Captured by Germans after the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, soldier Kurt Vonnegut and other prisoners of war were taken to Dresden, Germany, where they were confined in a cement shed used for butchering livestock and called "Schlachthof-funf" or "Slaughterhouse-Five." Several weeks later, American and British planes firebombed Dresden, killing 135,000 civilians and leveling the city. Amazingly, the prisoners survived, by taking cover in an underground meat locker. Vonnegut spent two decades coming to grips with the experience, producing this classic American novel as his ultimate response to the ordeal. In this new collection of critical essays, students of literature will find information about the author's life and other works, an index for quick reference, notes on the contributing writers, and an introductory essay by noted literary scholar Harold Bloom.