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The Generation That Lost Its Fear

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A Memoir of Jewish Self-Defense and
Revolutionary Activism in Tsarist Russia
by Moishe Katz
Translated from the Yiddish by Lyber Katz

Moishe Katz (1885-1960) was a leftwing journalist for Yiddish newspapers in Russia and the U.S., most notably, the Morgn Freiheit. Early in the 20th century, as the Tsarist regime in Russia sought to stifle revolutionary and reform movements through repression and pogroms, Katz helped to organize armed Jewish self-defense and workers’ committees in several cities. The Generation That Lost Its Fear recounts those days in hindsight from the 1950s, when Katz and his comrades again faced repression, this time in the U.S. during McCarthyism.

The book offers a vivid narrative of an era when young Jews took real risks to fight tyranny in Russia and bring economic justice and an end to Jewish persecution. It is a story with tremendous relevance for our own era of repressive regimes, fundamentalist attacks on human rights, and popular uprisings that are demanding systemic change.