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4.0 

The Escape Artist

By Jonathan Freedland
The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award · New York Times Bestseller

"A brilliant and heart-wrenching book, with universal and timely lessons about the power of informationand misinformation. Is it possible to stop mass murder by telling the truth?" — Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

A complex hero. A forgotten story. The first witness to reveal the full truth of the Holocaust . . .

Award-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Jonathan Freedland tells the astonishing true story of Rudolf Vrba, the man who broke out of Auschwitz to warn the world of a truth too few were willing to hear.

In April 1944, Rudolf Vrba became one of the very first Jews to escape from Auschwitz and make his way to freedom—among only a tiny handful who ever pulled off that near-impossible feat. He did it to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world—and to warn the last Jews of Europe what fate awaited them. Against all odds, Vrba and his fellow escapee, Fred Wetzler, climbed mountains, crossed rivers, and narrowly missed German bullets until they had smuggled out the first full account of Auschwitz the world had ever seen—a forensically detailed report that eventually reached Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and the Pope.

And yet too few heeded the warning that Vrba had risked everything to deliver. Though Vrba helped save two hundred thousand Jewish lives, he never stopped believing it could have been so many more.

This is the story of a brilliant yet troubled man—a gifted “escape artist” who, even as a teenager, understood that the difference between truth and lies can be the difference between life and death. Rudolf Vrba deserves to take his place alongside Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler, and Primo Levi as one of the handful of individuals whose stories define our understanding of the Holocaust.

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130 Reviews

4.0
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“Reading this book at this time was jarring. I learned things about the experience of prisoners in Auschwitz that I had never heard before and learned about how the world responded to mass murder then—and how it’s not very different from the way the world is responding now to what is happening in Gaza. The parallels are many, even when we have direct insight into the injustices happening today.”
Characters change and growDescriptive writingDark settingHeartbreakingThought-provoking
“20 Pages Score: 8.2/10”
Anxious Face with sweat“The Escape Artist is a really great non-fiction read that I recommend to everyone who loves the genre. It's told in several parts that extend throughout Rudi's life. I have a weird relationship with this book because we see someone who is very strong, yet very flawed. Interesting dynamic with the questions: Did he become this person because he survived? OR Did he survive because he's always been this person? At the end of the day, like us in our lives, he did all he could. And he found his way of coming to terms with it all at his own pace.”
Characters change and growDark settingHeartbreaking
Slightly Smiling Face“For the first 2/3 of this book, I was undoubtedly going to give a score of either 4.5 or 5 stars.To that point, the story of Rudolph Vrba in inspiring and suspenseful. I didn’t want to put this book down. Then, the final third of the book hit. (spoilers) The last third of the book centers around Rudolph’s life post-war. To put it simply, it’s character assassination. Rather than focusing on his harrowing story, we spend most the waning pages focused on his life exploits and his struggles to re-integrate into society. I would still recommend everyone to give it a try, but didn’t stick the landing for me.”

About Jonathan Freedland

Journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Freedland is a weekly columnist for the Guardian, where he edits the paper’s op-ed pages and chairs its Editorial Board. He was previously the Guardian’s Washington correspondent. In 2014 he won the George Orwell Prize for Journalism. He lives in London with his wife and their two children. @Freedland.

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