Reviews - Emil Draitser







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Shush! Growing Up Jewish under Stalin

  •  From: Library Journal

     "In this minutely observed and evocatively written memoir...  [the author] skillfully draws on the often compelling life stories of his grandparents and other relatives to weave a sprawling tale that ably depicts the harrowing history of Jews in Soviet-controlled Ukraine. With touches of humor,  Draitser analyzes his growing boyhood awareness of his Jewish identity and his difficult struggles to come to terms with his place in a Soviet society"
  • From: World Literature Today

     "Rich in minute observations, psychological insights, and vivid descriptions."
  • From: History in Review

    "A compelling memoir...written with warmth and passion.. it is also filled with joy and humor, especially when Draitser is speaking about his family and the more intimate moments of his life.... This book is a must read for anyone with an interest in Jewish History, the Social history of the Soviet Union, and in simply reading a well-wrought and compelling account of one man's unforgettable life."
  • From: Jewish Post & Opinion

    "A significant contribution to our understanding of life in the Soviet Union and to the vital importance of speaking out against oppression."

  • From: Irena Gross, author of The Scar of Revolution

    "Emil Draitser is authentic and honestly self-critical, while also full of humor and warmth. Shush! is a great tribute to the tenacity of a people who kept their identity and loyalty intact even when threatened with dire consequences."

  • From: Notes on Contemporary Literature

    "A poignant and gripping book. . . . A compelling memoir. . . . A sweeping panorama of the Jewish history in Russia, this richly documented work is a remarkable humanitarian contribution and a challenge to the continued silence in Russia surrounding its persecution of Jews. The volume touches a nerve and is written with a depth of feeling. The reader will appreciate the skilled craftsmanship that elevates Draitser's perfect gem of a memoir to fine literature."

  • From: Slavic and East European Journal

"Vivid and engaging. . . .The most moving episodes are concerned with Draitser's coming to terms with his Jewish identity. . . . Elegantly and warmly written, this volume will be of interest to scholars exploring Jewish life in the Soviet period. . . . Despite the dramatic nature of the material, the stories are told with humor. A welcome addition to curricula in Russian culture, as well as for Jewish studies, sociology, history, and psychology."