If This Is a Man • The Truce

Ranked #13 in Italian, Ranked #24 in Holocaustsee more rankings.

'With the moral stamina and intellectual poise of a twentieth-century Titan, this slightly built, dutiful, unassuming chemist set out systematically to remember the German hell on earth, steadfastly to think it through, and then to render it comprehensible in lucid, unpretentious prose. He was profoundly in touch with the minutest workings of the most endearing human events and with the most contemptible. What has survived in Levi's writing isn't just his memory of the unbearable, but also, in The Periodic Table and The Wrench, his delight in what made the world exquisite to... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of If This Is a Man • The Truce from the world's leading experts.

Esther Perel One of the most powerful books one ought to read. (Source)

Aleksandar Hemon Levi regains reason, by treating his experience in Auschwitz as something that is subject to rational analysis. (Source)

Simon Mawer La Tregua is an extraordinary book. Levi wrote his first book, If This Is a Man, immediately after being repatriated to Italy after his time in Auschwitz, so that book was much more vivid. He wrote this book 20 years later and it is much more considered and, in many ways, more carefully constructed. The events occur after the liberation of Auschwitz and the book is almost a picaresque novel. Initially the prisoners are kept in the camp, but they are fed and more or less looked after. It’s a very curious slant on the whole period and is actually very funny in places. Later he undergoes this... (Source)

Andrew Cayley Primo Levi was an Italian Jew and he was arrested as a member of the anti-fascist resistance towards the end of the war, after Germany had occupied Italy. He was deported to Auschwitz. He survived and then he wrote a book about his experiences there. This really is a book that everybody should be made to read because he very sensitively describes what people become in a concentration camp. (Source)

Kate McLoughlin It’s hard to believe that the human frame can survive under such circumstances, let alone survive to write something like this. (Source)

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