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The Art of Inventing Hope
Cover of The Art of Inventing Hope
The Art of Inventing Hope
Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel
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The Art of Inventing Hope offers an unprecedented, in-depth conversation between the world's most revered Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, and a son of survivors, Howard Reich. During the last four years of Wiesel's life, he met frequently with Reich in New York, Chicago and Florida—and spoke often on the phone—to discuss the subject that linked them: both Wiesel and Reich's father, Robert Reich, were liberated from Buchenwald death camp on April 11, 1945. What had started as an interview assignment from the Chicago Tribune quickly evolved into a friendship and a partnership. The dialogue that had begun with Reich's story, and had continued with a public interview, cried out to be expanded upon and developed. Reich and Wiesel believed their colloquy represented a unique exchange between two generations deeply affected by a cataclysmic event. Wiesel said to Reich, "I've never done anything like this before." The Art of Inventing Hope draws upon Wiesel's and Reich's recorded conversations, as well as Wiesel's thoughts on the Holocaust as expressed in his books and articles. Here Wiesel—at the end of his life—looks back on his ideas and writings on the Holocaust, synthesizing them in his conversations with Reich. The insights that Wiesel offered and Reich illuminates can help the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors understand their painful inheritance, while inviting everyone else to partake of Wiesel's wisdom on life, ethics and morality.
The Art of Inventing Hope offers an unprecedented, in-depth conversation between the world's most revered Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, and a son of survivors, Howard Reich. During the last four years of Wiesel's life, he met frequently with Reich in New York, Chicago and Florida—and spoke often on the phone—to discuss the subject that linked them: both Wiesel and Reich's father, Robert Reich, were liberated from Buchenwald death camp on April 11, 1945. What had started as an interview assignment from the Chicago Tribune quickly evolved into a friendship and a partnership. The dialogue that had begun with Reich's story, and had continued with a public interview, cried out to be expanded upon and developed. Reich and Wiesel believed their colloquy represented a unique exchange between two generations deeply affected by a cataclysmic event. Wiesel said to Reich, "I've never done anything like this before." The Art of Inventing Hope draws upon Wiesel's and Reich's recorded conversations, as well as Wiesel's thoughts on the Holocaust as expressed in his books and articles. Here Wiesel—at the end of his life—looks back on his ideas and writings on the Holocaust, synthesizing them in his conversations with Reich. The insights that Wiesel offered and Reich illuminates can help the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors understand their painful inheritance, while inviting everyone else to partake of Wiesel's wisdom on life, ethics and morality.
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About the Author-
  • Howard Reich has written for the Chicago Tribune since 1978 and joined the staff in 1983. He is the author of five books. Reich has won an Emmy Award and the Chicago Journalists Association named him Chicago Journalist of the Year in 2011.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 15, 2019
    A collection of final timeless reflections from Elie Wiesel (1928-2016).Chicago Tribune veteran Reich (Portraits in Jazz: 80 Profiles of Jazz Legends, Renegades and Revolutionaries, 2014, etc.), whose parents were survivors of the Holocaust, looks back on his greatest opportunity as a writer and journalist: numerous conversations with the Nobel laureate. This brief but moving work artfully intertwines Wiesel's words of wisdom with Reich's quest to further understand his own family's untold story. The author recalls a youth colored by his parents' trauma and yet lived in silence, as their experiences during the Holocaust were utterly unspoken topics. Only later in life, when Reich's father was dead and his mother was struggling with the delusional effects of PTSD, was he able to fully understand their stories. His fortuitous friendship with Wiesel helped him in this quest. In many ways, Reich's book is a reflection on the lives of the children of Holocaust survivors rather than the survivors themselves. This generation, raised in the shadow of the Holocaust but often without a clear picture of what it really meant for their parents, carries its own particular burden. It is a burden Reich feels keenly and which Wiesel fully appreciated. Beyond calling on the children to do away with feelings of guilt, Wiesel embraces their worth: "To be a child of survivors is to be miraculous. What had to be done for a child to be born! For the survivors to overcome fear." In their conversations, Reich and Wiesel cover many topics, including anti-Semitism, Israel, forgiveness, and faith. Wiesel's mindset is almost universally positive, and he never judges the conclusions of other survivors, consistently choosing a path of hope and compassion. Reich does an admirable job of complementing his subject's sage words with his own perspective without in any way detracting or distracting from it--no easy task yet one the author accomplishes with aplomb.Irreplaceable thoughts from a vanishing generation.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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