StoryCorps interview of Stephen G Esrati

My father has lived a pretty interesting life. From having to learn three languages and three alphabets by age 10, to being imprisoned in Lebanon in 1948 and subsequently losing his passport, to being investigated by the FBI in the McCarthy era- there is a lot of history and perspective that always intrigues me.

He knew Martin Luther King Jr. before he was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr – as they used to argue at Boston University over how one effects change. He’s written three books- one of which is available for free (for now) on this site: “Dear Son; Do you really want to be an American?” which he wrote to me in 1968-69.

His first book was “The Tenth Prayer. A Novel of Israel” which is available from Amazon.

Review Not only “a good read,” but it recalls the heroic events and ideological struggles that marked Israel’s early days. — Jerusalem Post, May 11, 2001

Product Description Historical fiction about the early years of Israel with an emphasis about the problem of “Who is a Jew?” This question, which has been at the center of controversy since independence, includes such problems as non-burial of the child of an Israeli Jew and an American Baptist.

The book covers a wide spectrum of Israelis, from extreme left to extreme right. One of its principal heroes is Naomi Ben Horin, the broadcaster of the illegal radio of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, who becomes a lawyer after independence. The book ends with her decision on whether to defend Adolf Eichmann.

His last book is “Comrades Avenge Us”– which I read as it came off the typewriter in installments- sort of like reading pulp fiction, in my last years of High School.

Product Description Based on a true story, a novel follows two officers — American and Canadian — who are captured by the German Gestapo while on a mission in Yugoslavia and survive to form a postwar Nazi-hunting operation to avenge their slaughtered comrades.

You can get an autographed paperback directly from the author for $5 pickup or $7.50 if you want it mailed to you. Email me to get a copy.

So when I had a chance to interview him in the mobile StoryCorps booth last Thursday- I tried to get as much of that first hand history and perspective into 40 minutes.

This interview was recorded at StoryCorps, a national nonprofit dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday Americans

It’s 40 minutes and 20 mb. You can listen here- or download for your mp3 player. Enjoy.

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