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1. Weapon 2. Strategy 3. Land 4. Protection 5. We 6. I 7. Stone Editorial Remarks Notes Bibliography
Combining meticulous research with striking descriptions, Jorg Friedrich renders in acute detail the Allies' air campaign of systematic destruction of civilian life, cultural treasures, and industrial capacities in Germany's city landscape. He includes personal stories and firsthand testimony of German civilians, creating a portrait of unimaginable suffering, horror, and grief. He also draws on official military documents to unravel the reasoning behind the Allies' strikes.
J& ouml;rg Friedrich was born in Tyrolia in 1944 and grew up in the Ruhr District (Essen). A broadcaster in Berlin, Friedrich became a historian after he reported on the Majdanek Trial during the 1970s. His first comprehensive history of the prosecution of Nazi criminals in Germany, The Cold Amnesty (1984), was a bestseller in the Federal Republic. In 1993 he published a monograph on the forgotten Nuremberg Trial of the German High Command titled The Law of War: The German Army in Russia, which earned him a honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. The idea for The Fire came to Friedrich accidentally one night in February 2002, and since its publication, the book has been translated into ten languages, sparking debate worldwide.
"Exhaustive and harrowing Friedrich's aim seems to be not only to wrest the history of German suffering from the clutch of the far right but to rescue the glories of German history from the twelve years of Hitler's thousand-year Reich." -- Ian Buruma, New York Review of Books, German Edition " The Fire represents the continuation of Friedrich's generation's indictment of National Socialism& mdash;except now the finger is pointed at the Allies, and sympathy is extended to the civilian Germans who were their victims." -- The Nation "What W. G. Sebald lamented about the lack of open discourse on the air war appears to have been blown apart with the publication of The Fire." -- Noah Isenberg, Bookforum, German Edition "J& ouml;rg Friedrich's achievement in The Fire has been to tell this tale of death and destruction with a rare plasticity and vividness." -- German Historical Institute London Bulletin, German Edition "Riveting." -- TIME Europe , German Edition "[J& ouml;rg Friedrich] describes in stark, unrelenting and very literary detail what happened in city after city as the Allies dropped 80 million incendiary bombs on Germany... There is an edginess to Friedrich's writing and commentary, an emotional power." -- New York Times "J& ouml;rg Friedrich tells the story from the viewpoint of the bombed with... great skill and objectivity." -- Paul Johnson, The American Spectator "Thorough and methodical... Friedrich's book underscores that precision bombing is anything but a scientific enterprise." -- Stanley Hoffman, Foreign Affairs "Mr. Friedrich deserves credit for both his diligence and his descriptive powers." -- Economist "An indictment both of Hitler's appropriation of German history and of the Allies' destruction of a nation's culture... Thoughtful and detailed." -- Library Journal "This is a book that demands to be read, no matter how uncomfortable the experience." -- David Cesarani, The Independent "[A] haunting book forceful, incendiary." -- Atlantic Monthly "A well-documented piece of historical writing... [that] is also a poignant, lyrical and terrible account of human suffering." -- Adam R. Seipp, Houston Chronicle "A vivid and powerful critique of war... [ The Fire is] fascinating, ground-breaking, and thought-provoking." -- Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine "Recommended." -- Choice "A contribution to the German literature of remembrance; it is also a passionate denunciation of the excesses of the air war." -- Harold Dorn, Technology and Culture