The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945


Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
6.36 X 9.24 X 1.61 inches | 1.99 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Jörg Friedrich was born in Tyrolia in 1944 and grew up in the Ruhr District (Essen). A broadcaster in Berlin, Friedrich became a historian after he reported on the Majdanek Trial during the 1970s. His first comprehensive history of the prosecution of Nazi criminals in Germany, The Cold Amnesty (1984), was a bestseller in the Federal Republic. In 1993 he published a monograph on the forgotten Nuremberg Trial of the German High Command titled The Law of War: The German Army in Russia, which earned him a honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. The idea for The Fire came to Friedrich accidentally one night in February 2002, and since its publication, the book has been translated into ten languages, sparking debate worldwide.
Jörg Friedrich was born in Essen, Germany, in 1944 and spent most of his career writing about Nazi atrocities before orienting his research toward an analysis of Allied military tactics. He lives in Berlin.


Exhaustive and harrowing ... Friedrich's aim seems to be not only to wrest the history of German suffering from the clutch of the far right but to rescue the glories of German history from the twelve years of Hitler's thousand-year Reich.--Ian Buruma "New York Review of Books "
What W. G. Sebald lamented about the lack of open discourse on the air war appears to have been blown apart with the publication of The Fire.--Noah Isenberg "Bookforum "
Thorough and methodical... Friedrich's book underscores that precision bombing is anything but a scientific enterprise.--Stanley Hoffman "Foreign Affairs "
This is a book that demands to be read, no matter how uncomfortable the experience.--David Cesarani "The Independent "
A well-documented piece of historical writing... [that] is also a poignant, lyrical and terrible account of human suffering.--Adam R. Seipp "Houston Chronicle "
A vivid and powerful critique of war... [The Fire is] fascinating, ground-breaking, and thought-provoking.--Roger Moorhouse "BBC History Magazine "
A contribution to the German literature of remembrance; it is also a passionate denunciation of the excesses of the air war.--Harold Dorn "Technology and Culture "
Jörg Friedrich tells the story from the viewpoint of the bombed with... great skill and objectivity.--Paul Johnson "The American Spectator "
The Fire represents the continuation of Friedrich's generation's indictment of National Socialism--except now the finger is pointed at the Allies, and sympathy is extended to the civilian Germans who were their victims.--The Nation
Jörg Friedrich's achievement in The Fire has been to tell this tale of death and destruction with a rare plasticity and vividness.--German Historical Institute London Bulletin
[Jörg Friedrich] describes in stark, unrelenting and very literary detail what happened in city after city as the Allies dropped 80 million incendiary bombs on Germany.... There is ... an edginess to Friedrich's writing and commentary, an emotional power.--New York Times
Mr. Friedrich deserves credit for both his diligence and his descriptive powers.--Economist
An indictment both of Hitler's appropriation of German history and of the Allies' destruction of a nation's culture... Thoughtful and detailed.--Library Journal
[A] haunting book... forceful, incendiary.--Atlantic Monthly
Riveting.--TIME Europe