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Genius and Death in a City of Dreams

Charles King (Author, Georgetown University)

Overview | Formats

"Rich and riveting, complex and compelling, powerful and poetic."—Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday

In Odessa, the greatest port on the Black Sea, a dream of cosmopolitan freedom inspired geniuses and innovators, from the writers Alexander Pushkin and Isaac Babel to Zionist activist Vladimir Jabotinsky and immunologist Ilya Mechnikov. Yet here too was death on a staggering scale, as World War II brought the mass murder of Jews carried out by the city’s Romanian occupiers. 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.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • August 2012
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34236-9
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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  1. Book CoverOdessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams



Endorsements & Reviews

“Eloquent and engaging.” — Michael Schwirtz, Moment

“A worthy tribute to one of Europe’s greatest and least-known cities.” — The Economist

“Engaging and highly enjoyable…King brings a travel writer’s gift for clear prose and keen observation to history.” — Matthew Kaminsky, The Daily Beast

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  1. Book CoverMidnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul


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