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What You Did Not Tell by Mark Mazower

What You Did Not Tell

What You Did Not Tell by Mark Mazower
Oct 17, 2017 | 400 Pages
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  • Hardcover $25.95

    Oct 17, 2017 | 400 Pages

  • Ebook $15.99

    Oct 17, 2017 | 336 Pages

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“An enchanting, beautifully written memoir of his ancestors’ experiences of 19th – and 20th – century Europe…What You Did Not Tell is pitched in a haunting, elegiac key, but there is great pleasure to be taken from how Mazower constructs his tale. Above all, the book is an undeclared tribute to the historian’s tradecraft…There are few historians who can write as grippingly as Mazower about secrets and the painstaking work of revealing them…It all reads like a very good detective novel.” FINANCIAL TIMES

“Memory and secrets, how they are buried and how they can be unearthed, lie at the heart of Mark Mazower’s fascinating and scholarly reconstruction of a family’s life and the myriad relations, friends, acquaintances, places, houses and adventures that spin out from it. Mazower is a distinguished historian of 20th-century Europe and he brings to his digging the doggedness and meticulousness of the obsessive researcher…All this evidence put together offers not simply a biographical narrative, but, woven into it, a vast and rich picture of leftwing European Jewry throughout the 20th century…What You Did Not Tell is proof of what historical research can yield, providing you have the determination, skill and boundless curiosity to pursue it to the bitter end. But it is also an affectionate portrait of a family whose members Mazower got to know, love and respect more and more as he discovered things that reticence, modesty and an instinctive need for silence had kept resolutely hidden. These were good and generous people, warm and accepting, whose fight for justice was based on their own personal knowledge of poverty and exploitation.” GUARDIAN

“Mark Mazower’s elegiac and arresting family memoir starts in the violence and tumult of pre-revolutionary Russia, and comes to rest in the quiet suburbs of north London…From the trauma and complexity of his family’s past, Mazower extracts a tale ‘not so much about suffering…as about resilience and tenacity”, summed up in a loving portrait of his late father, a man who found peace in Highgate, blending the culture of exiled Russian Jewry with the embracing values of interwar England. Bill Mazower, his son writes, had a capacity for taking ‘pleasure in the small things’. In the wake of the vast things that rent his Russian family and sent his forbearers into flight, that is a fine and moving epitaph.” THE TIMES

“After discovering his grandfather’s work as an agent for the Jewish socialist Bund, Mazower, a Columbia University historian, explored the efforts people later took to hide their involvement in the revolution. Through the story of his grandfather, Mazower reconstructs the history of this largely forgotten Jewish socialist group that, he writes, was instrumental to the revolution’s success.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Mazower (history, Columbia Univ.; The Balkans: A Short History) illuminates Russian revolutionary politics and émigré life in Britain in this fascinating family history… Readers of family histories and those with an interest in the Jewish Labour Bund will appreciate this book.” LIBRARY JOURNAL

What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home by Mark Mazower is an eloquently written rhapsody on the art of remembering. It is rhapsodic both in the primary sense of the word, in that it is a chronicle exuding a certain air of poetry and exalted, almost epic feeling, and in the more literal sense of being a fabric of words, facts, events and lifelines retrieved from memory and archive and stitched together to form a long-silenced record of a life, an era, a time in human thought and action…a powerful, intimate approach to a momentous slice of history.” BOOKANISTA

What You Did Not Tell is a memoir that only one of our finest historians could have written. To call it a “memoir” even is to represent only a small part of Mazower’s investigation into his family’s past. This is a saga of cities—Vilna, Moscow, Paris, London and New York—and a profound meditation on what it takes to call a place home. It spans more than a century and sheds sparkling light on the Bundists, the first mass Marxist party in Russian history. It is history made intimate, history made personal—a story of idealism, exile, revolution and defeat. One of the great thrills of What You Did Not Tell is to behold Mazower’s deep knowledge of Europe meld with his own ancestral past.” —Michael Greenberg, author of Hurry Down Sunshine

“The family memoir of a great historian and a subtle writer who is always attentive to humane detail.” —Orhan Pamuk, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature

“A simultaneously sweeping and intimate family portrait.” KIRKUS REVIEWS

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