Boston: Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar TsarnaevAnzor Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen who lived much of his life in Kyrgyzstan, emigrated a decade ago to the Boston area with his wife, two daughters, and two sons. Despite arthritic fingers, he made his living as an auto mechanic. Members of the family occasionally attended a mosque on Prospect Street in Cambridge, but there seemed nothing fundamentalist about their outlook.

Anzor €™s elder son, Tamerlan, appeared never to connect fully with American life. €œI don €™t have a single American friend, € Tamerlan told a photographer named Johannes Hirn, who asked to take pictures of him training as a boxer. €œI don €™t understand them. € He studied, indifferently, at Bunker Hill Community College, for an engineering degree. He described himself as €œvery religious €; he didn €™t smoke or drink. Twenty-six and around two hundred pounds, he boxed regularly at Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts. He loved €œBorat € ( €œeven though some of the jokes are a bit too much €). He had a daughter, but scant stability. Three years ago, he was arrested for domestic assault and battery. ( €œIn America, you can €™t touch a woman, € Anzor told the Times.)

Once again The New Yorker outstrips everyone else.

David Remnick (who has a Russian background himself) crafts a nuanced and well reported overview of the the Tsarnaev brothers. Wonderful writing. 1

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  1. The story is filed under ‘Homeland’, not something I expect to see in The New Yorker.

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