Monday, January 16, 2006

The Power of Oprah - "Night" by Elie Wiesel

This afternoon Oprah Winfrey announced the 57th book title in her Book Club, Night by Elie Wiesel. Yesterday, it was ranked # 34,424 on Amazon's best selling titles. This evening it is #1.

I first read this book when I was either in junior high or high school and I now recall the raw shock at what I was reading. Tonight I read it again in full as its only about 110 pages including the introductions in my copy. The power of the narrative is still amazing to me. My wife, who at first was amazed how fast I read this, asked me if I was shocked by the horrors described within. My answer is yes and no.

Yes as I am amazed how one individual could recall the level of detail he put to paper. No due to my involvement as a amateur genealogist and my work arranging for the translation of a Yizkor Book of my grandfather's village in Moldova where I read many many accounts of death marches and killings equal to that described in Night.

Oprah has called for "Night" to be required reading in every high school and it should be as there is no better synopsis of the horrors that humans can bring upon other humans. Oprah's essay contest asks if the book has relevance today. To that I offer one word: Darfna.

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