In 1953 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage and were subsequently executed for treason. Virginia Carmichael here uses their story to consider the function of narrative in the formation of history. Carmichael argues that the Rosenberg story constituted a social drama (as yet unresolved) that inaugurated the elaboration of many stories serving multiple interests and functions. The story itself was an embedded narrative in the developing Cold War, both required by that Cold War frame narrative and at the same time furthering its construction.
Part 1 The Rosenberg stories and history: Cold War frame; Narrative; Embedded story. Part 2 The Rosenberg stories and culture: Culture as critique in the post-Rosenberg era; The book of Daniel; The public burning; Closure; Framed arts.