Books: Violent Vagabond

MOTTKE THE THIEF—Sholem Asch—Putnam ($2.50).

With Three Cities Sholem Asch displayed an ability to create a broad social panorama, drew a comprehensive picture of Jewish life in Warsaw and Moscow at the time of the Russian Revolution. Mottke the Thief, excellently translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, reveals a fresh aspect of Sholem Asch's talent, tells a lively, picturesque tale of a Jewish vagabond who bounded among the pillars and posts of pre-War Polish society. Before Mottke was born his jealous mother had thrown a bottle of vitriol on his father, burning the flesh off his face. In return, the father married...

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