The Best Damn Little Book About WWII

Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall by English funnyman Spike Milligan (1971) is the best damn little WWII memoir I’ve ever read. Read the first paragraph for yourself:

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I’m not quite sure why, but I received the book as a present in the mail from a convict at one of the United State’s more pleasant maximum security prisons. This is what was stamped on the back of the first envelope:

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The note inside simply said, “I thought you’d like this.” It wasn’t signed, just a number. Could the inmate have been a Print reader? Or maybe a former editor? It is still a mystery. But I have gotten a lot of enjoyment from the master of the Goon Squad in the “most irreverent, hilarious book” that the Sunday Express ever reviewed.

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And since I’m recommending old books, the Albers-esque cover for Lewis Mumford’s Art and Technics (1952) is among the brightest of read art, symbols, handicraft and machine, tools and objects, and form and function. I think I’ll read it and my notes in it all over again.

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2 thoughts on “The Best Damn Little Book About WWII

  1. Dennis Hermanson

    It must have been a send from Bleu Mobley, when he was still doing time.

    A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel containing 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Nearly a year after the controversial author is thrown into a federal prison for refusing to reveal the name of a confidential source, he decides to break his silence. But it’s not as simple as giving up a name to the grand jury. Over the course of one long night, in the darkness of his prison cell, he whispers his life story into a microcassette recorder, tracing his journey from the public housing project of his youth, to a career as a journalist, then experimental novelist, college professor, accidental bestselling author, pop-culture pundit, and unindicted prisoner.

    A Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley Hardcover – October 29, 2013
    by Warren Lehrer

    Spike was some wacky guy, and a mentor of another one, Peter Sellers, and other Goons, of the original Goon Show.

    Dennis in Hillsborough, NC