Burning Books

Hardcover | June 15, 2008

byMatthew Fishburn

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The Nazi burning of the books in 1933 was one of the most infamous political spectacles of the twentieth century. In Berlin and all over Germany, Nazi officials and students organized elaborate parades and bonfires to mark their embrace of Hitler’s new government. Book burning has since become the symbol of any oppressive regime, and a modern taboo. As Heinrich Heine is often quoted: ‘Where one burns books, one will soon burn people’.

This original and provocative new work examines the impact of these fires, concentrating on the years between the Nazi outrages and the publication of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in 1953, a period in which book burning took hold of the popular imagination. Much more than simply the study of a single shocking event, Burning Books explores how deeply embedded the myths of book burning have become in our cultural and literary history, and illustrates the enduring appeal of a great cleansing bonfire.

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From the Publisher

The Nazi burning of the books in 1933 was one of the most infamous political spectacles of the twentieth century. In Berlin and all over Germany, Nazi officials and students organized elaborate parades and bonfires to mark their embrace of Hitler’s new government. Book burning has since become the symbol of any oppressive regime, and a...

MATTHEW FISHBURN is a bookseller with Hordern House Rare Books in Sydney, Australia. He has taught at the University of Sydney and the University of Western Sydney. Together with Mark Tewfik, he is currently working on a book investigating the graffiti written on bombs during the Second World War. This is his first book.Author's blog ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.58 × 6.36 × 0.89 inPublished:June 15, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230553281

ISBN - 13:9780230553286

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Table of Contents

List of Figures * List of Plates *Preface *Acknowledgments * Introduction * The Fear of Books * The Burning of the Books * The Library of the Burned Books * To Hell with Culture * Swing, they're burning books * Beauty for Ashes * Funeral Pyres * Postscript: The Path of Cinders * Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Matthew Fishburn offers an original and often disturbing perspective on a dark chapter in literary history. He has a genius for drawing unexpected connections and he writes with the kind of elegance that was long ago banished from most academic books."--Professor Jonathan Rose, author of The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes and editor of The Holocaust and the Book "A fascinating chronicle. What makes Burning Books so impressive is the author's going well beyond the usual instances."--John Sutherland, The Times