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Ranging politically from Ancient China to the Nazis, from Animal Farm to Chairman Mao; religiously, from the Spanish destruction of the Aztec civilisation to Bloody Mary, from Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses to bibles in Islamist strongholds today; personally, from Samuel Pepys and Lord Byron to Dickens's letters, Hardy's poems, Burton's translations, and Philip Larkin's diaries.Alongside these telling examples are chapters on burning in war, accidental burning, royal burning - and lucky escapes. Baker reveals that while books, diaries and letters can be burnt, as a result of the invention of the printing press in the 16th century, very rarely can their content be expunged from the written record in history - the 'delete' button did not delete. Book burning today survives as a symbol, usually by desperate regimes, dictators and religious fanatics to impress the naive, warn the dissenter and rally the faithful.


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  • Hardback, 256 pages
  • Unicorn
  • ISBN: 978-1910787113
  • 26 May 2016
  • £25.00

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