The artist who never lives to see a level of popularity that he so richly deserved was more than a cliché for Sholem Aleichem, whose stories became the basis for Fiddler on the Roof. After achieving success in Europe, he was largely ignored in New York for the few years he lived there before his death in 1916. But nearly a quarter-million people attended his funeral, and his writings were given a second life. Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness shows how his life reflected—and helped shape—the world of Jews throughout Eastern Europe around the turn of the 20th century, bridging old traditions and new cultural influences. Sholem Aleichem uses a treasure trove of old photos to fortify the story.
Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness