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A unique historical testimony.

The wartime notes of a German officer and writer.

In 1920, Jünger (1895-1998), who had emerged from World War I as a decorated hero, published Storm and Steel, recounting his experiences as exhilarating and the war itself as mythic. As historian Elliot Neaman writes in an informative foreword, the book and subsequent essays “established Jünger’s reputation as one of Germany’s foremost authors of the war generation.” As the Nazis rose to power, Jünger found himself opposed to their racist views and refused to become involved in Nazi politics. Nevertheless, he served as an officer throughout World War II; in 1941, he was posted to occupied Paris. Jünger’s war journals convey in sensuous, lyrical—yet often chillingly detached—prose daily life in the French capital as well as dire conditions along the Eastern Front between Germany and Russia and the privations his wife and family endured at home in Germany. In the journals of 1941, the war seems far off, except when Jünger hears bombs burst in the distance or is required to witness executions. “My first inclination was to report in sick,” he admits, “but that seemed cheap to me. Furthermore, I thought to myself: maybe it is better that you are present rather than someone else.” Through these journals, we see Jünger consorting with resistors and collaborators, intellectuals and artists, drinking champagne, dining in sumptuous restaurants, and accompanying other officers to nightclubs, where naked women perform. Wandering around the city, he combs through antiquarian bookshops, stops in at galleries, discusses literature with friends, and acutely observes plants and flowers change with the seasons. He recounts in detail his dreams, nightmares, and musings on war and the “moral passivity typical of modern man.” He characterizes Hitler as a madman and his followers as complicit in a cult of hatred and tyranny. As the Allies prevail, however, he sees that success “is making them ruthless” and vengeful, deepening his condemnation of war.

A unique historical testimony.

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-231-12740-0

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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