Other Topics => Entertainment => Topic started by: ER on March 04, 2022, 01:16:54 PM

Title: Human Smoke
Post by: ER on March 04, 2022, 01:16:54 PM
Anyone who thinks he or she knows how World War Two unfolded should read a book called Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker. I first read it when it came out and finished my third re-read last month.

I truly cannot recommend this book enough.

I typically dislike the iconoclasm of "revisionist history" wherein historians seem to want to undermine their predecessors of past generations by claiming they alone have gotten things right, but this is not quite that since it does not realign thinking, it presents little known facts, and does it with virtually zero author-intrusion, meaning people from the World War Two-era wrote their legacy in their own words, as reproduced verbatim.

The book is a series of direct quotes and first-hand articles, presented chronologically from the end of World War One up to 1942 (and ends with Baker pointing out most of those who died in the Second World War were still alive at that moment).

It is an eye opening and frequently shocking revelation about how different history presents the war compared to how it unfolded day by day.

I will say reading this record of the human capacity to stumble into conflicts makes me want to scream. Or maybe cry.

Title: Re: Human Smoke
Post by: indianasmith on March 04, 2022, 07:37:14 PM
I read it on your recommendation last year.
It is a powerful read.