Ira Ringold grew up a Newark roughneck, blighted by a violent history from which he is always in flight. During his service in World War II, though, he comes under the tutelage of a dedicated Communist, who makes him passionately political, newly committed to changing the world. After the war Ira, now known by his stage name Iron Rinn, finds success as an actor in liberal-left radio dramas, and becomes a national celebrity when he marries the consummately lovely and glamorous star Eve Frame.
But their romantic idyll in Eve's tasteful Greenwich Village house soon degenerates into a bitter, recriminatory fiasco as Ira, Eve, and Eve's daughter Sylphid act out an ugly family drama. As an outspoken leftist, Iron Rinn has long been under suspicion by the Communist-hunters in the government. And when his marriage descends into its final disaster, the furious and narcissistic Eve takes her revenge with a histrionic public revelation of her husband's life of "espionage" for the Soviet Union. Set in the heart of the McCarthy era, I Married a Communist is a brilliant fictional rendition of the way in which private acts can warp and pervert public life. The story of Iron Rinn's dramatic rise and fall--told by his brother Murray, himself a victim of the McCarthy trials, to Roth's fictional alter-ego Nathan Zuckerman--is American tragi-comedy as only Philip Roth can write it: fierce and funny, thoughtful and acute.