Troubled Waters (Paperback)

Origins of the 1881 Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Russia (Russian and East European Studies)

By I. Michael Aronson

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822985259, 302pp.

Publication Date: December 15, 1990

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In this pathbreaking study, I. Michael Aronson offers a closely argued and many-faceted reinterpretation of Russian anti-Semitism and tsarist nationalities policy.  He examines, and refutes, the widely held belief that the anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia in 1881 were a result of a conspiracy supported by the tsarist government or circles close to it, investigating claims and counterclaims about what happened during that fateful year and guiding the reader through a maze of events and decades of subsequent interpretations.

Although the pogroms are treated within the context of Russian history, Aronson's analysis has significance for Jewish studies as well.  When the Russian government adopted reactionary and repressive policies, Jews began to seek new solutions to the problems that plagued them:  massive numbers emigrated to the United States; other turned to revolutionary socialism; still others were attracted to Zionism and supported the creation of the state of Israel.

About the Author

I. Michael Aronson (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is a professional writer and translator in Israel.

Praise For Troubled Waters: Origins of the 1881 Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Russia (Russian and East European Studies)

“Aronson's work to date is the most sophisticated refutation of the thesis of a government conspiracy behind the pogroms and, as such, is a welcome addition to the historiography on imperial Russian and Jewish history.”
—Slavic Review

“A revisionist work in the best sense of the word. [It] should become the standard treatment of the pogroms of 1881-1882 in any language.”
—John Klier