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Night (Night) Paperback – January 16, 2006
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died.
“A slim volume of terrifying power.” ―The New York Times
“Required reading for all of humanity.” ―Oprah
“Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art.” ―Curt Leviant, Saturday Review
“To the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him so moving a record.” ―Alfred Kazin
“What makes this book so chilling is not the pretense of what happened but a very real description of every thought, fear and the apathetic attitude demonstrated as a response . . . Night, Wiesel's autobiographical masterpiece, is a heartbreaking memoir. Wiesel has taken his painful memories and channeled them into an amazing document which chronicles his most intense emotions every step along the way.” ―Jose Del Real, Anchorage Daily News
“As a human document, Night is almost unbearably painful, and certainly beyond criticism.” ―A. Alvarez, Commentary
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It's not very long but it didn't need to be. It is heart wrenching and infuriating and inspiring and about a million other adjectives I could think of... but that's the kind of feeling we need to experience when we're reading about this type of horror. The real life, actual horror people inflict on one another, sick, twisted, wretched, heartbreaking and utterly disgustingness of what Nazi Germany really did.
Elie survived, that in itself is a miracle, that he chose to share that terrible chapter of his life with all of us so that we may learn, that's his gift to us. Don't waste that.
It only takes good men to do nothing for evil to prevail. Keep your eyes open, people.
"If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme" Hal Lindsey
As an awake aware American citizen I couldn't help but find some parallels in current events that seem to building towards a big govt. take over. I noticed how human nature adapted to each level of control with complacency, (the barb wire of their town, calling it a ghetto, wearing stars). Until cattle cars pulled up. There were warnings all along but the controlled were not thinking of the big scenario, who could even imagine it?? But, why should anyone think to be taken from homes and put in "work camps" by authorities would be an o.k. event on any level? We must be vigilant to hold our public figures fair and accountable for their actions now, or we are destined to be selected for another genocide due to greed, population control, believing in a true GOD.
Overriding religion, friends and love of family...in this secular materialistic world we inhabit, everyone needs to be reminded of the evil we as humans are capable of inflicting on those we consider "other" so that it never happens again...although to a lesser degree it has and co.iTunes to occur.
There are so many memorable scenes in this short book: the journey in the cramped cattle cars; the arrival at the camp; the sight, sound, and ash of the crematorium; the hanging of a child; the crusts of bread; the forced march when the camp was abandoned at war’s end; the gratuitous murders even in a place where gratuitous murder was organizing principle. And there are so many painful moments, most having to do with loss: the loss of God, the loss of identity, the loss of friends and family, in the end the loss of his father, too, who was his mainstay through most of the ordeal. But there are also moments of remembering that humanity must be preserved. As the camp was being evacuated, the prisoner’s stopped long enough to clean their prison camp. Why? To let the liberating army know “that here lived men and not pigs.” I was reminded of Italian chemist Primo Levi’s account of his imprisonment in Auschwitz, If This Is a Man, in which he describes the ex-army sergeant who washed daily, even though the water was dirty and he had only his soiled clothes to dry himself with. But he did it, and encouraged others to do the same, for the sake of dignity more than cleanliness, to remain human and to prevent the machine of war, imprisonment, and dehumanization from turning prisoners into beasts, as its masters wished it to do.
This book is a ringing call to remember, and to resist injustice, ignorance, and apathy. As Wiesel said in his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 (reprinted at the end of this book): “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”