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Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps (1991)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805042644, Paperback)It is an understatement to call the Nazi and Soviet death camps "outposts of hell on earth," as we know from the testimony of a powerful body of witnesses. Todorov looks inside these camps, and there he finds hope for all humankind, arguing that innumerable instances of heroism, self-sacrifice, and caring show that "moral reactions are spontaneous, omnipresent, and eradicable only with the greatest violence" and that "morality cannot disappear without a radical mutation of the human species." Even in a regime of terror and depersonalization, the ordinary virtues survived and sometimes even flourished, Todorov maintains. His wide-ranging study bears him out, and it makes for fascinating reading.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:20 -0400)
An examination of the human capacity for moral life; reconstructs a vivid portrait of those who ran the camps and those who suffered their outrages. Also offers an elequent plea for the recognition of everyday virtues as a basis for contemporary morality.
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