fast's bio-book, "Being Red," which is about his involvement in the Communist party, and as a journalist in WWII.
From what I have read in "Being Red," this novel is a tale of what happened to him in WWII in India. The story of the starvation of about 6,000,000 people in India, by the British, by manipulating the rice market, is true.
And that is the reason I am buying this book today, and reading it ASAP.
Bruce Bacon, journalist, arrives in Calcutta near the end of World War II. Bruce's father is a physician. The family did not suffer during the depression. Bacon is working on an investigation for the New York Tribune as to why stored rice was not distributed by the British to the populace during a famine.
An Indian journalist claims that the vast discrepancy between the rich and the poor is part of the colonial system. Summoned by U.S. Army Intelligence, Bruce is informed his questioning of the British High Command has been inappropriate. Subsequently his Indian informants are arrested and orders are cut for him to leave Calcutta, (he is a civilian).
Three weeks after Bacon leaves Delhi the atom bomb is dropped and the war ends. The Tribune won't publish his investigative piece, telling him it is too long. Bruce asks for and receives a six months leave to write a book.
Later the FBI tries to interview Bruce Bacon and he learns from a friend that he is on a list. Events impede progress on his book, notwithstanding the fact that he is a professional writer and has learned to produce work under dreadful circumstances.
A friend who is a Communist tells him the party would shrink his soul and destroy him. Bruce Bacon receives a subpoena to appear before the HUAC. The rest of the story is for the reader to discover. There is much excitement.
Group think remains a possibility in today's world. We would be incredibly naive if we felt that the Cold War era and that time of fears has nothing to teach us.