The Accidental Anarchist: A humorous (and true) account of a man who was sentenced to death 3 times -- and survived

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9780984556304: The Accidental Anarchist: A humorous (and true) account of a man who was sentenced to death 3 times -- and survived

The Accidental Anarchist is the true story of Jacob Marateck, an Orthodox Jew who was sentenced to death three times in the early 1900s in Russia -- and lived to tell about it. He also happens to have been the author's grandfather. The book is based on the diaries that Marateck began keeping in 1905. That was when he decided to overthrow the Czar . . . The story is told in Marateck's voice, and is characterized by his remarkable humor and irony that contrasted with the circumstances and were key to his survival. It includes a rare, soldier's-eye view of a little-known war that changed the geopolitical status of several nations.
AWARDSWINNER: Sharp Writ Book Awards, General Non-Fiction;
WINNER: Readers′ Favorite, Non-Fiction: Historical/Cultural
WINNER: National Indie Excellence Award
WINNER: InternationalBook Awards Biography: Historical
USA ʺBest Books of 2011ʺ Award, Biography: Historical

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From the Author:

Book Club Reader's Guide
 
About the Book: 
The Accidental Anarchist is the true story of an Orthodox Jew who was sentenced to death three times in the early 1900s in Russia - and lived to tell about it.

Discussion Questions:
1.         Why did Jacob Marateck began keeping a diary?
2.         What role did friendship play in the book?
3.         Would you have made the same moral choices that Marateck made (eg., helping his army friend get transferred to another regiment, rejecting Pyavka's suggestion for what they needed to do to get home)?
4.         What role did women play in Marateck's survival?
5.         What were the most important survival skills that Jacob Marateck demonstrated?
6.         Who was your favorite character, and why?
7.         Does this book have the same relevance for non-Jews as well as Jews?
8.         What messages did you take from this book, and are they still relevant today?
 
Critical Praise:
"The Accidental Anarchist is a profound testament to the power of faith, and to the continued survival of the Jewish people."
* Elie Wiesel
 
"Readers interested in European or Jewish history, war stories, and just plain action adventure will enjoy this book. Kranzler's editing creates a smooth style with a quick pace while retaining her grandfather's unique voice and perspective. The Accidental Anarchist is the true story of a likable hero on an epic journey."         
* ForeWord Reviews
 
"Indeed, the adventures in this novel are many, and unforeseen. Variety-spiced life mixed with historical events of the 1900s in Russia and Poland sees  Marateck moving on from student to baker's assistant, labor organizer to an officer in the Russian army during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 against the Japanese in China. Marateck has his own struggles close at hand, too, in situations "in which the men under my command wanted to kill me, simply for being a Jew, as much as the enemy did, simply for being in the way."
* Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
"Marateck is an extraordinary character facing certain death many times with consistent humor and steadfast faith in God. The reader certainly does not need to be an Orthodox Jew to appreciate the intense commitment Marateck has to his faith and his religious duty. His notes reveal a breathtaking ability to absorb the absurd that life dishes out to a lowly Jew in the Czar's anti-Semitic army with aplomb and grace."
* New York Journal of Books
 
 "I found myself so fascinated by The Accidental Anarchist that I thought about it at work, wondered what would happen during dinner, and picked it up each night before bed. Several nights I went to sleep much later than I had intended because I was simply unaware how much time was passing. One reason for this is that Kranzler does a remarkable job of turning a life into a narrative. The reader knows what drives Marateck and wants to know whether or not he achieves his goal."
* The Bookshelf
 
Awards:
WINNER, 2012 Readers' Favorite, Non-Fiction: Historical/Cultural
WINNER, 2012 National Indie Excellence Award
WINNER  2012 International Book Awards, Biography: Historical 
WINNER, USA "Best Books of 2011" Award, Biography: Historical 
 
Excerpt:
Chapter 1:      In the Beginning
I have no excuse, save for the ignorance of youth and a desire for grand adventure, which may have been one and the same thing. Consequently, the seemingly minor decision I made to end my education before the age of thirteen led me down a path from which each future choice was misdirected by the previous foolish one.
 
Not that I didn't have a loving family to guide me, particularly my older brother, Mordechai, who had seen me risk my life repeatedly but was unable to convince me to make at least one sensible decision. There was simply too much fun to be had.
 
The result was that, in a little over ten years, I went from being a yeshiva[1]student, a baker's assistant, and labor organizer, to a corporal in the Russian army during the war in Manchuria (in which the men under my command wanted to kill me, simply for being a Jew, as much as the enemy did, simply for being in the way), to a revolutionary. For my efforts, I earned my first two death sentences, which was a little more excitement than I needed.
 
This limited my curiosity as to whether my end would come from freezing or starvation, from Japanese artillery or Chinese bandits, and whether it would be today or tomorrow. From my experiences with the comically inept Russian army (at least, it would have been comical had our lives not been at stake), I learned that, no matter how terrible it was for anyone to be in the midst of a war, it was a hundred times worse being on the losing side.
 
Still, I was slow to put into practice the lessons from my youth and, following the war, became a revolutionary who wanted to overthrow the Czar. This got me involved in amateur spy missions that would have gotten a Hollywood screenwriter fired, but got me sentenced to death for the third time.
 
As a result, I travelled the width of Russia, from Petersburg[2]  to Siberia, where my adventures were to have come to an end. But even if my record wasn't clean, my conscience was; everything I did was done with the most honorable intentions.
 
And ultimately provided enough excitement to last a lifetime.
(©Bryna Kranzler 2010)
 
Author Bio:
Bryna Kranzler is a graduate of Barnard College where she studied playwriting, and received the Helen Price Memorial Prize for Dramatic Composition. Her first play was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Competition, and was scheduled for production twice: the first time, the theater owner died, and the season was shut down; the second time, the director committed suicide. For the benefit of the arts community, she out of playwriting and pursued an MBA at Yale University. She spent 15 years in marketing for health-care, high tech and consumer products companies before returning to writing.
 
Website:
TheAccidentalAnarchist.com

From the Back Cover:

By the time he was 25 years old, Jacob Marateck had been sentenced to death three times - and yet lived to tell about it.
 
A Jew who was conscripted into the notoriously anti-Semitic Russian army, he led soldiers during the Russo-Japanese War who wanted to kill him at least as much as the enemy did. Not content to merely survive the war, Marateck joined the incompetent Polish underground intent on overthrowing Czar Nicholas II. He was sent to a Siberian forced labor camp, from which he escaped, along with Warsaw's colorful "King of Thieves." Together, the unlikely pair struggled to travel nearly 3000 miles home, without food, money or official papers.
 
The Accidental Anarchist is the remarkable, true story of an ordinary man who became extraordinary by participating in the history-making events of the early 1900s in Russia and Poland. Told in Marateck's unique voice, the story is filled with unexpected humor in spite of poverty, starvation and the horrors of war. Marateck is an unforgettable character, not larger than life, but rather a unique reflection of it.

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 332 pages. By the time he was twenty-five years old, Jacob Marateck had been a Jewish officer in the notoriously anti-Semitic Russian army during the Russo-Japanese War, a revolutionary who sought to overthrow the Czar, and sentenced to death three times. After avoiding the firing squad for the final, unlikely time, he escaped from a Siberian forced labor camp with Warsaws colorful King of Thieves. Together, the two struggled to survive and obtain false papers to travel home while avoiding the Secret Police. Told from Maratecks uniquely humorous perspective, The Accidental Anarchist is the remarkable, true story of an ordinary man made extraordinary by participating in the history-making events of the 1900s in Russia and Poland. Throughout all the hardships he endured, he never lost his optimism, which was key to his survival. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780984556304

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