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A History of Bombing
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A History of Bombing

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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  19 reviews
On November 1, 1911, over the North African oasis Tagiura, Lieutenant Giulio Cavotti leaned out of the cockpit of his primitive aircraft and dropped a Haasen hand grenade. Thus began one of the most devastating military tactics of the twentieth century: aerial bombing. With this point of entry, Sven Lindqvist, the author of the highly acclaimed "Exterminate All the Brutes, ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by New Press, The (first published January 28th 2000)
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Eric
We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people…but we can make war so terrible, make them so sick of war, that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it. (General Sherman). That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know…


A History of Bombing is a history of aerial bombardment--the most indiscriminate, politically punitive, and frankly terroristic style of fighting—in three hundred and ninety-nine vignettes. Lindqvist calls his book “a labyrinth with twenty-two
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Henry
Apr 08, 2008 Henry rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: liberals, radicals, and the historically ignorant
This was the first Lindqvist book I read, and it simply knocked me out. It combines a playful "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of structure and mixes history with cultural analysis and memoir in brief, arresting paragraphs. It is filled with pacifist outrage, but more importantly, it continues the author's journey into the dark underbelly of European and American culture, showing how the flip side of our technologies, philosophies and ideologies -- the achievements of our civilization, in other ...more
Mark
Another amazing Lindqvist book that tells the tale of aerial bombing and its moral effect on civilization. The structure is wild and experimental, kind of like a nonfiction choose your own adventure, with the author's usual melange of memories, dreams, history and literary criticism. Lindqvist does a great job of demonstrating how the greater technology of modern warfare has actually increased our collective barbarism. This is cultural history with a passionate moral compass.
Alec
This book has a much wider range of sources and implications than the title would suggest. Lindqvist deftly maneuvers between science, philosophy, international law, history, and science fiction to explain how we reached this point. Though the narrative style takes some getting used to, it eventually becomes clear why each narrative is separated and how they interact with one another.

My big takeaway from the book comes from its title. It's not THE History, but rather A History of Bombing. Petty
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C.R. Miller
I'm pretty sure I finished this book. Lindqvist's unique navigation system didn't work out so well for me; I often lost track of which section I was in when I last put the book down, making it difficult to find the way forward or back. That said, I think this should be required reading, if not for everyone, then at least all Americans and Brits. Ok, let's throw in the French and Italians, too. Before reading, though, I suggest my fellow countrymen well scrub from their brains all the "American H ...more
Gabriel
Sven talks about bombing, the dates of special bombing inventions and events. It talks about the effects on bombing and how many people it involves. You don't know but bombing effects everyone! Even the bombers family! Imagine the guilt you would have if someone in your family bombed and injured someone let alone kill! The book tells the reader everyone from when the first bomb was made to when they were launched from air and everything inbetween.

I picked this book simply for one reason; the fa
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Shaun
This was a consistently jarring book, but I couldn't put it away without finishing it. Lindqvist pulls equally from historical anecdotes on the birth of flight (quickly followed by the idea that things could be hurled from the sky) and the literary threads that helped shape public thought on aviation, advances in military technology, and power. Maybe more than anything, I kept putting the book down and feeling thankful that I could ride my bike to one of many part time gigs without worrying abou ...more
Brooks
The book is divided into 399 sections, ordered mostly by chronology, and at the end of most of those is an arrow pointing you to the next suggested section. The path jumps around a fair bit through the timeline, but the overarching layout is still chronological (WWI to WWII to Korea to Vietnam...), which made me wonder whether this narrative method was merely a gimmick.

There were interesting ideas here about the way bombs have been used to divorce the actors from the action. Especially as the b
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John Dorcey
The information and resources provided by the author were outstanding.

The book's layout, or format, made it a challange to enjoy reading. The book is best described as a series of short articles - some only a paragraph long, others several pages long - in a sporadic order. You then were expected to jump back and forth, from article to article to follow the author's preferred sequence.
Alarra
Very idiosyncratic, original ‘history’ book, tracking the use of racism and colonialism to oppress minority cultures through warfare. It’s chronologically laid out in sections, but you’re asked to read following the pathway set out by the author as he builds his argument in a very detailed, esoteric way.
Andrew
Man's inhumanity to man is well documented in this unusually compiled book. Short sections are listed in chronological order, but you read the book in various strings of history that jump around the book. This is information that the blissfully ignorant probably couldn't handle.
Erica
Very good book and incredibly eye opening. The organization is very unique and a little hard to get used to but otherwise this is a worthwhile read!
Soopaseb
A powerful review of the means and meanings of mass destruction for western civilization. Shocking sir !
Jeremy Hornik
A hypertext history of bombing, the humanitarian crises it creates, and the low military effect it has.
Julie
A brutal book. Every American should read it. It did make me feel nauseaus reading it.
Jose
Awesome. A must read for everyone. Should be mandatory in high school.
Anselm
An uplifting tale with something for everybody.
Fletcher
Dark, but the best book that I read this year.
Julian
Amazing nonlinear military history
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Dr. Sven Lindqvist is a Swedish author.

He holds a PhD in History of literature from Stockholm University (his thesis, in 1966, was on Vilhelm Ekelund) and a 1979 honorary doctorate from Uppsala University. In 1960–1961, he worked as cultural attaché at the Swedish embassy in Beijing, China. From 1956–86 he was married to Cecilia Lindqvist, with whom he had two children. He has been married to the
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More about Sven Lindqvist...
"Exterminate All the Brutes": One Man's Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One's Land Desert Divers Exterminate All the Brutes: &, Desert Divers Bench Press

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