Two Book Notices: Liberation from Communism and the Story of Abortion in America

This post features two quite different but not unrelated books. The first is Ruta Sepetys’ I Must Betray You (Penguin, Feb. 2022), our most recent book club selection (which meets this morning to discuss it). Though a young adult book (written from the perspective of a seventeen year old in communist Romania), it is certainly fitting for older readers (a Goodreads Choice Award). The chapters are short and captivating, based on a secret diary the young main subject kept while living out the horrors of the Communist regime and then the thrills of freedom after the revolution. This was my first exposure to this Michigan-grown writer and I am eager to read another. Below you will find information on the book and author.

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

A gut-wrenching, startling window into communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the number one New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. The daughter of a refugee, Ruta is drawn to underrepresented stories of strength through struggle and hopes to give voice to those who weren’t able to tell their story. Her award-winning historical novels are published in over sixty countries and have received over forty literary prizes.

The second featured title is also newly published and just in time for the 50th anniversary (1973-2023) of the adoption of Roe v. Wade and the March for Life weekend being held this weekend: The Story of Abortion in America: A Street-Level History, 1652-2022 by Marvin Olasky and Leah Savas (Crossway 2023). The publisher offers this description on its website:

Tracing the History of Abortion in America by Looking beyond the Laws to the Dramatic Stories and Colorful Personalities of the People They Touched

Fifty years ago, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion-on-demand sparked nationwide tensions that continue to this day. In the decades since that ruling, abortion opponents and proponents have descended on the Capitol each year for marches and protests. But this story didn’t begin with the Supreme Court in the 1970s; arguments about abortion have been a part of American history since the 17th century. So how did we get here?

The Story of Abortion in America traces the long cultural history of this pressing issue from 1652 to today, focusing on the street-level activities of those drawn into the battles willingly or unwillingly. Authors Marvin Olasky and Leah Savas show complex lives on both sides: Some sacrificed much to help the poor and others sacrificed the helpless to empower themselves. The Story of Abortion in America argues that whatever happens legally won’t end the debate, but it will affect lives. 

  • A Fair Survey of the History of the Debate: Opening with a foreword by renowned social conservative thinker Robert P. George, this book explores historic cases and key cultural moments from 1652 to 2022
  • Examines 5 Selling Points Used by Each Side in Different Eras: Anatomy, Bible, Community, Danger, and Enforcement
  • Chronicles the History of Abortion through Personal Narratives: Includes the memorable stories of Isaac Hathaway, Susan Warren, Elizabeth Lumbrozo, John McDowell, Hugh Hodge, Madame Restell, Augustus St. Clair, Inez Burns, Robert Dickinson, Sherri Finkbine, Henry Hyde, John Piper, Lila Rose, Terrisa Bukovinac, Mark Lee Dickson, and many others
  • Written for a Diverse Audience: While particularly useful for Christians who want to understand the history of abortion and its impact on American politics and culture, the book speaks to anyone who cares about abortion

I just received this book for review this past week. I plan to browse it and seek to gain a broader understanding of this great and devastating evil in our land, even as it increases in our time. But if any of our readers are interested in reading and reviewing the book, it is yours for the keeping. Just send me a note. The review is for the Standard Bearer, and it may be a long or short review.

How are these two books related, you ask (see my opening comment)? They both have to do with horrors against mankind – by mankind. And both of these horrors are rooted in a low view of God (the one true God of the Bible) and a wrong understanding of man (persons). I trust you can read these books with understanding and draw the lines between these two ideas, through the lens of Scripture.

Published in: on January 21, 2023 at 7:17 AM  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: