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If This Is a Man and The Truce by Primo Levi
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If This Is a Man and The Truce (original 1947; edition 1991)

by Primo Levi

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1,417135,339 (4.46)114
Member:vetsnoyavich
Title:If This Is a Man and The Truce
Authors:Primo Levi
Info:Little, Brown Book Group (1991), Paperback, 400 pages
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If this is a man and The truce by Primo Levi (1947)

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English (12)  Italian (1)  All languages (13)
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Primo Levi was a 24 year old Italian Jew when he was sent to Auschwitz in February of 1944, with 650 other Italian Jews. He survived there for almost a year: in January of 1945, the camp was abandoned by the Germans, and shortly thereafter the Red Army liberated the camp. Only 20 others in his group survived with him. This book records his experiences in Auschwitz in clear, measured, and horrifyingly evocative prose. The camp was designed to grind all self-respect, all morality, all honor and all love out of its inmates. Amazingly, given the constant cruelty and deprivation to which the inmates were subjected, it did not always succeed. Levi survived because another man brought him soup every day, without thought of gain: Levi says of him "This was a man". So too was Levi, who retained the ability to think of others throughout his ordeal. This is a very hard book to read, but it should be read. It shows vividly what is worst about humanity, and also shows how goodness can -- occasionally -- survive that worst. ( )
  annbury | Mar 17, 2014 |
I'm so glad I read this, and yet it's hard to say I "enjoyed" it, due to the subject matter, however, what I can say is this book is an important one to read, as it tells a different story from that which we usually hear about life and death in the concentration camps. Primo Levi survived 11 months and this book explains just what he had to do in order to survive, and his long journey home after the war had ended. I learned so much from reading this, which I believe was the author's intention. ( )
  shirleybell | Sep 26, 2013 |
How could this be anything but harrowing? And yet the author has survived, kept some portion of humanity about him, the tiniest shred. Necessary. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Primo Levi's, If This is a Man, is the chilling recount of a time spent as a Jewish prisoner of the Holocaust. Though each account is tragic and horrifically detailed, the novel is difficult to put down. The central theme is an exploration of human nature and how tragedy leads to "the demolition of a man." Levi's language is dense and at times difficult to understand, but the truth to his words is invaluable. ( )
  Yr10lit | Oct 13, 2010 |
If this is a man is a fascinating, yet harrowing book about life and death in Auschwitz. Writing with laser like precision, Levi lays out how it was without wallowing in emotion. Harrowing, yet very readable. The Truce describes his experience getting home from Auschwitz, much of the time spent in Russia awaiting evacuation. This book is less harrowing, but just as insightful. Many moments of amusement, some of which leaked out as stifled laughter on my train home. Levi's insightful thoughts and comments in the afterword (in which he answers many questions commonly posed to him by his readers) is well worth reading too. ( )
  jvgravy | May 9, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Primo Leviprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bench, CarolineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chagall, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, StuartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If this is a man: I was captured by the Fascist Militia on 13 December 1943.
The truce: In the first days of January 1945, hard pressed by the Red Army, the Germans hastily evacuated the Silesian mining region.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Includes two works: If This Is a Man (US: Survival in Auschwitz) and The Truce (US: The Reawakening).
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Very heavy R/R. on remaining copies; the Truce is the story of Levi's 20 months in Auschwitz, now a major new film; the first is also a Holocaust memoir by the industrial chemist and author.

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