`Graceful and gigantic...a fascinating tour through the subtlety, integrity and brave honesty of Todorov's thought.' New York Times Book Review. In Facing the Extreme, the internationally renowned writer and critic Tzvetan Todorov focuses on the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag to examine our capacity for moral behaviour. Drawing ...
`Graceful and gigantic...a fascinating tour through the subtlety, integrity and brave honesty of Todorov's thought.' New York Times Book Review. In Facing the Extreme, the internationally renowned writer and critic Tzvetan Todorov focuses on the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag to examine our capacity for moral behaviour. Drawing widely on the testimonies of eyewitnesses and survivors, Todorov creates a vivid portrait of the conduct of those who ran the camps and those who suffered their outrages. Challenging the widespread view that moral life is extinguished in such extreme circumstances, he uncovers instead a rich universe composed not of grand acts but of innumerable ordinary gestures of dignity and care, compassion and solidarity. Described as `a masterpiece' by Stanley Hoffman in Foreign Affairs, Facing the Extreme restores, in supple, eloquent prose, a dimension of these terrible periods that has been lost to historians and moral philosophers. `Facing the Extreme is very much more than a eulogy to courage; it is a song to life. One of the finest intellectual minds of our time goes beyond the question of why to answer how integrity comes to be.' Gitta Sereny.
Good in Good jacket. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. Good clean tight hardback with only very light overall wear. clean tight covers. first 17 pages have some scattered highlighting-the rest are clean and unmarked. dust jacket is good with some light edge rubbing and a couple of very small tears at edges. 307 pages.
Publishers Weekly, 1995-11-06 The concentration camp-including the Nazi death camps and the Soviet gulag-marks a defining attribute of our century, declares Todorov (The Conquest of America), and the extreme experiences there make questions of virtue and vice more stark. In this resonant analysis, the Bulgarian-born, Paris-based critic draws on reports from Primo Levi, Victor Frankl and others, as well as on such philosophers as Sartre and Rousseau. Todorov's meditation is dense but accessible, raising a rich set of questions, even as he occasionally interjects harsh self-scrutiny about his family's life under Communism. He delves into the distinction and link between heroic virtues (courage) and ordinary ones (caring), the ``banal roots'' of monstrous behavior and the morality of recounting horrors (he finds Gitta Sereny's biography of Albert Speer more worthy than Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah). Though the camp experience seems to confirm that human good never expired, Todorov fears that our technological mentality has made it easier to demonize and depersonalize others. This book was first published in France. BOMC, History Book Club, Reader's Subscription alternate. (Jan.)
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.