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Short Synopsis
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.

Full Synopsis
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.

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

"[Dietz] lets the momentum build naturally, sometimes horrifyingly, sometimes poignantly, until the impact is stronger than it might even be in print." ---AudioFile

"Absolutely fascinating, engrossing. I can't imagine anyone...who won't be astonished and moved while reading Human Smoke." ---Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

"Serious and conscientious.... An eloquent and passionate assault on the idea that the deliberate targeting of civilians can ever be justified." ---The New York Times
New York Times Bestseller

National Book Critics Circle Good Read

Human Smoke

The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization

Author Nicholson Baker

Narrated by Norman Dietz

Publication date Aug 4, 2008

Running time 14 hrs

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