Jonathan Schell

Jonathan Edward Schell (August 21, 1943 – March 25, 2014) was an American author and visiting fellow at Yale University, whose work primarily dealt with campaigning against nuclear weapons. His work appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, and TomDispatch. The Fate of the Earth received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Critics Award. … He penned The Village of Ben Suc when he stopped at Vietnam in 1966, en route back to the United States from Tokyo, this book started as a series of articles in the New Yorker. At just 24, he managed a press pass to Saigon, of The Harvard Crimson, whose correspondents helped him to cover the war. Armed with a moral conscience he wrote; ‘Faithful to the initial design, Air Force jets sent their bombs down on the deserted ruins, scorching again the burned foundations of the houses and pulverizing for a second time the heaps of rubble, in the hope of collapsing tunnels too deep and well hidden for the bulldozers to crush—as though, having decided to destroy it, we were now bent on annihilating every possible indication that the village of Ben Suc had ever existed.’ His next book, The Military Half: An Account of Destruction in Quang Ngai and Quang Tin, published in 1968, too drew a graphic picture of the devastating effects of American bombings and ground operations on Quảng Ngãi Province and Quảng Tín Province in South Vietnam, as he was a witness to Operation Cedar Falls. … In 1967, John Mecklin wrote in The New York Times that The Village of Ben Suc, Jonathan Schell’s first book, was ‘written with a skill that many a veteran war reporter will envy, eloquently sensitive, subtly clothed in an aura of detachment, understated, extraordinarily persuasive.’ … On its publication in 1982, ‘The Fate of the Earth’ was described by Kai Erikson in The New York Times as ‘a work of enormous force’ and ‘an event of profound historical moment…. [I]n the end, it accomplishes what no other work has managed to do in the 37 years of the nuclear age. It compels us – and compel is the right word – to confront head on the nuclear peril in which we all find ourselves.’ The book also reflected on the end of love, politics and art, and annihilation of humans as a species. …”
New Yorker: The Village of Ben Suc By Jonathan Schell (July 15, 1967)
New Yorker: Commentary on the My Lai Massacre by Jonathan Schell (December 20, 1969)
The Nation: The Real American War in Vietnam By Jonathan Schell
amazon: Jonathan Schell

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This entry was posted in Agent Orange, Books, My Lai, Napalm, No Nukes, Pacifist, Saigon, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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