Title: Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams
Author: Charles King
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Publish Date: February 28, 2011
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Italian merchants, Greek
freedom fighters, and Turkish seamen; a Russian empress and her
favorite soldier-bureaucrats; Jewish tavern keepers, traders, and
journalists—these and many others seeking fortune and adventure rubbed
shoulders in Odessa, the greatest port on the Black Sea.
a dream of cosmopolitan freedom inspired geniuses and innovators, from
Alexander Pushkin and Isaac Babel to Zionist activist Vladimir
Jabotinsky and immunologist Ilya Mechnikov. Yet here too was death on a
staggering scale: not only the insidious plagues common to seaports but
also the mass murder of Jews carried out by the Romanian occupation
during World War II. Drawing on a wealth of original source material,
Odessa is an elegy for the vibrant, multicultural tapestry of which a
thriving Jewish population formed an essential part, as well as a
celebration of the survival of Odessa's dream in a diaspora reaching all
the way to Brighton Beach."
My Two Cents:
is a nonfiction book by Charles King, a professor and historian who
focuses on eastern Europe. Odessa is a gorgeous city on the coast of
Ukraine that has belonged to different countries at different times.
Because of its location, it is an incredibly desirable place
strategically! This book is the history of this wonderfully interesting
city that will appeal to my fellow history lovers.
drew me to this book is the fact that several years ago in 2011 I
visited Ukraine and had a chance to go to Odessa. After being in cities
like Kyiv, Odessa is incredibly different. It has a very interesting
history. It was basically a planned city by Catherine the Great, one of
my favorite historical figures to read about. The city was to act as a
haven for Russian royalty. It sits on the Black Sea, which means that it
was coveted by many other people throughout its history.
this book King talks about many of the people who had a hand in making
Odessa what it is today. It's a fascinating story even if you have never
been to Odessa. I actually wish that I had read this book before I went
to Odessa so I had a little bit more of a background as to what I would
see. This book will appeal to history lovers and those who especially
loved eastern European history.