From Lenin to Lennon: A Memoir of Russia in the Sixties

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1991 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 307 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As a youth, Gurevich idolized Bob Dylan, breathed rock 'n' roll, read trash thrillers and identified with Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye . A typical American adolescence? No, a Russian adolescence, described with caustic wit and rare insight in this engrossing, wryly funny autobiographical memoir of growing up absurd, Soviet-style. Gurevich,whose roots are Ukrainian-Jewish, attended Young Pioneer summer camps and learned to mistrust his neighbors. After college in Moscow he eked out a living as a translator. His emigration to the U.S. in 1976 was complicated by an immature early marriage, painful divorce and having to ok? leave behind an infant son. His return visit to the U.S.S.R. in 1989 throws sharp light on a country ``going down the tubes.'' The book is juicily quotable. Of Lenin, Gurevich writes: ``His intentions were never that benevolent, even on paper.'' Of KGB snoops: ``They were as lazy and incompetent as any other Soviet bureaucrats.'' (May)
Library Journal
In this memoir, Gurevich recounts his childhood in the dreary Russian town of Syzran, his emigration to the United States in 1975, and a return visit to the Soviet Union in 1989. An excellent writer, Gurevich moves easily from the Dickensian characters of the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages to the moving description of his reunion with his father. His work in the Soviet Union as a tour guide and translator supplies a rich source of anecdotes. If his story offers few original details for scholars, it depicts splendidly the dilemma of many thousands of Soviet Jewish emigres--that is, how the relative privileges of education and position could not compensate for the ``system's'' message: ``We don't want your kind.'' By avoiding an exposition on the ``crushing burden of freedom'' facing Soviet immigrants in the United States, Gurevich has provided a powerful record of Soviet life. Recommended for larger academic and public libraries.-- Zachary T. Irwin, Penn State - Behrend Coll., Erie
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151498253
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/25/1991
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 307
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.23 (d)

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