UC San Diego News Center


Bryna Kranzler, author of “The Accidental Anarchist,” to Speak at Geisel Library Jan.18

Bryna Kranzler

Bryna Kranzler

Bryna Kranzler, the author of “The Accidental Anarchist,” a harrowing and amazing tale about an ordinary man who became a Russian revolutionary, will speak on January 18 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Seuss Room at the Geisel Library on the UC San Diego campus. The talk, which is sponsored by the university’s Social Sciences & Humanities Library, is free and open to the public. After the talk, Kranzler will be on hand to sign copies of her book, which will be available for sale.

“The Accidental Anarchist” recounts the extraordinary  experiences of Jacob Marateck, Kranzler’s grandfather,  a Jew who became a non-commissioned officer during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904.  Marateck led soldiers in the notoriously anti-Semitic Russian army, which wanted him dead just as much as the enemy did.  Miraculously, he managed to survive in spite of three death sentences, the last of which he received for his involvement in a bungled attempt to overthrow Czar Nicholas II.  While the fateful intervention of a stranger resulted in his sentence being commuted to ten years of hard labor, he managed to escape from his Siberian labor camp along with Warsaw’s colorful “King of Thieves.”  The unlikely pair struggled to make their way nearly 3000 miles home, without food, money, or official papers.

The Accidental Anarchist

Kranzler’s book, which is based on her grandfather’s diaries and his eyewitness accounts, received  the USA “Best Books of 2011” Award in the historical biography category and was a finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ “Book of the Year” competition in the biography category.  According to Kranzler, “The Accidental Anarchist” represents a 105-year, three-generation effort to tell her grandfather’s story.

About the UC San Diego Libraries

Ranked among the nation’s top 20 public academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Libraries play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university’s research, teaching, and public service missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the university libraries provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of faculty, students, and members of the public.  Each day, the Libraries vast resources are accessed nearly 90,000 times through the Libraries’ main Web site. For more information:

UC San Diego’s Studio Ten 300 offers radio and television connections for media interviews with our faculty, which can be coordinated via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To connect with a UC San Diego faculty expert on relevant issues and trending news stories, visit