Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut will always have a special place in my heart. He was my first favorite liberal philosopher author with whom I fell madly in love. His writing honest, humorous, and incredibly intelligent. Vonnegut has got this knack for conveying more ideas in one short sentence than most writers can in an entire novel. His words are powerful and memorable. Although he held a pessimistic view of politics and the modern day world, he believed in the good of human kind.

Armageddon in Retrospec
t is a collection of essays published posthumously, one year after Vonnegut's death. The majority of the essays explore the meaning of war and it's impact on those involved. While there is a focus on WWII and the bombing of Dresden, Vonnegut's writing is as relevant today as it was fifty years ago. I especially liked the introduction, written by Kurt's son, Mark Vonnegut, where he paid tribute to his father and offered an interesting perspective of a man and his writing:

“He often said he had to be a writer because he wasn't good at anything else. He was not good at being an employee. Back in the mid-1950's, he was employed for Sports Illustrated, briefly. He reported back to work, was asked to write a short piece on a racehorse that jumped over a fence and tried to run away. Kurt stared at the blank piece of paper all morning and then typed, "The horse jumped over the fucking fence," and walked out, self-employed again.”
I have to say this wasn't my favorite collection of Vonnegut's - some stories outshine the others - but it's worth the read, nonetheless. If you're new to Vonnegut's essays, I would suggest starting with A Man Without A Country.

Publisher: Putnam, 2008


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  2. It isn't his best, but I enjoyed it immensely. I love Vonnegut, too.

  3. I've never read Vonnegut. How embarrassing is that? Very!

  4. I love him, but have not yet gotten to any of his essays. Looking forward to this one, love the title.