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READ & DOWNLOAD ✓ Mother Night ↠ [PDF / Epub] ☆ Mother Night Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. – Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense American Howard W Campbell Jr a spy during World War II is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal But is he really guilty In this brilliant Mother Night is a daring challS now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal But is he really guilty In this brilliant book rife with true g. When most people think of Kurt Vonnegut the novels Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle immediately come to mind It's a shame that people aren't familiar with Mother Night a novel in which Vonnegut explores the nature of moral ambiguity and what high minded ideals we sacrifice on the altar of war It's a skillful blend of Vonnegut's trademark dark humor and philosophical musings about human morality as observed through the lens of war To put it simply this is some good stuffSitting in an Israeli jail and writing his memoirs Howard Campbell awaits trial for war crimes as a Nazi in World War II As Howard himself says I am an American by birth a Nazi by reputation and a nationless person by inclination 1 And this is the root of Howard's problem he has no true identity As he ruminates on his past we see how the apolitical Howard was drawn into events that eclipsed the simple life he longed to live as an artist writing plays for his muse and wife the lovely Helga Howard's situation is a uniue one An American who moved to Germany as a child and seamlessly assimilated into German culture prior to any rumblings of war Howard makes the perfect candidate for an American spy However to remain above suspicion Howard must align himself with the Nazi cause by pretending to be a Nazi propagandist eventually becoming the voice of the Reich through his radio broadcasts Through a series of coughs sneezes and sniffs Howard sends coded information out to the Americans at the same time he spews vile invective against the Jewish peopleSo what's the problem He was a good guy right That's how it would normally be perceived but as Vonnegut cautions We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be v Maintaining this dual identity weighs heavily upon Howard in the years after the war which robbed him of everything his family his friends his art and his Helga Howard excelled as a propagandist so good in fact his father in law tells him that Howard not Hitler and not Goebbels convinced him to become a Nazi Howard's American handler even claims Campbell was one of the most vicious sons of bitches who ever lived 188 Knowing that it was his words and his voice that convinced so many to hate in the name of God is a guilt that Howard can never alleviate especially given that his communications with the Americans never took the form of words He never knew what information he was passing on to the Americans nor what if any good came from it In the end he can never be certain if the good he did outweighed or at least balanced out the evil his words inspired in the hearts of men The uestion is do pure motivations absolve heinous outcomes As Howard's past begins to catch up with him he must confront these uestions and try to determine who Howard Campbell has become in the shadow of war I think what is most intriguing about the novel is that Howard Campbell is the ultimate unreliable narrator A man who is skilled with words and at shaping the perceptions of others it's important to remember that in this metafiction it is Howard Campbell writing his own life's story Even in the end we cannot be certain whether or not we come to know the real Howard Campbell as the resulting narrative may be Campbell's masterwork of propaganda rewriting his own history with an eye to posterity Howard Campbell may be a fiction created by the man himself a constantly shifting personality recreating himself to fit the times in which he lives After all we become what we pretend to beCross posted at This Insignificant Cinder


Allows humor Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all. This is the best Vonnegut I’ve read so far American Nazi Howard W Campbell Jr is awaiting trial on war crimes A traitor to the American people Campbell is responsible for the deliberate spread of damaging propaganda throughout Germany and its occupied territories during World War II He is an evil dangerous man who is undoubtedly guilty of high treasonOr is heAs the account of Campbell’s life in Germany unfolds much is revealed about his motives the benign seuence of events leading to his becoming a member of the Nazi Party and the identity of the actual organization from which he draws his paycheck United States intelligence So as it turns out Howard W Campbell Jr is a spy He is an American hero wrongly accused and undoubtedly deserving of complete exonerationOr is heThe distinction here between villain and hero is a line that is wonderfully blurred by Vonnegut who delivers his story with perfunctory prose and offers up one surprising twist after another until the novel’s depressing conclusion Interestingly Vonnegut introduces this story with a uote that comes to define Campbell and the ultimate “moral” of Mother Night perfectly We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be As an aside I’ve heard a lot of reviewers refer to Campbell as a double agent Although I’m not exactly sure what ualifies for “double agency” I do think it involves being a secret member of the secret organization you are trying to secretly infiltrateso you can learn their secrets So having cleared that up I think it’s likely that Campbell is just a plain old mole

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Mother NightMother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense American Howard W Campbell Jr a spy during World War II i. The thing I love best about Kurt Vonnegut is that he was both the ultimate cynic and the ultimate humanist What better character for him to create to embody those views than a Nazi with good intentionsHoward W Campbell Jr was an American citizen who grew up in Germany and became a prominent Nazi thanks to his virulent anti Semitic propaganda However Howard had actually been recruited before the war began to be an American spy who provided vital intelligence to the Allies via codes hidden in his freuent radio broadcasts Years after the war has ended Howard recounts the story as he is being held in Israel awaiting trial for war crimes As he explains what happened before during and after the war Howard repeatedly touches on the unasked uestion that haunts his life Does pretending to be evil in the service of a good cause still make you evilI had always felt alone in thinking that his was actually Vonnegut’s best book so I was happy to be validated by the comments of several other Goodreaders sharing the same thought Vonnegut’s gift was looking at the world with clear gaze and acknowledging that people were pretty much shit but still having enough compassion and empathy to look for moments of dignity He did it with that that uniue bittersweet sense of humor that allowed him to write about the horrors of something like the Holocaust and give it a tone of a very wise man shaking his head with a bitter chuckle at a dark sick joke