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Join the SJWF and Anne Sebba, the author of the gripping new biography recounting the tragic story of Ethel Rosenberg, who was executed for espionage-related crimes during the Cold War following one of the most sensational courtroom trials in American history.

The Rosenberg story has been called America’s Dreyfus Affair: a catastrophic failure of humanity and justice that continues to haunt the national conscience. But Ethel’s story is also a timeless human tale of a supportive wife, loving mother of two children and courageous idealist who grew up in a poor Jewish family in New York’s Lower East Side during the Depression with aspirations of becoming an opera singer. Instead, she found herself battling the social mores of the 1950s, family dramas, and accusations of a crime she almost certainly did not commit. Ultimately, her life was cut barbarically short on the basis of tainted evidence.

Using the prison letters Ethel exchanged with her husband, lawyer and psychotherapist, and interviews with Rosenberg’s sons, Sebba’s biography exposes a nation deeply divided and reveals what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.

“Masterful, original and painfully gripping.” PHILIPPE SANDS

“A brilliant and fresh take on a famous case.” SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE

Anne Sebba is a biographer, journalist and former Reuters foreign correspondent. She has written many books including the best-selling Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image, Laura Ashley, A Life by Design and That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Her latest biography, Ethel Rosenberg, tells the tragic story of the first woman in America to be sent to her death for a crime other than murder.



Anne will be in conversation with Michaela Kalowski.

Michaela Kalowski is an interviewer and moderator for writers and ideas festivals. Highlight interviews include Margaret Atwood, Amos Oz, David Mitchell, Etgar Keret, Trent Dalton, Colum McCann, Stan Grant, Holly Ringland, Charlotte Wood, Sarah Krasnostein and Laura Marling. She has conducted radio interviews for ABC Radio National’s The Music Show, Big Ideas, The Bookshelf, Big Weekend of Books, for ABC Classic and has presented programs on ABC Radio National and Local Radio. She is also a curator at writers and ideas festivals. She’s currently the curator for ABC RN’s on-air writers festival, Big Weekend of Books and is the curator of International Authors for Brisbane Writers Festival.



Purchase Anne Sebba’s latest book Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy  from Gertrude and Alice.

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