Friday, July 23, 2010

Great American Literature- Kurt Vonnegut

I can't actually say that I am a great fan of either Vonnegut's writing or his politics (certainly not his politics), but he was a very well known and influential American novelist and a veteran of World War II. As a Private with the 106th Infantry Division, he was captured in December of 1944 at the Battle of the Bulge and remained a POW in Dresden until May 1945. His experiences as a soldier and as a POW shaped his political opinions and his writing. He was also influenced by early socialist labor leaders and was a lifetime member of the ACLU. The main reason I am featuring Vonnegut today is his outstanding short story Harrison Bergeron, which surprisingly enough, given his political leanings, is an indictment of egalitarianism and totalitarianism. You can (and should) read it in its entirety here.

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