The Infernal Library by Daniel José Older audiobook

The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy

By Daniel Kalder
Read by Chris Andrew Ciulla

Macmillan Audio
15.44 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $32.99
    or 2 Credits

    ISBN: 9781427294364

The Infernal Library is a harrowing audiobook tour of dictator literature in the twentieth-century, featuring the soul-killing prose and poetry of Hitler, Mao, and many more, which shows how books have sometimes shaped the world for the worse. Since the days of the Roman Empire dictators have written books. But in the twentieth-century despots enjoyed unprecedented print runs to (literally) captive audiences. The titans of the genre—Stalin, Mussolini, and Khomeini among them—produced theoretical works, spiritual manifestos, poetry, memoirs, and even the occasional romance novel and established a literary tradition of boundless tedium that continues to this day. How did the production of literature become central to the running of regimes? What do these books reveal about the dictatorial soul? And how can books and literacy, most often viewed as inherently positive, cause immense and lasting harm? Putting daunting research to revelatory use, journalist Daniel Kalder asks and brilliantly answers these questions. Marshalled upon the beleaguered shelves of The Infernal Library are the books and commissioned works of the century’s most notorious figures. Their words led to the deaths of millions. Their conviction in the significance of their own thoughts brooked no argument. It is perhaps no wonder then, as Kalder argues, that many dictators began their careers as writers.

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Summary

Summary

A BookPage Top Pick for March

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week

The Infernal Library is a harrowing audiobook tour of dictator literature in the twentieth-century, featuring the soul-killing prose and poetry of Hitler, Mao, and many more, which shows how books have sometimes shaped the world for the worse.

Since the days of the Roman Empire dictators have written books. But in the twentieth-century despots enjoyed unprecedented print runs to (literally) captive audiences. The titans of the genre—Stalin, Mussolini, and Khomeini among them—produced theoretical works, spiritual manifestos, poetry, memoirs, and even the occasional romance novel and established a literary tradition of boundless tedium that continues to this day.

How did the production of literature become central to the running of regimes? What do these books reveal about the dictatorial soul? And how can books and literacy, most often viewed as inherently positive, cause immense and lasting harm? Putting daunting research to revelatory use, journalist Daniel Kalder asks and brilliantly answers these questions.

Marshalled upon the beleaguered shelves of The Infernal Library are the books and commissioned works of the century’s most notorious figures. Their words led to the deaths of millions. Their conviction in the significance of their own thoughts brooked no argument. It is perhaps no wonder then, as Kalder argues, that many dictators began their careers as writers.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“With a nimble style and an eye for leaden prose…Kalder’s work is quite an accomplishment, and is the one book people interested in the terrible writing of dictators should read.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A compelling examination of why bad minds create bad writing, and therefore a valuable read for anyone interested in literature―or the world, in fact…Kalder’s dry humour makes The Infernal Library a fun tour de force through the mad history of the twentieth century and the present.” Norman Ohler, New York Times bestselling author
“Kalder spent years reading the works of dictators…teasing out some fresh insights and analysis.” Foreign Policy

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Daniel José Older

Author Bio: Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of several series, including the young-adult series The Shadowshaper Cypher, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and the middle-grade historical fantasy Dactyl Hill Squad. He won the International Latino Book Award and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Shadowshaper was named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read.

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Author Bio: Daniel Kalder

Author Bio: Daniel Kalder

Daniel Kalder is the author of The Infernal Library, Lost Cosmonaut, and Strange Telescopes. He is also a journalist who has contributed to Esquire. the London Guardian, London Times, Dallas Morning News, and many other publications. Originally from Fife, Scotland, he lived in Moscow for ten years and currently resides in Texas.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 15.44
Audience: Adult
Language: English