Checkmate Run by Allan Alexander

I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

World War II ended September 2, 1945. Segregation in America ended with The Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the segregation and persecution of Jews by the KGB (Committee for State Security) was going strong through at least 1975. Checkmate Run is the story of Alex Loevsky, a medical student, a poet (writing what at the time was considered very controversial poems against the government), and a Jew. Through out the story we are exposed to the way the Russian government, between 1965 and 1975, treated Jewish citizens. We see Alex figure out that despite his beliefs there is still a limit on the number of Jewish students allowed in medical school. We also see the censorship that is placed on the people by the KGB. Anyone who disagreed with anything was immediately stopped and possibly thrown in jail (read labor camp). We watch as Alex goes from poet to prisoner to doctor to a man with a family fleeing Russia to start a new life. I found this novel to be an excellent read. It was full of heart, action, and a little bit of history. Mr. Alexander draws a picture of what his life was like before he and his wife and son came to America, all while keeping it as a work of fiction. If you enjoy historical fiction especially set in the 60s and 70s then I completely recommend this book. Don’t let the beginning fool you, this is one that once you get engrossed you will find it hard to put down.


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