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And the Sea Is Never Full: Memoirs, 1969- [Paperback]

Elie Wiesel , Marion Wiesel

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Book Description

Oct 2000
As this concluding volume of his moving and revealing memoirs begins, Elie Wiesel is forty years old, a writer of international repute. Determined to speak out more actively for both Holocaust survivors and the disenfranchised everywhere, he sets himself a challenge: "I will become militant. I will teach, share, bear witness. I will reveal and try to mitigate the victims' solitude." He makes words his weapon, and in these pages we relive with him his unstinting battles. We see him meet with world leaders and travel to regions ruled by war, dictatorship, racism, and exclusion in order to engage the most pressing issues of the day. We see him in the Soviet Union defending persecuted Jews and dissidents; in South Africa battling apartheid and supporting Mandela's ascension; in Cambodia and in Bosnia, calling on the world to face the atrocities; in refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia as an emissary for President Clinton. He chastises Ronald Reagan for his visit to the German military cemetery at Bitburg. He supports Lech Walesa but challenges some of his views. He confronts Francois Mitterrand over the misrepresentation of his activities in Vichy France. He does battle with Holocaust deniers. He joins tens of thousands of young Austrians demonstrating against renascent fascism in their country. He receives the Nobel Peace Prize. Through it all, Wiesel remains deeply involved with his beloved Israel, its leaders and its people, and laments its internal conflicts. He recounts the behind-the-scenes events that led to the establishment of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. He shares the feelings evoked by his return to Auschwitz, by his recollections of Yitzhak Rabin, and by his memories of his own vanished family. This is the magnificent finale of a historic memoir.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken Books Inc; Reprint edition (Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805210296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210293
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 675,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

And the Sea is Never Full is Elie Wiesel's memoir of the period between 1969 and the present. Wiesel, an esteemed writer (Night is among the greatest memoirs of the Holocaust) and political activist, begins the book remembering a challenge given to himself at age 40: "I will become militant. I will teach, share, bear witness. I will reveal and try to mitigate the victims' solitude." He defends dissidents in the Soviet Union; draws attention to the atrocities of Cambodia and Bosnia and fights apartheid in South Africa. He attacks Holocaust deniers, stands with Lech Walesa in Poland, visits Albania as a representative of President Clinton and wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Wiesel's tragic boyhood compelled him to work very hard to love the world. He has learned to do so and this memoir, like all of his best writing, teaches its reader to love the world while looking directly at its greatest terrors. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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A CHRONICLE has it that the celebrated Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Lyady was locked up in a St. Petersburg prison after being denounced by a foe of the Hasidic movement as an agitator against the Czar. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wiesel never ceases to amaze 16 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I read an advance copy of this book of memoirs, and I finishedit in all of two days. Wiesel's life, his philosophy, his stories areenough to inspire us all. He adds a human perspective, a moral dimension, and at time a behind-the-scenes glance into the world of international politics. However unlike self-serving politicians his voice pleads for the preservation of memory, and acts as an advocate for victims everywhere. A truly enthralling must read.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CONTINUING TALE OF INSPIRATION 11 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This magnificent voice of history continues in the newest volume of his autobiography to offer readers a unique closeup view of a life of literary and moral achievement, and of never ending hope even in the face of tragedy. Wiesel is an inspiration to readers everywhere.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Man, An Important Book 3 July 2000
By Jonathan M. Pierce - Published on
Easily one of the best autobiographies of the last half of the century (when coupled with Volume One). It is almost hard to believe that a man with such vision, such drive, such intelligence could have written almost an understated autobiography which reads as easily as any novel on your summer reading list.
I strongly reccomend that anyone who wants to learn and be inspired by one man's drive to remember and honor (amd ensure that no one else forgets), read both volumes of this elegant autobiography.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The continuation of a great man's story 31 Oct 2004
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
Elie Weisel in my eyes is a great man. He is the witness of the most horrible evil in human history , who somehow managed to help make the character of that Evil known to the world. He is a devoted writer and a foremost spokesman and defender of the Jewish people. But he is also has a special role in working to help the suffering and the persecuted throughout the world. Years ago in Biafra he was there to try and help the Ibo. And since then he has time and again placed himself at risk to help others. As a teacher and writer his work bears not only the mark of his poetic and G-d haunted soul, but of his enormous devotion to the good of humanity. This volume picks up the story of his life when at forty he decides to make a more determined effort to help the suffering of humanity. It tells the story of journeys and struggles .Often he is met by opposition but he is fueled by the determination to stand for the suffering. As a truthteller he dared confront the President of the United States over the obscenity of Bitburg . His deeds go before him and his words are a light to mankind. May G-d bless him and his work for the future.
5.0 out of 5 stars Elie Wiesel: The Voice of the Jews 16 Feb 2008
By J. Shindel - Published on
After ten years of silence about his experiences in the hell of the Nazi reign, Elie Wiesel has unleashed a literary and humanitarian career, utilizing his pen and memories as means to spread peace and stop hate and violence. And the Sea is Never Full, the memoirs of Elie Wiesel from the year 1969, is more than the attempt of a Holocaust survivor to come to terms with the world that betrayed him; it contains lessons learned by one who has seen the worst of humanity and who still finds the avenue for having faith in people. That avenue, for Elie Wiesel, is God.
Born to devout Jewish parents on September 30th, 1928 in Sighet, Hungary, Elie Wiesel spent his childhood absorbed in literature and the study of Hasidic Judaism by request of his father, Shlomo Wiesel, who encouraged Elie to take upon the knowledge of Judaic history and culture. He lived his life very peacefully in Sighet, a town with an enormous population of Jews, with his parents and his three sisters. This happiness was viciously torn away from Elie when the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944 and the Wiesel family was sent to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. This time marks the beginning of the observations and influences that would lead Elie to devote his life to human rights and nonviolence work, as he narrates in And the Sea is Never Full. 10 years pass. These memoirs are an addition to the endless list of literary works that Elie Wiesel began after writing Night in 1958, his first narrative about his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, the vision of his father's torture to death, and the deaths of his mother Sara and sister Tsipora. Taking on an extensive amount of literary writings and responsibilities, Elie Wiesel's writing and political activism for the African apartheid, Israeli, and other conflicts earns him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for the influence of his pressure for peace.
The memoirs have one clear focus, and that is on the power of hate, indifference, and religion. And the Sea is Never Full relates the actions and thoughts of Elie Wiesel molded by his Holocaust experience, though it is filled with Judaic parables dispersed throughout the text as Elie Wiesel encounters new people, each one portrayed in a very raw and human light, each one a child of God. Elie Wiesel presents himself, more than anything, as a Jew and unyielding worshiper of God. He lives his life by the ideals that his Jewish childhood taught him: "It is because it is difficult if not impossible to sing, to pray, to hope that we must trip. [...] Let one person, just one, extend his hand to a beggar, a fugitive, a refugee, and life will be become meaningful for others" (Wiesel 29).
His words constantly spell out his own reflections on the events that occur in his life after 1969; And the Sea is Never Full is more a diary, a journal into the mind of a man struggling to do everything in his power to prevent the repetition of the Holocaust. Wiesel is a master traveler in his text, darting from country to country, city to city to participate in committees for Holocaust remembrance events, UNESCO planning, and to teach at City College in New York and at Boston University. We meet and lose Bea, one of Wiesel's sisters who survived the Holocaust; we meet Gorbachev, Francois Mitterrand, Hiroshima survivors, and officials of the KGB. We visit Israel and become completely involved in the strategy and hardships of securing an Israeli state, while learning about Wiesel's observations and involvement in the world events of the time. No unpleasant descriptions or life characterizations are spared. The writing is opinionated and passionate. The story is true.
While And the Sea is Never Full achieves its goal for being the personal statement of a Holocaust survivor, a global activist, and a writer, it leaves the reader confused as to what Wiesel's thoughts are concerning violence. He does not leave any room for doubt on his beliefs for peace and the importance on avoiding human indifference, but he contradicts himself with his pride in the Israeli army and its military strategy. It leaves us wondering what he respects more, an ideal or a country. What does he believe is the solution to the hate and conflict in the world? As a leader, educator, and activist, his memoirs would do well to present more of his opinion on the state of the world.
And the Sea is Never Full is a captivating account of a man who saw much of the world and created a change in every place he visited. It leaves the reader wanting to learn more about Elie Wiesel's past and the little events and images that led to his activism and writing. Night is a common educational tool, but rarely is Elie Wiesel as commonly discussed as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi. And the Sea is Never Full presents his thoughts loud and clear, pushing for more knowledge and understanding into the influences of human evil and human forgiveness.
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