My Father’s Wars:
Migration, Memory and the Violence of a Century

“My father was born into war,” begins this remarkable saga in Alisse Waterston’s intimate ethnography, a story that is also twentieth century social history. This is an anthropologist’s vivid account of her father’s journey across continents, countries, cultures, languages, generations—and wars. It is a daughter’s moving portrait of a charming, funny, wounded, and difficult man, his relationships with those he loved, and his most sacred of beliefs. And it is a scholar’s reflection on the dramatic forces of history, the experience of exile and immigration, the legacies of culture, and the enduring power of memory.

“In this book, I start with the personal for clues to broader histories. The narrative is largely based on my father’s narrative of his life history—his actual words, and the texture of his voice. I was lucky to have many rich and multiple sources—passports, letters, old tapes and new, books, memories, and my mother’s unpublished memoir. I worked with what remained—pulling material apart, rearranging, preserving, even tearing in some places—to tell a story and a history that are at once separate and together.”  — Alisse Waterston

Find out more about My Father’s Wars by exploring the unique features in the Story Companion:

Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06

Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Epilogue | Afterword | Addendum