In his final book, published in 1986 a year before his suicide, the Italian chemist Primo Levi sums up issues and lessons of the Holocaust, based on his own experiences and extensive readings of the literature. His themes involve memory, how people lie to themselves and others, what enables some to survive and others not. He studies the psychology of victims and oppressors, particularly how they resemble and collaborate with one another as well as how they differ. He tackles the classic questions "why didn't you escape/rebel/leave beforehand?" The final chapter relates the letters he received from Germans after the publication of his personal Holocaust memoir, _Survival at Auschwitz_.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus