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Smashwords book reviews by Holbrook

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