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.


April 2009

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Sholem Aleichem turns 150: Ilya Ehrenburg and Sholem Aleichem

The last years of the Stalin era were marked in the USSR by an unprecedented anti-Semitic campaign. From the end of the 1940s, everything connected to Jewish culture was completely banned. This article, which is based on unpublished archival documents, describes the efforts of the famous Soviet writer and public figure Ilya Ehrenburg to return Sholem Aleichem’s works to Soviet readers after Stalin’s death.

• Sholem Aleichem turns 150: Third Jubilee

The Soviet Union celebrated the 100th anniversary of Sholem Aleichem’s birth by publishing a 6-volume collection of his works in Russian translation and a volume in the original Yiddish, as well as by issuing a special postage stamp. Sholem Aleichem’s 150th anniversary was greeted in Russia without new translations of his works, without new theater productions or screen adaptations, without solemn concerts—all of the usual components of a literary jubilee. According to the author of this polemical article, this "vacuum" demonstrates that Russia’s Jewry is becoming more and more an American-style confessional group and loosing its identity as a cultural unit.

• Synopses: Two New Books in Russian Translation

This review presents two works on Russian-Jewish history by Western scholars that were recently published in Russian translation. The translation of the classic work Prophecy and Politics: Socialism, Nationalism, and the Russian Jews by Jonathan Frankel (1935–2008) was done very carefully and is accompanied by detailed references and bibliography. The book is a model for scholarly editions in Jewish studies. Unfortunately, a very valuable work entitled Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia by Benjamin Nathans was published in Russian with obvious mistakes and without careful editing.

• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: May–June 2009

• Bibliography: 15 New Books