An Echo in My Blood
The Search for My Family's Hidden Past
By Alan Weisman
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151002917, 352pp.)
Publication Date: October 1999
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Throughout his childhood in Minneapolis, Alan Weisman was told that his grandfather was killed by Communists in the Ukraine at the turn of the century. When, as an adult, he meets a long-estranged uncle who tells a very different version of the story, Alan embarks on a search for the truth that takes him to the chemical ruin of Chernobyl and back in time to the Bolshevik Revolution. He discovers the paradoxical rationale for his father's vehement political and social conservatism as well as a more universal truth: that all immigrant families, in order to survive in a new world, must create protective family myths. One of these myths hides the true fate of his grandfather-a nightmare too terrible to express. At once an examination of his rootless generation and a look at the hopes and dreams of his forefathers, An Echo in My Blood takes you from the secret heart of an America you might not recognize to the pogroms of turn-of-the-century Kiev.