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The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption?

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
The mysteries and misunderstandings of the symbol of the swastika are explained in this book. It analyzes the swastika's pre-Nazi religious and commercial uses (in all of its varied permutations), the Nazi appropriation and misuse of the form, and its contemporary applications as both a racist and an apolitical icon.
Hardcover, 167 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Allworth Press
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Jul 26, 2007 Marcus rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the well researched and informative history given by Heller, but was deeply disappointed with such an overly subjective, simple, glib conclusion. Moreover, this conclusions poses itself as the final word on the matter, rather than a departure point for further enquiry. Certainly it is difficult to find anything redeeming in a symbol largely associated with the ideas and promotion of Fascism, but outside of that doctrine this glyph has been highly revered for centuries. Indeed, m ...more
Donald McDonald
The subtitle is misleading

A small, but decent, review of the history, use, and symbolism of of the swastika. I was disappointed that the "irredeemable?" bit of the subtitle didn't get more in depth analysis. The author pretty well says as much in the post script. I suppose I was looking for a bit more in depth semiotics and political philosophy, and less polemic, with the conclusion all but reached ahead of time.
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Shelves: history
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Steven Heller writes a monthly column on graphic design books for The New York Times Book Review and is co-chair of MFA Design at the School of Visual Arts. He has written more than 100 books on graphic design, illustration and political art, including Paul Rand, Merz to Emigre and Beyond: Avant Garde Magazine Design of the Twentieth Century, Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design Second Ed ...more
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