When times are tough for capitalists, Marxists love to gloat. That is the conclusion to be drawn from an account of Depression-era America, “Les États-Désunis” (“The DisUnited States”), newly reprinted by Lux Editions in Montreal. Its author, the prolific Russian Jewish writer Vladimir Salomonovitch Pozner (1905-1992), a friend of Isaac Babel who was long resident in France, traveled across America in 1936, producing a lively piece of reportage.
Pozner (not to be confused with the Russian Jew Vladimir Aleksandrovich Pozner, who spied for the Soviets) was born in Paris, but spent time in Petrogad during the 1917 revolution, rubbing elbows with the noted young writers group, Serapion Brothers, which included many still-undervalued Jewish authors like the short-lived playwright Lev Lunts and the novelist Veniamin Kaverin.
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