Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams Illustrated Edition, Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 67 ratings
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ISBN-13: 978-0393342369
ISBN-10: 0393342360
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  • Length: 337 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his intricately researched new work, King (The Black Sea) brings to life the stories of the Russians, Jews, Turks, Greeks, Italians, Germans, and Romanians that make up the "quintessentially mixed city" of Odessa. Far from the Russian and Ukrainian seats of power, but close to Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean states, Odessa has always been both a progressive, cosmopolitan trading port and a lawless outpost given to periods of violence, revolution, and economic depression. King effortlessly moves between the city's high points, like the booming grain trade in the late-18th and mid-19th centuries and urban development under the duc de Richelieu, and its desperate times, including the economic collapse associated with the Crimean War and the city's devastating Jewish holocaust at the hands of Romanian occupiers in the 1940s. King weaves into his history the lives of Alexander Pushkin, Isaac Babel, and Sergei Eisenstein, all of whom had connections to Odessa, a city still struggling to understand its place in the world. King's ability to lay bare the city's secrets— both good and bad—gives a fascinating prism through which to observe. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Unlike so many other great cities, the foundation of Odessa is not lost in the mists of a distant, legendary past; it was formally founded by a decree of Russian empress Catherine the Great in 1794. Of course, as King illustrates, the spot that became Odessa has a long and fascinating, if often tragic, history. Located along the Black Sea at the nexus of multiple trade routes, the site and the surrounding area have hosted a great variety of settlers and conquerors over thousands of years, including Greeks, Jews, Tatars, Turks, and Germans. The result was a vibrant, diverse port city whose ethnic stew was both a blessing and a curse. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Odessa was a great center of Jewish culture, and King relates how the Jewish population was virtually destroyed by occupying Romanians under Nazi sponsorship. This is a well-written chronicle of a city unfamiliar to most in the West and serves as both a tribute and lament. --Jay Freeman --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B004GXAT4O
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ W. W. Norton & Company; Illustrated edition (February 28, 2011)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 28, 2011
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2007 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 337 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67 ratings

About the author

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Charles King is the author of seven books, including the New York Times-bestselling GODS OF THE UPPER AIR (2019), winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award and the Los Angeles Times history prize; MIDNIGHT AT THE PERA PALACE (2014), a New York Times Editors' Choice; and ODESSA: GENIUS AND DEATH IN A CITY OF DREAMS (2011), winner of a National Jewish Book Award. He lectures widely on global affairs and has appeared on broadcast media such as NPR, PBS, MSNBC, and the BBC. A native of the Ozark hill country, King studied history and politics at the University of Arkansas and Oxford University, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. He is Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University, where he previously served as chair of the Department of Government and faculty chair of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. @charleskingdc, www.charleskingauthor.com. Author photo by Mary Fecteau.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
67 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2013
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Top reviews from other countries

Lisbeth Ekelof
4.0 out of 5 stars looking like a casual visitor peering out over the harbour
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2015
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2 people found this helpful
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Frank Lepave
4.0 out of 5 stars A good history of this once exciting city
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2021
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Henrik Hoff-Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2015
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Patrizia Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 16, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2016
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