Baker & Taylor
Describes the vibrant Black Sea port city of Odessa and the thriving Jewish population that included Alexander Pushkin, Isaac Babel, and Zionist activist Vladimir Jabotinsky, and examines the mass murders of the Romanian occupation during World War II.
Italian merchants, Greek freedom fighters, and Turkish seamen; a Russian empress and her favorite soldier-bureaucrats; Jewish tavern keepers, traders, and journalists—these and many others seeking fortune and adventure rubbed shoulders in Odessa, the greatest port on the Black Sea.Here a dream of cosmopolitan freedom inspired geniuses and innovators, from Alexander Pushkin and Isaac Babel to Zionist activist Vladimir Jabotinsky and immunologist Ilya Mechnikov. Yet here too was death on a staggering scale: not only the insidious plagues common to seaports but also the mass murder of Jews carried out by the Romanian occupation during World War II. Drawing on a wealth of original source material, Odessa is an elegy for the vibrant, multicultural tapestry of which a thriving Jewish population formed an essential part, as well as a celebration of the survival of Odessa's dream in a diaspora reaching all the way to Brighton Beach.
A colorful account of the transformation of one of Europe's foremost Jewish cities, told through the stories of its geniuses and villains.
In this new history of the city of Odessa, King, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, highlights the cultural and religious diversity that brought the city to prominence as a capital for political thinkers, artists and dissidents, and the genocidal violence that followed. Appropriate for general readers or undergraduate students in eastern European history, the work examines the city, its Russian founders and many Jewish residents, the tragedies of the holocaust there and the diaspora that still remembers and cherishes their connection to the city. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
ODESSA was the Russian Empire's gateway to the Middle East, its greatest commercial seaport, and home to one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in all of Europe.
When Mark Twain visited, he found its mix of nationalities and religions-Jews and Russians, Ukrainians and Greeks, Italians and Germans-to be America in miniature. Created as a model of enlightenment by Catherine the Great and developed by colorful adventurers such as Grigory Potemkin, Jose de Ribas, and Armand de Richelieu, Odessa became a magnet for the artistic and the ambitious - from Alexander Pushkin and Isaac Babel to Zionist activist Vladimir Jabotinsky and immunologist Ilya Mechnikov.
Odessa's reputation for nurturing feisty dissenters, artful raconteurs, and good-natured crooks cemented its place among Europe's great cities. But in the twentieth century, pogroms devastated the Jewish community; the Russian civil war brought refugees and new rulers, the Bolsheviks; and during the Second World War, Romanian occupiers killed tens of thousands of Jews in one of the untold episodes of the Holocaust.
Drawing on a wealth of original source material, historian Charles King paints a rich portrait of Odessa through the lives of its geniuses and villains, revealing how a diverse, cosmopolitan city turned against itself during the Holocaust - a diaspora reaching all the way to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
Describes the vibrant Black Sea port city of Odessa and the thriving Jewish population that included Alexander Pushkin, Isaac Babel, Zionist activist Vladimir Jabotinsky and immunologist Ilya Mechnikov and the mass murders of the Romanian occupation during World War II.