Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Human Smoke, Page 66

    Captain Philip S. Mumford, a former British officer in Iraq, joined the Peace Pledge Union. He gave a speech about why. "What is the difference between throwing 500 babies into a fire and throwing fire from aeroplanes on 500 babies?" he asked. "There is none." It was January 5, 1937.
An example of the stark prose Nicholson Baker employs in Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization to assemble what a review calls "an eloquent and passionate assault on the idea that the deliberate targeting of civilians can ever be justified" and another a book that is "at once very easy to read and very hard to digest."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.