The People of the Book inthe World of Books isaRussian bimonthly publication for serious readers with Jewish interests. Our English website includes only thesummaries of thepublished articles. Toaccess the complete text of them, please visit the Russian version of this website.


October 2017

This issue of the magazine includes:

• History: Avrom Abchuk’s Plight Revisited

The magazine has already touched on the tragic life of Yiddish writer and literary historian Avrom Abchuk (1897–1937), who fell victim to Stalin’s Great Terror: he was executed in Kiev on October 10, 1937. The new article about Abchuk discusses the charges against him amid a crackdown against Poles in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s and the NKVD’s so-called Polish operation. The article is followed by Abchuk’s autobiography, recently discovered at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York.

Problem: Isaak Babel among the Scribes and Pharisees

This lengthy review harshly criticizes three scholarly books on the life and literary legacy of Isaak Babel (1894–1940). All three were recently published by the Moscow publishing house Knizhniki (“Scribes”), thus inspiring the review’s provocative title. The reviewer concludes his detailed analysis by writing, “The new books about Babel, with all their strengths and weaknesses (they do have strengths, in fact), are more evidence that Jewish studies, which has grown unhindered for a quarter century in the former Soviet Union, has still not developed into a real academic discipline, a field where the bar for quality has been set high and rigorous criticism is the norm. Well, it is about time.”

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: November–December 2017

Bibliography: 35 New Books