Shattered Dreams, Broken Promises: The Cost of Coming to America

Michael Viner, Author . Phoenix $24.95 (285p) ISBN 978-1-59777-537-3

Viner, a writer, editor and producer, has interviewed more than 200 women who immigrated from the former Soviet Union to America to find out, in his somewhat strange questions, "what makes them so unique" and "why so many of them [have] taken unusual sexual paths to accomplish their goals." Twenty-three of their firsthand accounts are included, comprising a sad litany of hardship and exploitation, with an emphasis on the harsh lives they left behind and the difficulty of forging a life in America. One woman, raised in poverty and tricked by an ad promising employment in elite New York City restaurants, was forced into stripping for a living to repay the agency that had deceived her. Not all the stories end tragically: one young Kiev woman fled to America when her husband was killed by the mob. After her Brooklyn roommate absconded with her documents, she became a prostitute but eventually married and adopted two children and runs her own escort service. These often tragic stories are moving, but without reporting on the larger context, as others have done, one has no idea how representative these stories are or what exactly they are intended to prove. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 297 pages - 978-1-59777-602-8
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