Emma Green of The Atlantic:
"The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a book for a what if time. It’s set in a world in which the Holocaust and the creation of the state of Israel turned out differently: Instead of settling in the Middle East, Jewish refugees moved en masse to Alaska. Inevitably, the Jews are asked to leave—and their worst fears are realized. But these bad times are also morally ambiguous: The good guys are never fully good guys, the bad guys never fully bad. Ultimately, the Jews of Sitka, Alaska, learn that they are helpless in the face of what if coming true, that there will always be more bad times. The goal isn’t to remake the world, Chabon seems to argue, but, rather, to survive it. And his greatest insight is that it’s possible to find humor in catastrophe—speaking Yiddish, along with a sip of slivovitz, makes the end of the world much easier to take."