[Book Review] Tears Over Russia: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine’s Pogroms by Lisa Brahin

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By Lisa Brahin

Set in the early 20th century, Brahin provides an account of her grandmother, Channa’s accounts of escaping the perils Ukraine as pogroms across the country took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews. traveling first through Russia and then Romania, Channa’s family traveled over the course of three years in a group of approximately eighty, guided by an American who returned to aid his own family in their escape from the violence.

Brahin crafts a biography that reads like a suspense novel. At times I found myself forgetting this was a true story. This history feels all the more essential given Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. This period of history is often times forgotten and yet needs to be remembered in the lead up to the Shoah.

Brahin also does a lovely job of celebrating the work of historical researchers, librarians, and genealogists. These unsung heroes who do the essential work of preserving such important histories.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to more from the author.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Lisa Brahin is a Jewish genealogist and writer from New Jersey. Inspired as a young girl by Alex Haley’s ROOTS, she spent many summers audio taping the stories of her grandmother’s traumatic childhood during the 1917-1921 anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine. Those tapes were the primary source for her historical family saga, TEARS OVER RUSSIA: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine’s Pogroms.

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Past Book Reviews:

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