Shush! Growing Up Jewish under Stalin by Emil Draitser
A Memoir

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Synopsis

Many years after making his way to America from Odessa in Soviet Ukraine, Emil Draitser made a startling discovery: every time he uttered the word "Jewish"—even in casual conversation—he lowered his voice. This behavior was a natural by-product, he realized, of growing up in the anti-Semitic, post-Holocaust Soviet Union, when "Shush!" was the most frequent word he heard: "Don't use your Jewish name in public. Don't speak a word of Yiddish. And don't cry over your murdered relatives." This compelling memoir conveys the reader back to Draitser's childhood and provides a unique account of midtwentieth-century life in Russia as the young Draitser struggles to reconcile the harsh values of Soviet society with the values of his working-class Jewish family. Lively, evocative, and rich with humor, this unforgettable story ends with the death of Stalin and, through life stories of the author's ancestors, presents a sweeping panorama of two centuries of Jewish history in Russia.
 

About Emil Draitser

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Emil Draitser is Professor of Russian at Hunter College of the City University of New York. In addition to his twelve books, his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Partisan Review and the North American Review.
 
Published September 4, 2008 by University of California Press. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Hunter College Russian professor Draitser recalls a post-WWII Odessa youth blighted by a pernicious and pervasive anti-Semitism that made him ashamed of being Jewish—so ashamed that decades a

Jul 28 2008 | Read Full Review of Shush! Growing Up Jewish und...

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