Human smoke : the beginnings of World War II, the end of civilization

by Baker, Nicholson.

Format: Print Book 2008
Availability: Available at 8 Libraries 8 of 8 copies
Available (8)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction D741.B255 2008
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  D741.B255 2008
Carnegie Library of McKeesport Nonfiction 940.5311 B175
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  940.5311 B175
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Non Fiction 940.53 BAKER
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  940.53 BAKER
Community Library of Castle Shannon Non Fiction 940.5311 Baker
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  940.5311 Baker
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 940.5311 BAKER
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  940.5311 BAKER
Moon Township Public Library Non-Fiction 940.5311 BAKER
Location  Moon Township Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  940.5311 BAKER
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 940.53 B16
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  940.53 B16
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 940.5311 BAK 2008
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  940.5311 BAK 2008
"Bestselling author Nicholson Baker has created a compelling work of nonfiction bound to provoke discussion and controversy - a wide-ranging perspective on the political and social landscape that gave rise to World War II." "Human Smoke delivers a closely textured, deeply moving indictment of the treasured myths that have romanticized much of the 1930s and '40s. Incorporating meticulous research and well-documented sources - including newspaper and magazine articles, radio speeches, memoirs, and diaries - the book juxtaposes hundreds of interrelated moments of decision, brutality, suffering, and mercy. Vivid glimpses of political leaders and their dissenters illuminate and examine the gradual, horrifying advance toward overt global war and Holocaust."--BOOK JACKET.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Novelist Baker ventures into history with this unique presentation of the onset of World War II. From books and New York City newspapers, he extracts paragraph-length quotations, reworks them into aphoristic prose, and orders them chronologically, from the early 1920s through December 1941. Resembling a clipping file, Baker's production has no historiographical intent, so its purpose must be discerned in thematically dominant topics among Baker's excerpts: the ethics of bombing civilians, the Nazi persecution of Jews, and pacifism. Pacifists have never really gotten their due, writes Baker in his sole explicit explanation for his unusual project, and a suite of conscientious objectors, religious leaders, and Mohandas Gandhi thread through the quotations, extolling nonviolence. Well and good: this might encourage Baker's audience to tap into his source material (where they might be astonished to find Gandhi's apologies for Hitler), but a book purportedly about the origin of WWII can't escape an observation about its glaring omissions, such as the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939. Baker's idiosyncratic creation may not find an audience among hard-core students of WWII, but others may find the impressionist approach fascinating.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2008 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: ""Burning a village properly takes a long time," wrote a British commander in Iraq in 1920. In this sometimes astonishing yet perplexing account of the destructive futility of war, NBCC award-winning writer Baker (Double Fold) traces a direct line from there to WWII, when Flying Fortresses and incendiary bombs made it possible to burn a city in almost no time at all. Central to Baker's episodic narrative- a chronological juxtaposition of discrete moments from 1892 to December 31, 1941-are accounts from contemporary reports of Britain's terror campaign of repeatedly bombing German cities even before the London blitz. The large chorus of voices echoing here range from pacifists like Quaker Clarence Pickett to the seemingly cynical warmongering of Churchill and FDR; the rueful resignation of German-Jewish diarist Viktor Klemperer to Clementine Churchill's hate-filled reference to "yellow Japanese lice." Baker offers no judgment, but he also fails to offer context: was Hitler's purported plan to send the Jews to Madagascar serious, or, as one leading historian has called it, a fiction? Baker gives no clue. Yet many incidents carry an emotional wallop-of anger and shock at actions on all sides-that could force one to reconsider means and ends even in a "good" war and to view the word "terror" in a very discomfiting context. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects World War, 1939-1945 -- Causes.
Jews -- Persecutions -- Europe -- History.
Publisher New York :Simon & Schuster,2008
Edition 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
Language English
Description 566 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [475]-545) and index.
ISBN 9781416567844
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