The Family: Book summary and reviews of The Family by David Laskin

The Family

Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century

by David Laskin

The Family by David Laskin X
The Family by David Laskin
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin brings to life the upheavals of the twentieth century through the story of one family, three continents, two world wars, and the rise and fall of nations.

A century and a half ago, a Torah scribe and his wife raised six children in a yeshivatown at the western fringe of the Russian empire. Bound by their customs and ancient faith, the pious couple expected their sons and daughter to carry family traditions into future generations. But the social and political crises of our time decreed otherwise.

The torrent of history took the scribe's family down three very different roads. One branch immigrated to America and founded the fabulously successful Maidenform Bra Company; another went to Palestine as pioneers and participated in the contentious birth of the state of Israel; the third branch remained in Europe and suffered the onslaught of the Nazi occupation.

In tracing the roots of this family - his own family - Laskin captures the epic sweep of the twentieth century. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is a deeply personal, dramatic, and emotional account of people caught in a cataclysmic time in world history.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"A gripping epic narrative, beginning in 1875 and spanning over a century." - Publishers Weekly

"[Laskin's] compelling narrative brings these individuals to life as awe witness their triumphs and tragedies in vivid detail and at times in their own voices." - Library Journal

"An ambitious, experimental look at exodus, acclimatization and culture with a cast as diverse as any family photo album…Were this fiction, it would read much like the novels of Leon Uris and other spinners of historical sagas." - Kirkus

"A deeply felt story filled with the joy and sadness that has characterized Jewish life in this period." - Booklist

"What a story! Scholars and scribes, Zionists and revolutionaries, Holocaust martyrs and the inventors of the Maidenform bra all march through these pages." - Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University

"A banquet of Jewish history, as lived by one exceptional American family, across four generations and on three continents, the worst things endured and the best things relished." - Edward Ball, author of Slaves in the Family

"At once heartbreaking and gloriously triumphant... a story of love. Yes, a big unyielding, often rollicking and humorous history of one generation's prevailing love for the next. A wonderful achievement." - Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Failure

This information about The Family shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

David Laskin Author Biography

Photo by Jacqueline M Koch

David Laskin was born in New York in 1953 and educated at Harvard College and New College, Oxford. He worked in the editorial department of Bantam Books before becoming a freelance writer. For the past several years, Laskin has written books and articles on a wide range of subjects, including history, weather, travel, gardens, and the natural world.

A frequent contributor to The New York Times Travel Section, Laskin also writes for the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, and Seattle Metropolitan. He and his wife, Kate O'Neill are the parents of three grown daughters and live in Seattle with their two sweet old dogs.

His works include The Parents Book for New Fathers, A Common Life: Four Generations of American Literary Friendship and Influence, The Reading Group Book, Rains All the Time:...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to David Laskin's Website

Other books by David Laskin at BookBrowse
  • The Children's Blizzard jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more history, science & current affairs...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Blue Sky Kingdom
    Blue Sky Kingdom
    by Bruce Kirkby
    Who hasn't dreamed of escaping all of the trappings of today's modern life and finding a secluded, ...
  • Book Jacket: My Heart Underwater
    My Heart Underwater
    by Laurel Fantauzzo
    Corazon — Cory — Tagubio is a Filipina-American teenager living with her family in ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Sun
    Black Sun
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Reading the first book in a series is always difficult because readers know that, by definition, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Somewhere in the Unknown World
    Somewhere in the Unknown World
    by Kao Kalia Yang
    Resettled refugees are mostly invisible. Their needs are rarely publicized and their struggles are ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Girl is A Body of Water
    by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

    A powerful portrait of a young Ugandan girl and her family.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.