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DK's signature editorial aesthetic, combined with the searing testimony of Holocaust survivors collected by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute of Visual History and Education, makes for a sobering and visually compelling work of history. An extraordinary array of materials—Nazi propaganda, documentary photos, artwork, artifacts—are employed in the service of a broadly sweeping chronicle, beginning with Jewish exile from Jerusalem in 70 CE after Roman occupation and ending with modern-day Holocaust denial and the creation of memorials around the world. Each chapter includes a two-page spread entitled Voices, devoted largely to excerpts from 23 interviews in the Foundation's video archives (an accompanying 40-minute DVD contains the actual interviews). One survivor recalls the horror of being herded onto dark, overcrowded trains en route to Auschwitz; another describes how her mother told her about every book she ever read, every movie she'd ever seen as they hid in a grave-like hole under a pigsty. Wood's prose is economical and reportorial, and she clearly wants to reclaim the individuality and humanity of those devastated by this enormity (In many ways, numbers, especially very large numbers, mean nothing to us. What matters is each and every human being who was murdered by the Nazis) and she never resorts to lecturing readers on how they should feel. The book's detailed charts and maps contain almost too much information at times, often demanding very close scrutiny to fully decipher. Overall, however, the visual sensitivity and expert pacing serves this vital subject very well. Ages 11-up.

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Tags: Holocaust, ending, occupation, modernday, denial