Books: The Old Country

TEVYE'S DAUGHTERS (302 pp.]—Sholom Aleichem— Crown ($3).

Tevye the dairyman was really a simple soul. He lived quietly in a Russian village during the early days of the century, when Czarism was cracking and the old Jewish communal life had begun to crack, too. All he wanted from life was a chance to sell his butter and cheese, an occasional glance into the Old Testament or the Talmud, and some reliable husbands for his sprouting daughters. "The Lord," he sarcastically remarked, "wanted to be good to Tevye, so He blessed him with seven female children ... all of them good-looking and charming...

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