O Powerful Western Star by Peter Golden
O Powerful Western Star by Peter Golden

O Powerful, Western Star!

The movement to rescue Soviet Jewry was centuries in the making—a history that is, according to Peter Golden, “as intricately entwined as Alençon lace.” In this highly readable study, Golden explores events across three continents that converged to propel American Jewry into the midst of the Cold War. Beginning with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and its meaning to a Russian Jewish grain dealer living in Rostov-on-Don, O Powerful Western Star! leads us through the breathtaking cultural and political changes in America and Russia, and chronicles the impact of the Second World War, the Holocaust, the founding of Israel, and the social upheaval of the 1960s on American and Soviet Jews.

Along with original documents, published histories, newspapers, journals, and magazines, Peter Golden draws on his personal interviews with Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Larry Eagleburger, Richard Perle, Jacob Birnbaum, Max M. Fisher, Shoshana S. Cardin, and many other individuals connected to the events.

Advance Praise for: O Powerful Western Star!

The rescue of Soviet Jewry was an enormously complex happening. Now Peter Golden has woven the entire story in a broad-ranging tapestry of historical incidents and processes. A talented novelist has been let loose to make sense of this crucial exodus with the result that a dense history has been magically transformed. O Powerful Western Star! reads like a good novel.
— Henry L. Feingold, professor emeritus of history, Graduate Center, CUNY, and author of Silent No More: Saving the Jews of Russia and Bearing Witness: How America and Its Jews Responded to the Holocaust
An extensively researched history of the impact of the Cold War on Soviet Jews. . . Golden illustrates how activists attempted to navigate the counterproductive goals of Nixon’s détente policy and Kissinger’s realpolitik, as well as the efforts of Israel and the U.S.S.R. to undermine the movement. Given its politically-charged subject matter, Golden is remarkably even-handed.
— Publishers Weekly