Pettegree explores the various roles that books have played in conflicts throughout the globe, from manuals on military strategy to political novels that helped push public opinion toward war, to the Nazis' use of book burnings. As Pettegree points out, the printed word has always been employed both as a weapon and as a force for peace.
Sprawling ... In cogent and steady prose, Pettegree recounts an array of historical moments ... Pettegree clearly possesses an exceptional breadth of knowledge, in addition to a skill for nuanced narrative and convincing arguments ... Often fascinating ... Pettegree’s fondness for detail is at times indulgent ... Evocative.
This is a big, eclectic, eccentric, and discursive book ... This is a long, loping read, a campaign to reveal functions of reading that we often take for granted. The results are expansive, rather than reductive, and well worth the fight, as long as you’re willing to learn a little about Prussian history along the way.