IS CURLY JEWISH? by Paul Jacobs


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If Mr. Jacobs as a teenager in New York City had joined the Communist Party instead of affiliating himself with the Trotskyite wing of the then impending world revolutionary movement, we might have here only another of those soap operas in which young idealists become young dupes, then find God and tell all to the House Committee in an effort to defeat that spectral ship of subversion gone down still further, because of their desertion, into the Saragasso Sea of history. But this man, for whom ""Curly"" is an analogue in thirty years of political wars, in Greenwich Village, in the midwest's dreary winter stations, was one of the first gut Red hunters; he sought vengeance for the CP's anti-Trotskyist slurs by seducing their girl cadres after Party hoedowns. The rest of this odyssey is just as unconventional and intriguing, as Jacobs joins the labor movement as an organizer, as a pawn in the CIO's anti-Communist battles after World War II, as an unaffiliated radical in contemporary America. Is Curly? The book ends with Jacobs unresolved in his relationship as an American of Jewish origin to the State of Israel. Thus, for all his sophistication, Curly ends up just as American as the next fellow; a little parochial, still wondering who he is. Valuable.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1965
Publisher: Atheneum