"Somehow, settling factual disputes about who was and wasn't a spy [for the Soviets, during the Second World War] has failed to create any new consensus. Instead, it has brought the fight about Communism in America back to life."

Jacob Weisberg

"Cold War Without End," The New York Times, November 28, 1999.

People are once more arguing about the meaning behind the facts. They are writing books and articles that express their divergent points of view. Was Communism really a threat in the United States? What was the motivation of Americans who shared privileged information with the Soviets? How did the McCarthy Era shape American society and culture?

More than ever, people are fascinated by the drama of the early Cold War and the controversies of the McCarthy Years; even after so many years, they still disagree. In spite of the recent flood of books and articles elucidating new documentation about this period, we are still lacking relevant information and, more importantly, because so much has been written from one point of view or the other, we are missing the balanced perspective necessary to understand what we learn. New files and archives provide new facts; historians offer new interpretations and stimulate controversy; but only real people, people who lived through the years of the McCarthy debacle and are willing to share their personal experiences, can provide the story behind the facts.

In Legacy of a False Promise, Margaret Fuchs Singer writes about her teenage trauma, learning for the first time that her parents had been Communists. She shares her father's shame over his having named names before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. We fret with her as she watches her father fight to keep his job as a law school professor, and cheer with her as a national campaign is launched to help him win it back. We mourn with them both as he is blacklisted from his chosen profession and is forced to make compromises in order to support his family.

In her journey of discovery, the author seeks to uncover the truth about her parents' twelve-year involvement with the Communist underground, and their association with friends and colleagues later accused of being agents for the Soviet Union. As part of her search for the truth, she examines the controversy over the true meaning of American Communism from the perspectives of the Left and the Right (through the famous Hiss and Rosenberg cases), recognizing that an accurate assessment includes contributions from both sides of the political spectrum. She shows us how she has healed through her writing venture and how friends and family have supported her as they joined her on her journey.

Legacy of a False Promise explores facets of the McCarthy Era ordeal that have had little or no previous exposure:

This memoir has universal appeal as it deals with themes that have meaning for a wide audience:

Frank and balanced, Legacy of a False Promise provides an intimate look at one family's McCarthy Era experience. Readers will gain insight into this controversial period in our history through the author's personal story of trauma, betrayal, revelation and healing.