Shub, David

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SHUB, DAVID (1887–1973), journalist and sovietologist. Shub was born in Fastov, in the Kiev oblast, to religious parents who, however, sent him to a Russian school instead of the traditional ḥeder. At the age of 16, he became acquainted with the activities of the Jewish Labor *Bund. In the same year (1903), he moved to the United States, but two years later returned to Russia via Switzerland, where he met Lenin, who invited him to join the Bolshevik fraction. Shub declined, but in Russia was arrested for participating in revolutionary activities and sentenced to forced military service in Siberia. He escaped from Irkutsk in 1907 and made his way to the United States, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Shub devoted himself to journalism, writing mostly in Yiddish, but also in Russian and English, concentrating on Russian politics and literature and scarcely dealing with Jewish subjects, apart from his interest in the Bund. He became a leading sovietologist. He was a member of the staff of the *Jewish Daily Forward from 1924, contributing to it until 1972. He was also a regular contributor to the Yiddish political monthlyDer Veker, of which he was editor during the years 1922–27. He joined the Mensheviks in 1903 and remained a right-wing Menshevik all his life, continuing his fight against Bolshevism to the end of his life, in the firm belief that Russia would finally abandon it and emerge as a Social Democratic republic.

Shub wrote one of the first biographies of Lenin (Yiddish, 1928; English, revised and enlarged edition, Lenin, a Biography, 1948). Among his other works are Helden un Martirer ("Heroes and Martyrs," Yiddish, 1939), on Russian martyrs in the struggle against Czarism; Sotsyale Denker un Kemfer ("Social Thinkers and Fighters," Yiddish, 1968); and Politicheskiye Deyateli Rossii, 1850–1928 ("Political Figures: Russia, 1850–1928," Russian, 1969) based on the former work and on the radio scripts which he broadcast for Radio Liberty to the U.S.S.R. Shub's memoirs, Fum di Amolike Yoren ("From Bygone Days"), were published in 1970.

[Elias Schulman]