A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire Hardcover – Jan 1993
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To get a picture of the debates see Beider's recent review of Lars Menk and Heinrich and Eva Guggenheimer's books, in Avotaynu journal XXI: 2 (summer 2005), pp.35ff. Beider shows Menk to be a qualified success, and Guggenheimer to be a muddled trainwreck. I don't think most of us would be equipped to navigate through the issues involved without Beider.
The book consists of two massive works -- 1. a huge introduction that charts out all the debates and argues for his approach. And 2. an enormous dictionary of zillions of surnames. This book, while staggering in detail, is not yet comprehensive. For example, only 2 of the 10 surnames I am most interested in from Elizavetgrad (Kirovograd) central Ukraine (Kherson oblast) were listed at all.
In any case, it is indispensible for anyone with interest in 18th and 19th century Jewish Russia.
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