Download Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland Audiobook

Isaacs Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland Audiobook, by Matthew Brzezinski Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Matthew Brzezinski Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781452680408
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (177 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Starting as early as 1939, disparate Jewish underground movements coalesced around the shared goal of liberating Poland from Nazi occupation. For the next six years, separately and in concert, they waged a heroic war of resistance against Hitler's war machine that culminated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Isaac's Army, Matthew Brzezinski delivers the first-ever comprehensive narrative account of that struggle, following a group of dedicated young Jews—some barely out of their teens—whose individual acts of defiance helped rewrite the ending of World War II.
Based on first-person accounts from diaries, interviews, and surviving relatives, Isaac's Army chronicles the extraordinary triumphs and devastating setbacks that befell the Jewish underground from its earliest acts of defiance in 1939 to the exodus to Palestine in 1946. This is the remarkable true story of the Jewish resistance from the perspective of those who led it: Isaac Zuckerman, the confident and charismatic twenty-four-year-old founder of the Jewish Fighting Organization; Simha Ratheiser, Isaac's fifteen-year-old bodyguard, whose boyish good looks and seeming immunity to danger made him an ideal courier; and Zivia Lubetkin, the warrior queen of the underground who, upon hearing the first intimations of the Holocaust, declared: "We are going to defend ourselves." Joined by allies on the left and right, they survived Gestapo torture chambers, smuggled arms, ran covert printing presses, opened illegal schools, robbed banks, executed collaborators, and fought in the two largest rebellions of the war.
Hunted by the Germans and bedeviled by the "Greasers"—roving bands of blackmailers who routinely turned in resistance fighters for profit—the movement was chronically short on firepower but long on ingenuity. Its members hatched plots in dank basements, never more than a door knock away from summary execution, and slogged through fetid sewers to escape the burning Ghetto to the forests surrounding the city. And after the initial uprising was ruthlessly put down by the SS, they gambled everything on a bold plan for a citywide revolt—of both Jews and Gentiles—that could end only in victory or total destruction. The money they raised helped thousands hide when the Ghetto was liquidated. The documents they forged offered lifelines to families desperate to escape the horror of the Holocaust. And when the war was over, they helped found the state of Israel.
A story of secret alliances, internal rivalries, and undying commitment to a cause, Isaac's Army is history at its most heart-wrenching. Driven by an unforgettable cast of characters, it's a true-life tale with the pulse of a great novel, and a celebration of the indomitable spirit of resistance.
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Quotes & Awards

  • This is an intense story that transcends the horror of the time and finds real inspiration in the bravery of those who fought back---some of whom lived to tell their stories. Alan Furst, author of Mission to Paris
  • “This is an intense story that transcends the horror of the time and finds real inspiration in the bravery of those who fought back—some of whom lived to tell their stories.”

    Alan Furst, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An admirable study of the Jewish resistance movement in Warsaw…compellingly [conveys] Poland’s wartime agony and the ordeals of those caught between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Narrator Arthur Morey gives his journalistic best to an often terrifying history, compiled by the author from interviews with its surviving protagonists. Morey subtly injects compassion, terror, determination, dejection, and jubilation into the stunning story and its characters.”


  • “Brzezinski’s often painful, always riveting account of Jewish resistance…is unsparing in its details and epic in scope, offering the kind of sweeping narrative that this subject has long deserved.”

    Andrew Nagorski, author of Hitlerland

Listener Reviews

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  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karin | 2/17/2014

    " I just couldn't get into this book. Wrong book for me to read at this time. Maybe I'll try again, but I just couldn't get past the third chapter. It didn't capture my interest. I never finished it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua | 1/2/2014

    " This is a great book and a must read for anyone interested in WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 11/26/2013

    " This book was difficult to read but needs to be read by everyone. Having been to Poland and witnessed the effects of WWII firsthand (some 60 years later), I understand south more after reading this book. Thank you to the author - these stories must be told "for history". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 10/28/2013

    " An essential read and addition to one's library. A story of exceptional behavior during the "good war", save that this war was anything but good for the Jews and Christian Poles of occupied Warsaw. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce | 10/26/2013

    " A clear and gripping historical read. It gives a look into he lives of ordinary people confronted with unimaginable horror and tells the stories of how they managed to survive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 9/13/2013

    " This was a very educational and interesting book. It is not an easy read because of the material, but hearing the stories of personal experience was really eye opening. I recommend this book highly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 9/2/2013

    " I was pleasantly surprised! I LOVED this book! You felt as though you were in the trenches with these resistance fighters. Not at all you usual dry history tome Mr. Brzezinski brings it all to life for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norma | 8/28/2013

    " Receiving as a Good Reads giveaway. Can't wait for it to arrive so I can edit my review and rating. I'll keep you posted. "

About the Author

Matthew Brzezinski is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and former foreign correspondent at the Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of Casino Moscow: A Tale of Greed and Adventure on Capitalisms Wildest Frontier. He lives in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards, and his work has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed him as a finalist for two Audie Awards. He has acted in a number of productions, both off Broadway in New York and off Loop in Chicago. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. His plays and songs have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Milan, where he has also performed.