By Chaim Potok
Amazon.com evaluate Potok, popular for his novels of Jewish kinfolk existence similar to *The Chosen*, turns to nonfiction in *The Gates of November*, a wrenching kin chronicle with a riveting ancient undercurrent. the tale of the kin patriarch, Solomon Slepak, spans many of the e-book: ignoring his mother's want that he turn into a rabbi, Slepak emigrated at thirteen to the USA, turned a Marxist in big apple, again to struggle within the Russian Revolution, and rose to prominence in the Communist celebration. yet whereas Solomon remained a confident Bolshevik, his son Volodya rejected socialism whilst anti-Semitism emerged in the course of Stalin's period. Disowned by way of his father, Volodya was once later exiled to Siberia as a dissident. the tale of the Slepaks is at the same time the tale of Soviet Jewry and the increase and fall of the Soviet Union. From Publishers Weekly Novelist Potok (The selected) offers right here the background of a family members of Soviet Jews situated at the courting of dad and son. Solomon Slepak was once an old-guard Bolshevik who by no means misplaced his religion within the party?and survived the Stalinist purges miraculously and mysteriously (Stalin exterminated just about all previous celebration members). His son, Volodya, grew up believing within the get together yet, as he married and began elevating a kinfolk, got here to question the Communist approach and at last turned a refusenik, a dissident who protested overtly opposed to the regime. the writer met Volodya and his spouse, Masha, in 1985 whereas on a visit to Moscow. This compelling account, that is additionally a chronicle of the Soviet dissident circulate, highlights the heroism, and sacrifice, of these who face up to the facility of a totalitarian kingdom. (Nov.) FYI: The identify comes from a line of poetry via Aleksandr Pushkin. Copyright 1996 Reed company info, Inc.
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Extra info for The Gates of November: Chronicles of the Slepak Family
It is to each and every one of them that I dedicate this book. A tedious season they await Who hear November at the gate. —Alexander Pushkin Contents Introduction PROLOGUE A Meeting in Moscow THE FATHER 1 The Fire Bringer 2 The Wildcat in the Garden 3 Cutting Down the Forest THE SON 4 The Enemy Within 5 The Radio in the Forest 6 Journeys 7 The Visa War 8 The Amulet EPILOGUE Telephone Calls Bibliography Introduction History brought together on the same soil two vigorous peoples, Russians and Jews, whose bitter destiny it was to be ruinously at each other’s throats.
And there appears to be some truth to the legend that around 740 the pagan kingdom of the Khazars, an Asiatic tribe situated on the shores of the Caspian Sea, converted en masse to Judaism. Shortly before the year 1000, the Kievan ruler Vladimir formed an alliance with Byzantium and adopted Greek Orthodox Christianity as the official religion of his state. Together, they crushed the Jewish kingdom of the Khazars, whose populace was absorbed into the world of the Kievan Rus. Along with Greek Orthodoxy, there arrived from Byzantium a new architecture, music, art, churches, a clergy, laws, an educational system—and a hatred of and contempt for the Jew.
In capitalist fashion, the leather company soon went broke, there being scant demand for its goods. He took a job selling dishes, peddling his wares before the Passover festival, when dishes used all year long must be stored away and dishes used only for the festival brought out or acquired. And he caught on to a common scam: Start across the street with your cart of dishes, step into the path of an oncoming truck, and then jump adroitly out of the way while letting the truck smash into and destroy the dishes.