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Reviews for And Still We Rise

Midwest Book Reviews

READERS' FAVORITE

Amazon and Goodreads Reviews for And Still We Rise

See reviews on these two sites for the bulk of reviews

November 12, 2021

Old Asia Hand

5 stars

A group of friends recently were discussing a particularly gruesome massacre that took place in Homer's "Odyssey." One friend commented how little humanity has progressed in the past 2,500 years. She cited as evidence the Bosnian war of the 1990s, where the Serb army and militia, in the name of ethnic cleansing, murdered tens of thousands of Bosnian men, raped countless Bosnian women and traumatized an entire generation of Bosnian children.

Some three decades on, the genocide in Bosnia is little remembered and even less understood.

In his new novel "And Still We Rise," Jordan Steven Sher powerfully confronts head on this grim episode in our sorry world of contemporary history. He doesn't flinch. He challenges us to do likewise.

Sher chooses to focus, not on the better known massacre at Srebrenica, or the capital of Sarajevo, but what happens to one family that lives in the small village of Kozarac, in the northwest of the country. The Kovacevic family is warm and loving, if not otherwise nondescript. Husband Elvir, wife Hajra, and their children Amir, Halima and Danis are thrust, through absolutely no fault of their own, from a peaceful idyl into a nightmare world of constant, senseless viscousness. The men are dragged to the notorious concentration camp of Omarska, which one journalist described as a place of ceaseless terror and unrelenting physical cruelty. Few survive. The women end up in Trnopolje, where they suffer constant sexual violence at the hands of guards.

These descriptions aren't easy to read or absorb, but they are necessary to understand the depths of brutality that still befalls our world.

However, Sher offers hope as well. The family escapes the terror. They begin to heal and build new lives far away from the killing fields. They can never turn their backs on what happened; they can never forget. But they can overcome some of the raw grief and be stronger because of it.

Sher helps us understand that process. Yes, man's ability to transcend personal or collective terror is essential for survival. But reckoning with the worst that humans are capable of is critical as well. Otherwise, humanity is fated to witness these kinds of horrors for another 2,500 years.

 

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Amazon Reviews for Our Neighbors, Their Voices

September 22, 2019

Joseph E. Scalia, Author; Artist

5 stars

Reading Jordan Sher's book "Our Neighbors, Their Voices" is like taking a journey to foreign places from Iran to Ethiopia, India and Italy. Or for those who want to stay closer to home, it is like a trip to Tenement Museum in NYC and hearing the voices of the past telling their stories. I was especially moved the author's wife Pina account of moving here from a small Italian town, San Donato, in the Apennine Mountains between Naples and Rome. Her story brought to mind my grandmother's stories of leaving her family in Avellino a Provence of Naples to come to America with two young children, my uncles Giuseppe and Giro, and join her husband in Brooklyn. But I was just a boy and not very interested back then. Now I wish all those people who are gone were here to tell me their stories. Thank you, Jordan Sher, for sharing these timely stories in these uncertain times.

 

 

August 13, 2019

Cathy Ennon

5 Stars

In this age of anti this and anti that, it was certainly refreshing to read about the early immigrants who came to America and created the foundation upon which we have built the greatest nation on the earth. Mr. Sher brings their stories to life and makes the reader go through a range of emotions that result in soul food that satisfies not only the soul, but the mind and heart also. Well worth the read and is the latest addition to my personal library.

Helpful

June 19, 2019

Glenn H. Cantor

5 Stars

I highly recommend Jordan Sher’s book Our Neighbors, Their Voices: True Stories of Immigrant Exodus. The book is a series of fascinating interviews with a variety of people who immigrated to the US. Sher, a trained social worker, has a well-tuned ear for listening to people and reporting their stories. The result is a highly engaging book which captures the diversity but also the essential humanity of people who originally came from other countries and now live all around us.

Our Neighbors, Their Voices is a self-published book, so it lacks the marketing power to become widely promoted. Nonetheless, it is an important book. It is a timely counter to the current US government’s position that immigrants are somehow less than human and deserve mistreatment. I hope that this book will become widely read.

July 11, 2019

Rebecca Mendez

5 stars

Sher’s first book is poignant, heartfelt, and eye-opening. “Our Neighbors, Their Voices” opens with a forward by an immigration attorney who eloquently sets the tone for the entire book by weaving her immigrant story with the current political and legal climate surrounding immigration. This book could not have been written at a better time in modern U.S history; showing the human side of immigrants spanning from the 1950s to today in order to bring light on a system that was set in place to secure bright futures for people all around the world who sought refuge, safety, and a better life. The book chronicles 14 distinct tales of people who came to America to search for the “streets that are paved with gold.” Each story is distinct in location, family story, and reasons for leaving their home country to come to the U.S. Every story weaves in history and teaches you about the moment in their country or home that led them to move. This book is an important read and I hope it is read by many.

June 19, 2019

Stephen Jackson

5 Stars

I highly recommend Jordan Sher’s book Our Neighbors, Their Voices: True Stories of Immigrant Exodus. The book is a series of fascinating interviews with a variety of people who immigrated to the US. Sher, a trained social worker, has a well-tuned ear for listening to people and reporting their stories. The result is a highly engaging book which captures the diversity but also the essential humanity of people who originally came from other countries and now live all around us.

Our Neighbors, Their Voices is a self-published book, so it lacks the marketing power to become widely promoted. Nonetheless, it is an important book. It is a timely counter to the current US government’s position that immigrants are somehow less than human and deserve mistreatment. I hope that this book will become widely read.

Podcasts and articles:

SUNY Oswego (NY) Alumni podcast-"And Still We Rise:

Book review from NPR affiliate in West Lafayette, IN, WBAA

University at Albany (NY) School of Social Welfare podcast-"And Still We Rise"

UT Austin podcast "Slavic Connexion"-"And Still We Rise"

40th GLHCR Conference (in conjunction with Purdue University)

Immigration Mic: Me interviewed about "Our Neighbors, Their Voices" book

Dishing on Immigration-Jordan's Story

Guest Blog Post on Truth-based Fiction

San Mateo Daily Journal op-ed for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Utica Observer-Dispatch artice for "And Still We Rise"

Utica Observer-Dispatch article for "Our Neighbors, Their Voices."

Immigration Mic: Me interviewing Dina Radeljas, former Bosnian refugee

Oneida County Historical Society, Utica, NY, March 5, 2022 (presentation)