Sasha Abramsky discusses & signs The House of Twenty Thousand Books

"The House of Twenty Thousand Books" is the story of Chimen Abramsky, an extraordinary polymath and bibliophile who amassed a vast collection of socialist literature and Jewish history. For more than fifty years Chimen and his wife, Miriam, hosted epic gatherings in their house of books that brought together many of the age s greatest thinkers.
The atheist son of one of the century s most important rabbis, Chimen was born in 1916 near Minsk, spent his early teenage years in Moscow while his father served time in a Siberian labor camp for religious proselytizing, and then immigrated to London, where he discovered the writings of Karl Marx and became involved in left-wing politics. He briefly attended the newly established Hebrew University in Jerusalem, until World War II interrupted his studies. Back in England, he married, and for many years he and Miriam ran a respected Jewish bookshop in London s East End. When the Nazis invaded Russia in June 1941, Chimen joined the Communist Party, becoming a leading figure in the party s National Jewish Committee. He remained a member until 1958, when, shockingly late in the day, he finally acknowledged the atrocities committed by Stalin. In middle age, Chimen reinvented himself once more, this time as a liberal thinker, humanist, professor, and manuscripts expert for Sotheby s auction house.
Journalist Sasha Abramsky re-creates here a lost world, bringing to life the people, the books, and the ideas that filled his grandparents house, from gatherings that included Eric Hobsbawm and Isaiah Berlin to books with Marx s handwritten notes, William Morris manuscripts and woodcuts, an early sixteenth-century Bomberg Bible, and a first edition of Descartes s "Meditations." "The House of Twenty Thousand Books" is a wondrous journey through our times, from the vanished worlds of Eastern European Jewry to the cacophonous politics of modernity.

Event date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
The House of Twenty Thousand Books Cover Image
Please call for price (310) 659-3110.
ISBN: 9781590178881
Availability: Special Order - Please Call the Store to Verify
Published: New York Review Books - September 1st, 2015

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives Cover Image
Please call for price (310) 659-3110.
ISBN: 9781568584607
Availability: Special Order - Please Call the Store to Verify
Published: Bold Type Books - August 26th, 2014