BookBrowse Reviews Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Dissident Gardens

A Novel

by Jonathan Lethem

Dissident Gardens
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2013, 384 pages
    Jun 2014, 384 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

Buy This Book

About this Book



Dissident Gardens is an epic, yet intimate, family study of three generations of New York City activists.

If it's true that all politics is local, then the American Communist Party might well have had its roots in Brooklyn's Sunnyside Gardens brought vividly to life in Jonathan Lethem's soaring novel, Dissident Gardens. The story visits not just the growth (and the eventual sputtering out) of communism in these environs, but also traces the arc of subsequent political activities leading all the way up to the recent Occupy movement.

The Sunnyside Gardens that Lethem draws so well bears a striking resemblance to the real-life Sunnyside Gardens in Queens which is on the National Register of Historic Places because it was one of the country's first planned urban garden centers. During the 1950s when the novel gets its start, the Brooklyn neighborhood is made up of Jewish and Irish immigrants. The novel's primary character, Rose Angrush Zimmer, is a quintessential matriarch ruling not just ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.