The Education of a Traitor: A Memoir of Growing Up in Cold War Russia

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
The Education of a Traitor: A Memoir of Growing Up in Cold War Russia is a luminous memoir that describes the coming of age of a young Jewish girl in an oppressive totalitarian society rife with hypocrisy and Antisemitism. More

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About Svetlana Grobman

Svetlana Grobman is a Jewish immigrant from Russia who was born in Moscow in 1951. She moved to the United States in 1990. While living in Russia, Grobman was an engineer and an editor for the Soviet Encyclopedia. Now, she is a librarian and freelance writer living in Columbia, Missouri. Grobman has published articles and personal stories in a variety of places, including the Christian Science Monitor, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Rural Missouri, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. The Education of a Traitor: A Memoir of Growing Up in Cold War Russia is Grobman’s first book, and she is currently working on her second. To learn more about Svetlana’s experiences in Russia and the U.S., subscribe to her blog at

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Holbrook reviewed on July 20, 2015

Grobman is a gifted story-teller, and "The Education of a Traitor" reads like a collection of short stories, in the tradition of Chekhov or James Joyce's "Dubliners." At this basic story-telling level, "Education of a Traitor" is an often touching, sometimes humorous, account of a sensitive girl growing up in trying circumstances. But her personal story also has broader historical significance. Grobman did not suffer the horrendous treatment of Soviet-era dissidents and refuseniks: she was not tortured; she did not go to prison. But she did experience the cramped living quarters, the chronic shortages, the endemic antisemitism, and the political repression of Cold War Russia. So, just as James Joyce's "Dubliners" illustrated "the paralysis of a city," "Education of a Traitor" illustrates the paralysis of the Soviet empire during its declining years.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

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