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The Education of Arnold Hitler
by Marc Estrin

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 1932961038

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Education of Arnold Hitler
Marc Estrin
Unbridled, Apr 2005, $15.95
ISBN: 1932961038

During World War II in Italy American GI George Hitler met and married half Jewish Anna. Following the fall of his namesake, they move to his hometown Mansfield, Texas and have a son Arnold. They raise their son in a happy home and he turns out to be a genius.

By the late 1950s, six years old Arnold grows into a chess prodigy, but it is at a parade where he observes the impact of the use of the N word in his racist hometown that shapes him the most. He sees the hurt and the power that one word imbues in people. During high school he letters in football but his love remains linguistics and he publishes a popular newsletter on the subject. While he loses his girlfriend to radical feminism, Arnold enters Harvard where the anti ism movements converge but as often clash. He obtains a taste of the world, but sees it through a linguistic lens where words, names, and nomenclature have magic to destroy.

THE EDUCATION OF ARNOLD HITLER is a deep satirical look at the power through negativism of labeling people. Arnold is an intelligent Forest Gump though he plays on a lesser stage as he observes impacts starting with that 1956 parade and continuing through his life including ironically the effect of his last name on how people react to him. Although this is a deep linguistic look at how we use the potency of language to classify and demean others, the tale lacks a central plot; Marc Estrin uses anecdotal incidents to educate Hitler with rhetoric ruling this thought provoking novel that also become difficult to follow.

Harriet Klausner

 

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