Nechama Tec’s Defiance: The Bielski Partisans tells the fascinating story of the Bielski brothers, Byelorussian Jews who formed a partisan unit, and in the process saved over 1000 Jewish civilians. It is the largest “rescue” of Jews by Jews during the Second World War.
Luckily, Tec has a fascinating story to recount. It carries the weight of her choppy, often inelegant prose. This is particularly the case in the first two chapters, where Tec inexplicably provides us with one or two sentence paragraphs. Luckily, this ends after forty pages or so; the reader should stick to the text and not succumb to this bizarre structure. Defiance tells a riveting story; even if the delivery is a bit choppy, this is still an important book.