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On the Web Thu Aug 12 2010

Aleksandar Hemon on Man's Inhumanity to Man

FiveBooks promises to make you an instant expert on any field--classical music, global security, chick lit--by reading five books an author recommends on that subject. Aleksandar Hemon, author of Nowhere Man and The Lazarus Project, recommends works on "Man's Inhumanity to Man," choosing texts based on their ability to complicate any emotional response, including empathy or moral superiority, to the horrors going on in the book. Two are about the Holocaust, one is about the Soviet Red Cavalry, the fourth is about scalp-hunters in Southwestern American territories, and the last is about slavery in the States. It's too easy to claim that the perpetrators are mad, says Hemon. In fact, the inhumanity is often planned, "a rational system, an economic system in which all participated in various ways."

 
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