The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy

The Brothers The Road to an American Tragedy An important story for our era How the American Dream went wrong for two immigrants and the nightmare that resulted The facts of the tragedy are established On April two homemade bombs fash

  • Title: The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy
  • Author: Masha Gessen Hillary Huber
  • ISBN: 9781611762815
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Audio CD
  • An important story for our era How the American Dream went wrong for two immigrants, and the nightmare that resulted The facts of the tragedy are established On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs fashioned from pressure cookers exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264 others The elder of the brothers suspected of comAn important story for our era How the American Dream went wrong for two immigrants, and the nightmare that resulted The facts of the tragedy are established On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs fashioned from pressure cookers exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264 others The elder of the brothers suspected of committing this atrocity, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in the ensuing manhunt Dzhokhar will stand trial in January 2015 What we don t know is why How did such a nightmare come to pass This is a probing and powerful story of dislocation, and the longing for clarity and identity that can reach the point of combustion Bestselling Russian American author Masha Gessen is uniquely endowed with the background, access, and talent to tell it She explains who the brothers were and how they came to do what they appear to have done From their displaced beginnings, as descendants of ethnic Chechens deported to Central Asia in the Stalin era, Gessen follows them as they are displaced again, from strife ridden Kyrgyzstan to war torn Dagestan, and then, as migr s to the United States, into an utterly disorienting new world Most crucially, she reconstructs the struggle between assimilation and alienation that ensued for each of the brothers, fueling their apparent metamorphosis into a new breed of homegrown terrorist, with their feet on American soil but their loyalties elsewhere a split in identity that seems to have incubated a deadly sense of mission Like Dave Cullen s Columbine, this will be the enduring account of an indelible tragedy.

    One thought on “The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy”

    1. When Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested for the Boston Marathon bombing, my husband and I got into an argument."Who cares where he's from?" he said. "Everyone's talking about his family being from Chechnya like that's enough to make him a terrorist in and of itself. He's an immigrant. Okay. How is his being from Chechnya any different from his being from Ireland?"I don't know if he picked Ireland because it's a country he's heard of, because I'm Irish, or because we're both old enough to remember a [...]

    2. I've been attending Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial over the past few months and obtained a media copy of this book. Masha Gessen travelled back to Dagestan and retraced the steps of the Tsarnaev family's life, leading up to the denouement of the bombing. Gessen is deeply steeped in contemporary Russian history, particularly as it pertains to Chechnya, and has written this book with characteristic empathy, nuance and understanding. Not only that it is written with considerable verve and was pretty muc [...]

    3. Masha Gessen did such a good job on her Putin bio, I was excited to find this more recent book on the Tsarnaev brothers. Unlike other terrorists, they seemed to have too much going for them for them to commit murder as they did. Unfortunately this book is nowhere near the standard of the Putin book. The brothers have less going for them than it seemed, but so much is half reported its hard to know them.The book started off well enough with Gessen, relating the culture and history from which the [...]

    4. Well alrighty then. This looked so promising from the New Books shelf, I actually put down something else I was going to take. While it kept my interest, this book frustrated the ever loving crap out of me.She starts well, giving some background on Chechnya, it's problems with Russia, etc. There's a lot of background about the Tsarnaev families movements hither and yon, along with a time line and the most God-awful map "illustrating" said travels. Much time then is spent telling us of the Tsarna [...]

    5. All I ever say about books anymore is that they are/n't interesting, which is not an interesting way to consider a book. Let's call this one "thought-provoking," then, because it's very well-written and gets into the family history and history of the fraught regions they come from, much deeper than anyone else (writing in English, anyway) has — Masha Gessen is a TREASURE — because she wrote it (mostly?) before the trial had started, it's incomplete, and you feel that incompleteness. It'd be [...]

    6. This was a strange book. In light of the recent anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing and the close of the trial against one of the brothers, this seemed like a good pick up. I was intrigued by the title and the idea that it was not about the bombing itself, but rather what led up to it and its aftermath. I did not know and was somewhat expecting being left with answers, but the book is a little odd and I'm not entirely sure what a reader is supposed to get out of it. It's the story of the [...]

    7. I'm sure this will be controversial.The first sign is the disclaimer at the beginning that says, essentially, I realize that a lot of people were hurt in the Boston Marathon bombing, but this isn't about that.Not that this book should be obligated to be about how bad the marathon bombing was. As if. In fact, I ended up liking this a lot more than I would have if it had been a straightforward account of the attack itself, which I probably also would have enjoyed.The author covered the wars in Che [...]

    8. The Boston Marathon bombing is yet another news event where I seemed to lose focus before I lost interest. I ached for the victims but I didn't respond to the big wave of "Boston Strong" that followed -- the vengeance, the wounded civic pride -- and which seemed to outpace the magnitude of the event itself. Was it just me or were the details of how and why it happened just overwhelmed by the anger and tears? I was particularly surprised by the negative reaction to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's photo appea [...]

    9. 2 stars may be a bit harsh. It was interesting and I paused my other books to finish it. It had real promise, but the writing seemed rushed. There were far too many loose mentions, tangential relationships, etc that were just pointless. It could have gone the way of "In Cold Blood" that created a weird understanding if not an ounce of compassion for the killers --guilty as they obviously are. I don't think any credible source disputes that these guys were the perps but I could have been left fee [...]

    10. I think like a lot of people I approached news of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing with horror and disgust. I followed the breaking news of the ensuing manhunt and capture of the perpetrators during the following week, but then information/further updates started to fade into the background after that. What I saw on the news was all I knew. Masha Gessen has investigated the story further, however, with her new book, "The Brothers." In structuring her explanation of events, Gessen goes back in ti [...]

    11. This book is about the rootlessness of the Tsarnaev family, constantly immigrating between the 'stans of the former USSR and then to Boston. The first half focuses on their migrations and failed dreams and then the second half switches to the way the FBI effectively destroyed the tentative hold the Tsarnaev's acquaintances had on a settled life in the US. Right at the half way point of the book, the bombs go off at the Boston marathon. This event is, rightly, given little coverage. What Gessen i [...]

    12. Gessen a pretty fearless Russian-American journalist with experience covering Putin, Pussy Riot and the Chechen Wars, is probably one of the best equipped people to handle the complex post-Soviet world of Dagestan/Avars/Chechens/Kazakhs and Russians who produced the Tsarnaev family, as well as their decade of American life in Cambridge. The whole story defies easy categorization--the elder brother returned to Dagestan, but never joined existing actual rebels in the woods and was kind of a joke a [...]

    13. This book was disappointing overall. The background on the conflict in Checyna was interesting and informative but the heart of the book should have been the brothers. One would think, given the title, that this book would have attempted to unpack the motivations of the brothers, or at the very least attempt to understand their relationship. Instead the second half of the book seems to focus on a half-baked conspiracy theory that suggests the FBI targets immigrants. Don't waste your time.

    14. Ok, I absolutely LOVED this audiobook!! I have been obsessed with the Boston bombing since it happened and I learned so many things from this book that I never would've known otherwise!A lot of people questioned why Jahar (I'm using the spelling of his nickname because I have no idea how to spell his birth name) would follow his older brother Tamerlan so devoutly, even though Jahar didn't really have any passionate, radical ideologies of his own. In Chechen culture, the eldest son RULES the fami [...]

    15. I really liked this book at the beginning, when Gessen is describing the fraught history of the Chechen people during and after the Soviet times. It was also quite interesting to follow the specific history of the Tsarnaev family, how they came to emigrate to the U.S, and how they got settled here, or tried to.Unfortunately as the book approaches the time of the bombing it becomes less enlightening. Its title is "The Brothers" and I expected to learn something about why they did what they did, b [...]

    16. THIS IS NOT A BOOK ABOUT THE BOMBING ITSELF. I am sure there are a lot of comprehensive books about what happened during the marathon and the manhunt after. This isn't the book. I thought that was what it was going to be but then I grew to appreciate what most of it what: an ethnography centered around a family and their experience both as Chechens in Central Asia and immigrants in Boston and how that community was treated and how they subsequently acted when two of their own committed a heinous [...]

    17. I read this book because I found it on a "best books of 2015 so far" list. It's definitely not my normal sort of reading material, and I tend to count myself among the growing number of people who's slightly disgusted with the level of attention we pay to the people committing acts of violence in America. So before I even picked up this book, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it.That said, it did surprise me in a good way. Most of the beginning of the book is more about Chechnya and Dagestan and the h [...]

    18. I really wanted to like this book. It just jumped around out of chronology too much and focused less on the Brothers Tsarnaev than one would expect for a book called "The Brothers." The author is renowned for her journalistic books about all things Russia, and I felt she (maybe unintentionally) tried to inspire sympathy for the bombers. The book also didn't feel timely, what with the conclusion of Dzokhar's trial happening now. It left facts unexplained that certainly have been resolved by now.

    19. Probably the best written and most interesting book I ever gave fewer than four stars. Masha Gessen's book about the Tsarnaev brothers is well-written throughout the first eleven chapters. In these chapters, Gessen writes with style and clarity. She tells a story and make witty and sharp comments. The book is a real page-turner. Then we come to the twelfth chapter, epilogue and postscript - where we dive into conspiracy theories and problems with the trial and all the questions that have never b [...]

    20. Gessen provides important historical background information regarding the Chechen republic and the family of the Boston Marathon bombers. She ties that into the displacements of the family, but I thought she didn't dive deep enough into what the effects of all of this history might have been on the two brothers, particularly of the possible effects of their parents returning to their homeland while the boys were still teenagers and leaving them to their own devices here in the USA. Gessen does d [...]

    21. I would not say this was a pleasant read but I learned a lot I never knew before about Russia and Chechnya and terrorism. The story is convoluted, tedious and hard to follow but also very well researched ad illuminating. I am confused about why she called it "The Brothers." We never really learn that much about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who are believed to have set off the bombs at the Boston City Marathon in 2013 including "why" they did it. We do learn a lot about where and who they came [...]

    22. If I could rate this book, I would rate it 3.5. With this being said, I’ve studied the Boston marathon through online documentaries and past news reports. I bought this book used for $2.84 off . Cheap, I know. Worth it? Yes. I thought the book was going to be mostly about the two brothers. However, it went way more in detail than I thought. Basically, discussing the FBI, the three friends(Jahar’s friends) that helped the act, background information of Tamerlan, conspiracy theories, and infor [...]

    23. Welp,This was a book in search of a central argument. At first, the book did provide a helpful overview of Chechen history and culture and provided some insight as to how these factors contributed to the bombing that later transpired.Unfortunately, the book shifted focus in the middle. The bombing was mentioned briefly, but there were few details on how/when the Tsarnaev brothers devised their plot and produced the bombs. There was mention of the important role of older male siblings in Chechen [...]

    24. This book answers very few of my questions about the bombing. It is a book about a few post-Soviet republics. It is a book about immigration. It is not a book about who the Tsarnaev brothers are, what their relationship to each other was, or whether and how they set off the bombs. It is lots of convoluted descriptions of other people in their parents' family and communities. It is lots of convoluted material about people who knew Jahar. It is a critique of the FBI model of terrorism, based on a [...]

    25. Raises many questions about investigation of this case and more broadly the war on terror. Includes references to cases where government has basically encouraged individuals to commit terrorist acts by aiding and abetting in the planning of attacks, then arresting before they happen. Interesting background on the Tsarnaev family and their journey to the U.S. Very interesting to me that when the family was first in Cambridge they rented from an ex-wife of Alexander Lipson, author of my first Russ [...]

    26. Everyone knows the story of the Boston Marathon bombings. This journalistic investigation goes to Dagestan, Chechnya and Cambridge to understand the story of the Tsarnaev family and how it led to its awful ending. Gessen raises questions about the trustworthiness of the FBI (Comey is discussed) and the trial. The questions she raises are nuanced. Everyone knows the Tsarnaev brothers did it. But what else did they do? How was the FBI involved? And what was the fallout for their Chechnyan compatri [...]

    27. I agree with other reviewers that the first half of the book outlining the itinerant lives of the Tsarnaevs is the better part of the book.The overall impression is that this family may be typical of many from that part of the world and they appear incapable of assimilation to the American way of life and even less capable of contributing to our society.

    28. Gives an interesting perspective on being a refugee who moves to America and how they struggle to settle and integrate. It was less about the actual Boston Bombings and more of the journey of the family.

    29. Hard to follow at times. I feel the book should have concentrated more on the various conspiracy theories floating around as to whether the brothers were the actual bombers. That would be a far more interesting read.

    30. With a title like “The Brothers”, many people may be misled into thinking that the book will focus on Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Fair warning: If anyone is looking for the story of the two brothers and a comprehensive account of the Boston Marathon Bombing and the subsequent trial of Dzokhar for his part in the bombing, they will not find it in this book. What Gessen actually delivers is a diverse account of the immigrant experience for Chechens in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federa [...]

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