In a post yesterday, I had occasion to mention a book I read and reviewed some years ago. It was the memoir of a woman who had been the daughter of American Communists and had been brought up in Czechoslovakia and China, among other places. A marvelous book. I could not think of its name, or the name of the author. Several readers wrote to ask me for that info — and, thanks to my friend/colleague John Virtes in New York, I have it. The book is An Un-American Childhood, by Ann Kimmage. My review appeared in the 9/16/96 Weekly Standard, and was called “Growing Up Communist.” It ended:
[The author’s parents were] exceedingly lucky to have a daughter as large-hearted as Kimmage. “The fall of communism,” she writes, “may now make it possible for us to be more compassionate and less judgmental about the winners and losers of the Cold War and more conscious of the twisted lives left in its wake.” Perhaps, but An Un-American Childhood, even if despite itself, is laden with judgment, indicting a wicked philosophy that turns parents into sadists and little girls into tremblers.