The Story of a Life

Author: Anna Pavlovna Vygodskai︠a︡
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
ISBN: 9780875806716
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Anna Pavlovna Vygodskaia's autobiography, originally published in 1938, is a rare and fascinating historical account of Jewish childhood and young adult life in Tsarist Russia. At a time when the vast majority of Jews resided in small market towns in the Pale of Settlement, Vygodskaia liberated herself from that world and embraced the day-to-day rhythms, educational activities, and new intellectual opportunities in the imperial capital of St. Petersburg. Her story offers a unique glimpse of Jewish daily life that is rarely documented in public sources--of neighborly interactions, children's games and household rituals, love affairs and emotional outbursts, clothing customs, and leisure time. Most first-person narratives of this kind reconstruct an isolated and self-contained Jewish world, but The Story of a Life uniquely describes the unprecedented social opportunities, as well as the many political and personal challenges, that young Jewish women and men experienced in the Russia of the 1870s and 1880s. In addition to their artful translation, Eugene M. Avrutin and Robert H. Greene thoroughly explicate this historical context in their introduction.

My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman

Author: Puah Rakovsky
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253215641
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Autobiography of Puah Rakovsky, who broke from traditional upbringng to become a professional educator, Zionist activist, and feminist leader in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Poland.

Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Author: Vera Figner
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780875805528
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Born into the comforts of the Russian aristocracy in 1852, Vera Figner as a child harbored the fairy-tale dream of one day becoming tsarina. By the age of thirty-two, however, Figner had become one of Russia's most vocal revolutionaries, a terrorist and member of the Executive Committee of the People's Will party, and a prisoner sentenced for life for her involvement in the assassination of Alexander II. In this classic memoir, Figner recounts her journey from aristocrat to revolutionary, candidly relating the experiences that shaped her ideas and provoked her to political action and violence. As she reflects on her own lifelong commitment to improving the lives of ordinary Russians, she reveals much about the concept, structure, and leadership behind the radical movement in late nineteenth-century Russia. In his incisive introduction to this edition, Richard Stites discusses the importance of the memoir as a personal testimony and provides background for understanding a courageous woman's role in the struggle for political change.

Leaving Russia

Author: Maxim D. Shrayer
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 0815652437
Format: PDF, Docs
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A memoir of coming of age and struggling to leave the USSR. Shrayer chronicles the triumphs and humiliations of a Soviet childhood and expresses the dreams and fears of a Jewish family that never gave up its hopes for a better life. Narrated in the tradition of Tolstoy’s confessional trilogy and Nabokov’s autobiography, this is a searing account of the KGB’s persecution of refuseniks, a poet’s rebellion against totalitarian culture, and Soviet fantasies of the West during the Cold War.

Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia

Author: Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253347978
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Ò . . . a marvelous source for the social history of Russian peasant society in the years before the revolution. . . . The translation is superb.Ó ÑSteven Hoch Ò . . . one of the best ethnographic portraits that we have of the Russian village. . . . a highly readable text that is an excellent introduction to the world of the Russian peasantry.Ó ÑSamuel C. Ramer Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia provides a unique firsthand portrait of peasant family life as recorded by Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, an ethnographer and painter who spent four years at the turn of the twentieth century observing the life and customs of villagers in a central Russian province. Unusual in its awareness of the rapid changes in the Russian village in the late nineteenth century and in its concentration on the treatment of women and children, SemyonovaÕs ethnography vividly describes courting rituals, marriage and sexual practices, childbirth, infanticide, child-rearing practices, the lives of women, food and drink, work habits, and the household economy. In contrast to a tradition of rosy, romanticized descriptions of peasant communities by Russian upper-class observers, Semyonova gives an unvarnished account of the harsh living conditions and often brutal relationships within peasant families.

The Five

Author: Vladimir Jabotinsky
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801471621
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"The beginning of this tale of bygone days in Odessa dates to the dawn of the twentieth century. At that time we used to refer to the first years of this period as the 'springtime,' meaning a social and political awakening. For my generation, these years also coincided with our own personal springtime, in the sense that we were all in our youthful twenties. And both of these springtimes, as well as the image of our carefree Black Sea capital with acacias growing along its steep banks, are interwoven in my memory with the story of one family in which there were five children: Marusya, Marko, Lika, Serezha, and Torik."—from The Five The Five is an captivating novel of the decadent fin-de-siècle written by Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880–1940), a controversial leader in the Zionist movement whose literary talents, until now, have largely gone unrecognized by Western readers. The author deftly paints a picture of Russia's decay and decline—a world permeated with sexuality, mystery, and intrigue. Michael R. Katz has crafted the first English-language translation of this important novel, which was written in Russian in 1935 and published a year later in Paris under the title Pyatero. The book is Jabotinsky's elegaic paean to the Odessa of his youth, a place that no longer exists. It tells the story of an upper-middle-class Jewish family, the Milgroms, at the turn of the century. It follows five siblings as they change, mature, and come to accept their places in a rapidly evolving world. With flashes of humor, Jabotinsky captures the ferment of the time as reflected in political, social, artistic, and spiritual developments. He depicts with nostalgia the excitement of life in old Odessa and comments poignantly on the failure of the dream of Jewish assimilation within the Russian empire.

The Most Musical Nation

Author: James Benjamin Loeffler
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300137133
Format: PDF, ePub
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Drawing on a mass of unpublished writings and archival sources from prerevolutionary Russian conservatories, this book offers an insightful account of the Jewish search for a modern identity in Russia through music, rather than politics or religion.

Homes Away from Home

Author: Sarah Wobick-Segev
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503606546
Format: PDF, Mobi
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How did Jews go from lives organized by synagogues, shul, and mikvehs to lives that—if explicitly Jewish at all—were conducted in Hillel houses, JCCs, Katz's, and even Chabad? In pre-emancipation Europe, most Jews followed Jewish law most of the time, but by the turn of the twentieth century, a new secular Jewish identity had begun to take shape. Homes Away From Home tells the story of Ashkenazi Jews as they made their way in European society in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on the Jewish communities of Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg. At a time of growing political enfranchisement for Jews within European nations, membership in the official Jewish community became increasingly optional, and Jews in turn created spaces and programs to meet new social needs. The contexts of Jewish life expanded beyond the confines of "traditional" Jewish spaces into sites of consumption and leisure, sometimes to the consternation of Jewish authorities. Sarah Wobick-Segev argues that the social practices that developed between 1890 and the 1930s—such as celebrating holydays at hotels and restaurants, or sending children to summer camp—fundamentally reshaped Jewish community, redefining and extending the boundaries of where Jewishness happened.

What You Did Not Tell

Author: Mark Mazower
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
ISBN: 1590519078
Format: PDF, Docs
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Uncovering their remarkable and moving stories, Mark Mazower recounts the sacrifices and silences that marked a generation and their descendants. In the centenary of the Russian Revolution, What You Did Not Tell revitalises the history of a socialism erased from memory - humanistic, impassioned, and broad-ranging in its sympathies. But it is also an exploration of the unexpected happiness that may await history's losers, of the power of friendship and the love of place that made his father at home in an England that no longer exists.

Ritual Murder in Russia Eastern Europe and Beyond

Author: EUGENE M AVRUTIN
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253026571
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This innovative reassessment of ritual murder accusations brings together scholars working in history, folklore, ethnography, and literature. Favoring dynamic explanations of the mechanisms, evolution, popular appeal, and responses to the blood libel, the essays rigorously engage with the larger social and cultural worlds that made these phenomena possible. In doing so, the book helps to explain why blood libel accusations continued to spread in Europe even after modernization seemingly made them obsolete. Drawing on untapped and unconventional historical sources, the collection explores a range of intriguing topics: popular belief and scientific knowledge; the connections between antisemitism, prejudice, and violence; the rule of law versus the power of rumors; the politics of memory; and humanitarian intervention on a global scale.