One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps

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Little, Brown, Sep 19, 2017 - History - 480 pages
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A groundbreaking, haunting, and profoundly moving history of modernity's greatest tragedy: concentration camps.

For over 100 years, at least one concentration camp has existed somewhere on Earth. First used as battlefield strategy, camps have evolved with each passing decade, in the scope of their effects and the savage practicality with which governments have employed them. Even in the twenty-first century, as we continue to reckon with the magnitude and horror of the Holocaust, history tells us we have broken our own solemn promise of "never again."

In this harrowing work based on archival records and interviews during travel to four continents, Andrea Pitzer reveals for the first time the chronological and geopolitical history of concentration camps. Beginning with 1890s Cuba, she pinpoints concentration camps around the world and across decades. From the Philippines and Southern Africa in the early twentieth century to the Soviet Gulag and detention camps in China and North Korea during the Cold War, camp systems have been used as tools for civilian relocation and political repression. Often justified as a measure to protect a nation, or even the interned groups themselves, camps have instead served as brutal and dehumanizing sites that have claimed the lives of millions.

Drawing from exclusive testimony, landmark historical scholarship, and stunning research, Andrea Pitzer unearths the roots of this appalling phenomenon, exploring and exposing the staggering toll of the camps: our greatest atrocities, the extraordinary survivors, and even the intimate, quiet moments that have also been part of camp life during the past century.

"Masterly"-The New Yorker

A Smithsonian Magazine Best History Book of the Year

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AmphipodGirl - LibraryThing

This is an engrossing and important book. Journalist Andrea Pitzer has written a story of concentration camps from their origins at the very end of the 19th century through the beginnings of the 21st ... Read full review

One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps

User Review  - Book Verdict

Pitzer (The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov) seeks to build a unified picture of concentration camps as a tool of government in the modern age, beginning with the Spanish colonization of Cuba and ... Read full review


Born of Generals
Death and Genocide in Southern Africa
The First World War and the War on Civilians
Gulag Rising
The Architecture of Auschwitz
Increments of Evil
Stepchildren of the Gulag
Echoes of Empire
Bastard Children of the Camps
Guantánamo Bay and the World

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About the author (2017)

Andrea Pitzer is the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov. Her writing has appeared in USA Today, Slate, Lapham's Quarterly, and McSweeney's, among other publications. In 2009, she founded Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction site of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

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