The Moon Is Down Author:John Steinbeck Originally published at the zenith of Nazi Germany's power, Steinbeck's masterful fable explores the effects of invasion on conquered and conquerors alike. — Occupied by enemy troops, a small, peaceable town comes to face-to-face with evil imposed from the outside--and betrayal born within the close-knit community. As he delves into the m... more »otivations and emotions of the enemy commander and the quisling traitor, Steinbeck uncovers profound, often unsettling truths about war--and about human nature.
Steinbeck's self-described "celebration of the durability of democracy" had an extraordinary impact as Allied propaganda in Nazi-occupied Europe. Despite Axis efforts to suppress it (in Fascist Italy, mere possession of a copy of the book was punishable by death), The Moon Is Down was secretly translated into French, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, German, Italian, and Russian; hundreds of thousands of copies circulated throughout Europe, making it by far the most popular piece of propaganda under occupation. Few literary works of our time have demonstrated so triumphantly the power of ideas in the face of cold steel and brute force. « less
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Steinbeck never ceases to amaze. This was an excellent short novel illustrating the struggle of mankind against oppression. Simply told, the story of what happens when a small town in Europe is invaded by Nazi oppressors. The invaders come in with the mindset that the villagers will be willing to assist in operating the coal mine and supporting them. Wrong! As quoted by the mayor in the book "the one impossible job in the world that can't be done is to break men's spirit permanently." As the soldiers learned, they were like "flies conquering the flypaper."