Ira Ringold (now Iron Rinn) is a self-educated radio actor married to spoilt, rags-to- riches beauty and silent-film star, Eve Frame. He is a Communist, she is passionately and irrationally anti-Semitic (in spite of her own Jewish origins). Roth's alter-ego narrator Nathan Zuckerman--an idealistic admirer of Ira as a boy--uncovers the story of Eve's betrayal of Ira to a gossip-columnist, and Nathan's own unknowing involvement with the blacklistings and ruined careers of the immediate post-war period. Roth's characteristically acerbic writing and keen eye for emotional detail reaches to the heart of this moment of high American tragedy, a point at which the American dream was damaged beyond recovery.
The McCarthy era has faded, eerily, into nostalgia, just as Capitol Hill produces its own nineties version of witch-hunt and communal obsession with enemies of the state, and perversions of justice perpetrated in democracy's name. Roth avoids nostalgia by making his narrator an active, if unwitting participant in the original drama, caught up in political currents and counter-currents he did not comprehend at the time. --Lisa Jardine
"A passionate and coruscating American tragedy" Financial Times "Roth explores our expedients and tragedies with a masterly, often unnerving, blend of tenderness, harshness, insight and wit...a gripping novel" New York Times Book Review "Roth remains as edgy, as furious, as funny, and as dangerous as he was forty years ago" New York Review of Books "Quintessential Philip Roth" Sunday Telegraph "I Married a Communist proves that, following the success of Sabbath's Theater and American Pastoral, he remains on extraordinary form... Wonderful storytelling and characterisation" -- Erica Wagner Guardian, Books of the Year