Famed writer Isaac Babel returned to his colorful hometown of Odessa in the summer of 1936, pining for a daughter living abroad and hoping to pen one last homage to his past. This would be Babel's last visit to Odessa; four years later, he was arrested as a spy and executed. For more than six decades, the letters and postcards Babel sent to his mother and sister were the only record of this trip. In ""King of Odessa"", Robert A. Rosenstone imagines the lost manuscript Babel wrote during those weeks. Mixing historical fact with gifted storytelling, Rosenstone captures Babel's lively wit, his disenchantment with fame and the Soviet system, and his infectious charm. The result is a hard-boiled thriller, a suspenseful love story, and a captivating portrait of a great writer.
Robert A. Rosenstone is the author of Romantic Revolutionary: A Biography of John Reed (Knopf, 1975), the basis for the Academy Award - winning film Reds. Rosenstone is a professor of history at the California Institute of Technology.