Facing the Extreme
Moral Life in the Concentration Camps
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Facing the Extreme by Tzvetan Todorov
Book DescriptionThe Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulags provide the context for Tzvetan Todorov's unparalleled examination of the human capacity for moral life. Drawing on a striking array of documents, from little-known memoirs by eyewitnesses and survivors to the works of Primo Levi and Jetty Hillesum, Eugenia Ginzburg and Albert Speer, Todorov reconstructs 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 was extinguished in the extreme circumstances of the camps, he uncovers instead a rich moral universe composed not of grand acts of heroism but of innumerable ordinary gestures of dignity and care, compassion and solidarity. These 'everyday virtues', Todorov argues, allowed inmates to survive morally intact in the most immoral and inhuman of conditions.A complex and profound meditation, "Facing the Extremes" restores a lost dimension to this anguished history, even as it offers an eloquent plea for the recognition of everyday virtues as a basis for contemporary morality.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780805042641
(235mm x 159mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Publish Date: 1-Apr-1997
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Tzvetan Todorov
Inner Enemies of Democracy, Hardback (September 2014)
The political history of the twentieth century can be viewed as the history of democracy s struggle against its external enemies: fascism and communism. This struggle ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet regime.
Totalitarian Experience, Hardback (October 2011)
Recounts the author's own experiences with totalitarianism in his native Bulgaria, offering a historical look at communism. This title reveals the essence of totalitarian ideology, the characteristics of daily life under communism, and the irony of democratic messianism.
Limits of Art, Hardback (December 2010)» View all books by Tzvetan Todorov
Explores the complex relations between art, politics, and ethics. This book traces the intimate relationship between avant-garde art and radical politics in pre-revolutionary Russia, pre-fascist Italy, and pre-Nazi Germany. It re-examines the age-old question of what can be expected from art and whether it should be emancipated from ethics.
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Author Biography - Tzvetan Todorov
Tzvetan Todorov is the director of research at the Centre National de Recherches in Paris and the author of many highly acclaimed works, including "The Conquest of America."
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