Synopses & Reviews
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.
Praised by critics and readers alike for his exquisitely observant eye and deft, inimitable prose, Baker has assembled a narrative within Human Smoke that unfolds gracefully, tragically, and persuasively. This is an unforgettable book that makes a profound impact on our perceptions of historical events and mourns the unthinkable loss humanity has borne at its own hand.
"This quite extraordinary book---impossible to put down, impossible to forget---may be the most compelling argument for peace ever assembled." ---Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman
Bestselling author Nicholson Baker, recognized as one of the most dexterous and talented writers in America today, has created a compelling work of nonfiction bound to provoke discussion and controversy—a wide-ranging, astonishingly fresh perspective on the political and social landscape that gave rise to World War II.
About the Author
Nicholson Baker has published seven novels, including the New York Times bestseller Vox and The Mezzanine. He has also written three works of nonfiction, including Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2002. A regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, Baker lives in Maine. Norman Dietz is a writer, an actor, and a solo performer. Since 1962, he has toured coast to coast, presenting his work before audiences all over the United States and Canada. He is the author of the comic novel Nailing It, as well as Fables & Vaudevilles & Plays and The Lifeguard and the Mermaid, collections of his work for the stage. Norman has also performed frequently on radio and television, and he has recorded over 150 audiobooks, many of which have earned him awards from AudioFile magazine, the ALA, and Publishers Weekly. Additionally, AudioFile named Norman one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.