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Being Red

From 1944 to 1957, Howard Fast was a member of the Communist Party. Begun with patriotic and idealistic zeal, ending with dismay at ideological rigidity and the appalling revelations about the Stalinist era in Khrushchev's famous "secret" speech, it was a political affiliation destined to affect Fast's life beyond politics, often beyond reason.

Author of such internationally acclaimed best sellers as The Last Frontier, Citizen Tom Paine, and Freedom Road, Fast was at the peak of his career when he joined the party, fresh from a stint as writer and originator of the wartime Voice of America. But the years that followed -- what Fast calls the "mini-terror" -- were the years of the McCarthy witch-hunt and the blacklist, of paranoia and betrayal, one of the most shameful periods in American history. Fast's life became one of tapped phones, FBI surveillance, thwarted attempts to publish, and even a prison sentence for refusing to give names to the HUAC.

Being Red is an intimate memoir of that extraordinary time and one of the most revealing looks we have had yet at the workings of the Communist party in America. It is the story of one man's rise from poverty, his courage in the face of a hostile government, his struggles of conscience, and the terrible price paid for good intentions. Here is a remarkable personal story that sheds new light on a dark time

from the dust jacket of the 1990 Houghton Mifflin first edition