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Journalist to discuss what led brothers to bomb Boston Marathon

The author of The Tsarnaev Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy will give a talk at The University of Toledo about what led to the events of April 15, 2013, when two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others.

In the manhunt following the Boston Marathon bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and charged on 30 federal counts.

Acclaimed Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen will discuss The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

Following her free, public talk, she will sign copies of her book, which was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine.

An immigrant herself who came to the Boston area with her family as a teenager, Gessen returned to the former Soviet Union in her early 20s and covered firsthand the transformations that were wracking her homeland and its neighboring regions. It is there that the history of the Tsarnaev brothers began, as descendants of ethnic Chechens deported to Central Asia in the Stalin era.

In her book, Gessen follows the family in their attempts to make a life for themselves in one war-torn locale after another and then, as new émigrés, in Cambridge, Mass. She reconstructs the struggle between assimilation and alienation that ensued for each of the brothers, incubating a deadly sense of mission. And she traces how such a split in identity can fuel the metamorphosis into a new breed of homegrown terrorist with feet on American soil but sense of self elsewhere.

Gessen also is the author of the national best-seller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin and Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot. Her award-winning work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Vanity Fair and elsewhere.

Media Coverage
NBC 24 and WTOL 11 (Oct. 22, 2015)
The Blade (Nov. 17, 2015)


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