The Trials of Alger Hiss, The Trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, The Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer. At the height of the Cold War, American democracy was challenged by the anti-Communist atmosphere of the McCarthy era.In the Name of Security re-opens three famous spy cases that rocked America between 1948 and 1954: Alger Hiss, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and J. Robert Oppenheimer. Each hour-long program combines dramatic re-enactments based on original trial transcripts, archival material, new evidence, the latest assessments of American historians and scientists, and the commentaries of relatives and friends of the accused.
Martin Jenkins is a seasoned BBC producer who frequently works in this country. Equally adept at documentary and radio drama - he here combines these skills, with the help of codirector John Theochari - to present docudramas on the McCarthy-era spy trials of Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and J. Robert Oppenheimer. The trilogy is atypical for L. A. Theatre Works, which normally tapes its audio plays in front of a studio audience. These BBC coproductions benefit from the controlled studio conditions under which they were made. They combine reenactments with interviews of historians and eyewitnesses for heightened realism. It's difficult to single out individuals from the outstanding cast, particularly when the sense of ensemble is so strong.
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Wonderful history lesson, told with verve
- Gwynne O'Reagan
- Kelley "Lover of ideas who feels no guilt at all about her pleasures."