Mark Zborowski's Metamorphosis, and the Making of <i>Life is with People</i>
Steven J. Zipperstein is currently writing a cultural history of Russian Jewry, and has just completed research on a section devoted to the origins of the well-known study of the shtetl, Life is with People (1952). Its primary author, Mark Zborowski, was (as was later learned) a longstanding Stalinist agent, one of the main figures to infilitrate Trotsky's Fourth International.
Based on work in the Margaret Mead Papers at the Library Congress, material in the Trotsky archives at Harvard and Stanford, as well as collections at YIVO, Zipperstein has pieced together a portrait of Zborowski's life as agent and anthropologist and also as a bard of East European Jewish communal life.
Zipperstein, Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University, is the author of The Jews of Odessa; Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha'am and the Origins of Zionism; Imagining Russian Jewry; and, most recently, Rosenfeld's Lives: Fame, Oblivion, and the Furies of Writing.