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Invitation to an Inquest Paperback – 1983

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books; 1st Pantheon pbk. ed edition (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394714962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394714967
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,586,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Stephen M. St Onge on December 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'll pay Walter and Miriam Schneir a compliment and assume they were sincere when they wrote this book. It's one of the few compliments I can pay them.
The Schneirs wanted to believe that the Rosenbergs were innocent, framed by the U.S. Govt. They wrote a book that 'proved' their case -- if you didn't know enough about the Rosenberg affair to make an independent judgement, and didn't think well enough to see through their predjudices and pre-conceptions.
The Schneirs basic method is twofold: One: when presented with a complex case, select only the evidence that supports the story you're pushing; Two: when nothing to help you is available, make it up. Examples: an exchange that goes on for several pages in the trial transcript, involving the judge, two lawyers, and a witness, that ends with the judge ruling against the defense but saying that the defense lawyers can bring up the subject again tomorrow, when they have the transcript of that day's proceedings [something the defense chose not to do], is reduced to ONE sentence, designed to show a prejudice by the judge that isn't there; when trying to explain how the investigation of the Rosenbergs started, they claim, on no evidence, that Hoover believed in Soviet atomic espionage because he thought the Russians were too stupid to build the bomb on their own (actually, it was because decrypted messages proved the former USSR [oh! how I love to type "former USSR"!] had spies in the Manhattan Project, but those messages were the U.S. Govt.'s biggest 'secret', known only to the FBI, NSA, and KGB).
In the seventies, the FBI released its files on the Rosenbergs, allowing anyone with the will to see that they'd been guilty. The Schneirs refused to see.
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By A Customer on February 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Walter and Miriam Schneir's book "Invitation to an Inquest" remains the best book on the Rosenberg case. The authors have researched the topic exhaustively, and they acknowledge that the Rosenberg case is incredibly complex. At the same time, this is not a "Charlie Brown" fence- straddling study. The authors ultimately argue, convincingly, that the Rosenberg's were likely innocent of the charges. A must-read that sheds light on the most important trial of the postwar era.
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