MY BROTHER DEATH by Cyrus Sulzberger


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One must approach this as an extraordinary feat of research and scholarship or else be overwhelmed by a brooding sense of the macabre, not to say the morbid, obsession that would seem to have activated the choice of investigation. For here with an oddly objective, impersonal kind of dedication (the two not here mutually exclusive), the well known journalist has explored Death in all its aspects, the ways in which men have died, the thoughts men have had about death, the religious, philosophical, political and natural causes. So many aspects deal with man's inhumanity to man, even in our own time (perhaps especially in our own time which we call civilized), that there is so continual a sense of shock that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are taken in stride. Natural disasters such as plague and famine, fire and earthquake, volcanic eruption and flood, pale into insignificance alongside religious wars, the long period of the Inquisition, and the cold-blooded ritual sacrifices. What great figures of history have thought and said about death is skillfully woven into the overall pattern; these deal with concepts as well as personal reactions. How men- and women- have died is here recorded once again. The market- definitely not for those seeking a personal philosophy or help in meeting death; rather for those wanting to explore the history of mankind, from the end approach and for those seeking to understand better the differences in viewpoint of world religions on death and immortality (and possibly for the ghouls who enjoy wallowing in horrors).

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 1960
ISBN: 0548439117
Publisher: Harper