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.


December 2010

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Memoirs: Jews and Others, or, Ten Years at a Jewish Newspaper

In this issue, the magazine publishes excerpts from a new book of memoirs by Jewish journalist and public figure Nikolay Propirny. The fragments describe the formation of Jewish community institutions in Moscow during the early years of Perestroika—the establishment of the first Jewish Sunday school, first Jewish news agency, first Jewish newspaper. As the author reports, the decision to create a special newspaper for Soviet Jews was made by Mikhail Gorbachev himself, the General Secretary of the Communist Party. In the introduction, the magazine urges readers to pay attention to two important circumstances. Firstly, Propirny’s book is not simply a memoir but also a fiction, a literary effort. The author does not necessarily try to reproduce events with historical precision. Rather, he has another task—to convey the atmosphere of the time that he describes. In this regard, his text is absolutely precise. Secondly, we observe a strange phenomenon: both previous recollections about post-Soviet Jewish life (Syndicate by Dina Rubina, My Jewish Destiny by Sher) and Nikolay Propirny’s memoirs are written as ironic prose. The editors suggest that the readers should consider—why is this so?

Looking Through Russian Literary Magazines: Novels and Articles of Jewish Interest

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: January–February 2011

Bibliography: 30 New Books