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Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland | [Matthew Brzezinski]

Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland

Starting as early as 1939, disparate Jewish underground movements coalesced around the shared goal of liberating Poland from Nazi occupation. For the next six years, separately and in concert, they waged a heroic war of resistance against Hitler's war machine that culminated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Isaac's Army, Matthew Brzezinski delivers the first-ever comprehensive narrative account of that struggle, following a group of dedicated young Jews - some barely out of their teens - whose individual acts of defiance helped rewrite the ending of World War II.
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Publisher's Summary

Starting as early as 1939, disparate Jewish underground movements coalesced around the shared goal of liberating Poland from Nazi occupation. For the next six years, separately and in concert, they waged a heroic war of resistance against Hitler's war machine that culminated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Isaac's Army, Matthew Brzezinski delivers the first-ever comprehensive narrative account of that struggle, following a group of dedicated young Jews - some barely out of their teens - whose individual acts of defiance helped rewrite the ending of World War II.

Based on first-person accounts from diaries, interviews, and surviving relatives, Isaac's Army chronicles the extraordinary triumphs and devastating setbacks that befell the Jewish underground from its earliest acts of defiance in 1939 to the exodus to Palestine in 1946. This is the remarkable true story of the Jewish resistance from the perspective of those who led it: Isaac Zuckerman, the confident and charismatic twenty-four-year-old founder of the Jewish Fighting Organization; Simha Ratheiser, Isaac's fifteen-year-old bodyguard, whose boyish good looks and seeming immunity to danger made him an ideal courier; and Zivia Lubetkin, the warrior queen of the underground who, upon hearing the first intimations of the Holocaust, declared: "We are going to defend ourselves."

Joined by allies on the left and right, they survived Gestapo torture chambers, smuggled arms, ran covert printing presses, opened illegal schools, robbed banks, executed collaborators, and fought in the two largest rebellions of the war. Hunted by the Germans and bedeviled by the "Greasers" - roving bands of blackmailers who routinely turned in resistance fighters for profit - the movement was chronically short on firepower but long on ingenuity. Its members hatched plots in dank basements, never more than a door knock away from summary execution, and slogged through fetid sewers to escape the burning Ghetto to the forests surrounding the city. And after the initial uprising was ruthlessly put down by the SS, they gambled everything on a bold plan for a citywide revolt - of both Jews and Gentiles - that could end only in victory or total destruction. The money they raised helped thousands hide when the Ghetto was liquidated. The documents they forged offered lifelines to families desperate to escape the horror of the Holocaust. And when the war was over, they helped found the state of Israel.

A story of secret alliances, internal rivalries, and undying commitment to a cause, Isaac's Army is history at its most heart -wrenching. Driven by an unforgettable cast of characters, it's a true-life tale with the pulse of a great novel, and a celebration of the indomitable spirit of resistance.

©2012 Matthew Brzezinski (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This is an intense story that transcends the horror of the time and finds real inspiration in the bravery of those who fought back - some of whom lived to tell their stories." (Alan Furst, author of Mission to Paris)

What Members Say

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  •  
    LifetimeRoad Deep South 09-24-13
    LifetimeRoad Deep South 09-24-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Starts off slow. Well researched."
    Where does Isaac's Army rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 15.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It revealed a part of the holocaust I wasn't familiar with.


    What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

    He's comfortable to listen to, although it seems to diminish the intensity at times.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The sewer escape. Such suffering I hope I never know.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-24-12
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    163
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    205
    199
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating history"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Isaac's Army to be better than the print version?

    No. The narrator for this book was passable, but had odd places where he paused on occasion, did not read with much inflection in spots, etc. I don't think the narrator either added to or took away from this book


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I almost did. I had no idea so much went on through the Jewish resistance... it was fascinating and obviously well-researched


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oldie Florida, USA 08-28-14
    Oldie Florida, USA 08-28-14 Member Since 2008

    Oldie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    4
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    FOLLOWING
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    "Outstanding"
    What did you love best about Isaac's Army?

    Engaging detail.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Isaac - a realistic true life hero.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    PostScript - author answers his question at the beginning of the book about what he would do if he were in the situations described.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The author has a very special way of taking exhaustive research material and turning it into a compelling read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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