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When Paul Pitcoff was eleven, the FBI came to the door of his familyâ€™s apartment in New Yorkâ€™s Greenwich Village, asking for his father. It took years for him to find out the reason for that visitâ€”a secret that lay at the heart of his familyâ€™s life while he was growing up in the 1950s and 60s.
In his memoir Cold War Secrets, Pitcoff recounts his search to discover his parentsâ€™ well-hidden secrets and learn how they shaped his identity, secrets that had to do with his fatherâ€™s involvement with the Soviet Union and then his rejection of it.
Cold War Secrets also brings vividly to life the leftwing community in New York City during a time when being on the Left could cost you your job â€” or worse.
Paul Pitcoff is Emeritus Professor at Adelphi University. He had multiple careers in education, film, law, and youth development.
One evening in 1989, Laura Levitt was raped in her own bed. Her landlord heard the assault taking place and called 911, but the police arrived too late to apprehend Lauraâ€™s attacker.
When they left, investigators took items with themâ€”a pair of sweatpants, the bedclothesâ€”and a rape exam was performed at the hospital. But the evidence was never processed.
Decades later, Levitt returns to these objects, viewing them not as clues that will lead to the identification of her assailant but rather as a means of engaging traumatic legacies writ large.
The Objects That Remain is equal parts personal memoir and an examination of the ways in which the material remains of violent crimes inform our experience of, and thinking about, trauma and loss.
Laura Levitt is Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender at Temple University where she has chaired the Religion Department and directed both the Jewish Studies and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Programs.
Next week on Writers Voice
Donâ€™t miss our interview with world renowned climate scientist Michael Mann about his terrific new book, The New Climate War.
Itâ€™s about the campaign by fossil fuel interests to distract and deflect the public from the climate emergencyâ€”and divide and discredit the climate action movement. It also shows us how to fight to take back our planet from those who would destroy it.