Red, White, and Red
A longtime member of the Communist Party travels across the USA in 1950, wondering what he will tell the House Un-American Activities Committee, and whether he will ever return home.
"A brown double-breasted suit just shiny enough at the elbows and knees to avoid snagging a second glance from cops, G-men, or even my fellow travelers. A fresh white shirt, with collar and cuffs starched to avoid suspicion. A nondescript brown-and-yellow-striped necktie for respectability. Brown wingtip shoes lightly scuffed to deflect envy. A brown felt hat, recently cleaned and blocked, the brim turned down to conceal my bleary blue eyes. And as my last defense against any stubborn flicker of curiosity, I also wear a grim, all-purpose, yellow-toothed smile.
"Perfectly disguised as Nobody. Harmless. Boring. Even my smile promises nothing more than a whiff of bad breath. "
A member of the Communist Party USA since 1923, Solomon Glaser was an all-but-invisible courier who traveled across the country collecting contributions from sympathizers, many of them celebrities. Now, in 1950, he is taking the train from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, where he has been called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. As he journeys back across America, he contemplates his life and the demise of his political hopes, trying to decide what he will say to the committee and wondering if he will ever return home.
Charley Rosen is the author of six novels and twelve works of nonfiction, including Scout's Honor, also published by Codhill Press. He is also the coauthor, with Phil Jackson, of Maverick and the New York Times bestseller More Than a Game. He lives with his wife, Daia, in upstate New York.