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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Imagine, if you will, going through life with the unfortunate name of Arnold Hitler. Born in 1950 in Mansfield, Texas, Arnold has no idea of the road ahead. But Arnold is no ordinary child. At the age of four and three-quarters, Arnold's favorite book is Art through the Ages; he is precocious, verbose, and single-minded. He finds his vocation at a tender age and intends nothing less than to be a warrior against meaningless words. But from Mansfield High to Harvard, he discovers not the clarity he hoped for, but linguistic fickleness and duplicity. How, Arnold wonders, can he live in a world in which words distort and conceal rather than instruct and inform?
Such purity of vision might prove burdensome for some, but not for Arnold. He charts a course through several of the 20th century's most incendiary decades that brings him head-to-head not only with real historical events but with the people who made history. With cameos by Noam Chomsky and Leonard Bernstein, among others, The Education of Arnold Hitler is a rollicking, exuberant thrill ride through some of the last century's most cataclysmic times. Estrin blends a heady and potent brew of fact and fiction with real and imaginary characters and uses it as a vivid backdrop for Arnold's heroic journey. With wit, brio, and a keen sense of the absurd, he has fashioned a novel that is pure comic genius shot through with intelligence and style. (Summer 2005 Selection)