I’ve said this before, while its important that we learn about this material in school, we’re being fed information at a time when we just don’t care. I was in class in high school when we were introduced to some of the harsher subject matter of the second World War.. but I just didn’t care. As sad as that is, I was more concerned about getting home on Friday afternoon, switching on my Nintendo 64 and enjoying some Goldeneye or whatever I was playing at the time.
World War II had ended 50 years prior to when I was in the eleventh grade and I had no way to fathom it. However, now that I’m a little older, a little wiser (allegedly) and a little more willing to explore history, I’ve gained an interest in the past and how we got to this point.
Since high school, I’ve watched more than a few movies about WWII (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Inglorious Basterds, etc.) or generally that period in history. Now, I’m like some World War II sponge – I find it just mind blowing. The book looks at the life and observations of an American family living in Berlin during Hitler’s rise to power. It’s just stunning how almost everything he proposed had passed; stunning that a civilization would turn so quickly on a segment of the population. Hitler was truly a monster (not that I needed to tell you that) and Larson does a fine job building the atmosphere that any foreigner would be uncomfortable experiencing at the time. Narrative non fiction is a fantastic genre. This being my first real experience with it, I’m interested in reading some more. Larson seems to have a pretty impressive cannon of material for me to check out, so I shouldn’t be without it for long.
Its amazing how a few years can pass and I can become a totally different person in terms of interests. As a teen, you couldn’t give me this book and pay me to read it.. but at my age now, I paid someone for the chance to read it. This observation is really here nor there, I just thought I would bring it up.