Playing Detective with Family Lore: How plugging the holes in a family history unintentionally came to tell the saga of Jews in a microcosm (Paperback)
Playing Detective with Family Lore is more than one family's saga. The far-ranging origins of the author's family and the course of the progenitors' lives and those of their descendants provide a microcosmic illustration of the macro-level triumphs and tragedies of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and America. From the tiny Radekhiv shtetl to the famous Polish market town Jaroslaw, from the Russian port city Nikolayev - inside of the Pale of Settlement during the 1905 pogroms, to Jassy - rife with unique antisemitic legislation following Romanian independence, this book unwittingly traces a collective history epitomized by one particular family's combined narratives, making it a 'must read' for the 80% of American Jews who trace their ancestry back to Eastern Europe.
Playing Detective with Family Lore goes beyond Researching Your Family History Online for Dummies. Offering more than a ringside seat how to mine information online, the author, a seasoned journalist, shares her expertise with budding memoirists. She explores how the skills and the logic of a Sherlock Holmes can be employed to stitch together snippets of information in order to forge a more coherent whole that may confirm, contest, augment, or complicate oral family lore.
Not your run-of-the-mill memoir, the structure is a tad unique. Sprinkled at the bottom of the pages, academic footnotes are repurposed to create a new genre: Experiential Reading. The links to historical footage, photos, and short texts make reading this work closer to a virtual museum than a traditional e-book.