Reviews

"Here Is Free Country"

During the 1930's many Americans were enamored of the "grand and noble experiment" called the Soviet Union. Movie stars, clergymen, authors, intellectuals, columnists, and other American opinion makers traveled to the USSR and returned with glowing reports of the joys of socialism under Joseph Stalin. Many immigrants from the former Russian empire believed these stories and some decided to return to their former homeland to taste the fruits of Bolshevik labor. One such person was Morris Stolar, a Jewish communist sympathizer living in Chicago's Humboldt Park who, in the 1930's, moved to Moscow with his wife and two American-born children. Today, one of these children, Abe Stolar, now 75, is awaiting permission to return to Chicago. He has been waiting for a very long time. Despite the personal interventions of Secretary of State George Shultz and much American press coverage (the Washington Post recently ran a feature story describing his plight), Abe Stolar sits in his Moscow apartment waiting and hoping that someday he will once again walk the streets of Humboldt Park.

A similar fate almost befell Walter Polovchak, a Ukrainian-born youngster whose father wanted to return to the Soviet Ukraine after living in the Humboldt Park area for less than six months. Freedom's Child is an exciting, blow-by-blow, objective account of young Walter's long struggle to remain in the United States...

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