The history of the 1950s and the insanity of the Red Scare is one that has always intrigued me. Based on that interest, I was fully engrossed by Red Letter Days.
The HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) was created, utilizing subpoenas and blacklists, to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities of those suspected of having Communist ties. Many people's lives were ruined including those in the entertainment business.
This is a story of two women whose lives intersect as they each deal with the impact of the HUAC and its hysteria. Phoebe is living in New York City working to establish herself as a writer for television when she is suddenly fired as her name shows up on a blacklist. To escape a subpoena to testify, she flees to London and reaches out to Hannah who is a television producer known for hiring blacklisted writers. This book does a fine job in showing the tough predicament these individuals were put in and how they sought a way to survive this witch hunt. The character of Hannah Wolfson was inspired by the real-life journalist and television producer Hannah Weinstein and her bravery in hiring many blacklisted writers at great personal risk. An interesting book about a dark time in American history.
I’d like to thank Edelweiss, Berkley and the author for an advance copy.
Red Letter Days comes out on February 25.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
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