Odessa, the city founded on the Black Sea by Catherine the Great in 1794, quickly became a thriving international crossroads. This virtual melting pot of Russia - the gateway to Russia from Constantinople, Athens, Venice, Marseilles, and Genoa, and the third largest metropolis in the country - rose to prominence as a European cultural capital and a vibrant center of Jewish culture. Odessa in its prime shared with St. Petersburg the distinction of being one of the few places in Russia where international ideas and commerce could flourish. old postcards, rare photographs and illustrations from private archives, colourful posters and advertisements, and materials from the Russian National Library that have never before been published, to recapture a lost time in the life of one of the world's great romantic cities. Historian Patricia Herlihy's essay paints textured historical tableaux of Odessa's nightlife and resorts, its theaters and criminal underworld, its schools and industries, and, not least of all, the synagogues, philanthropic societies, and organizations for defense against pogroms that were such a large part of Jewish life in old Odessa. Her portrait brings to life the city as experienced by such luminaries as Isaac Babel, Sholem Aleichem, and Vladimir Jabotinski. culture, and social fabric, this book stands alone as a sumptuous homage to a storied city that has inspired affinity and curiosity all over the world.