Let’s face it – the latest book by Andy Andrews may be small, but it has a big title. Andy answers the title question itself in less than 50 pages and the remainder of the book includes a conversation with the author, a reader’s guide, resources, notes and bibliography section.
How Do You Kill 11 Million People?
When I first picked up this book to begin reading I was preparing myself to be annoyed - my context is that of a British woman living in the UK and part of me expected this to be a book written for an American only audience with no reference or context for the wider world.
My preconceptions, however, were misplaced and I’m more than glad that I finished the book and didn’t stop at the introduction just because it had the words Republican and Democrat in it.
Andrews is a storyteller – if you’ve read his bestseller 'The Noticer' then you’ll be aware of his ability to craft a modern day parable, but in 'How Do You Kill 11 Million People?' one of the things brought to our attention is the misuse of such ability. Andrews points out that the Nazi’s didn’t travel from place to place announcing to the Jews that they were about to be rounded up and exterminated – rather they wove an intricate web of lies that assuaged the fears of the Jewish people and allowed the German Nation to live in a state of denial. This little book reminds us that Hitler was well practiced at the craft of playing to his audience; using words to paint a picture and allowing them to elevate him to a position of power based on promises he never intended to fulfil.
'How Do You Kill 11 Million People?' Is a book about truth, our ability to convince ourselves that lies are ok in some contexts and our readiness to believe a lie when it means our everyday existence can go on unaffected if we just close our eyes and believe it.
Christian or non Christian this should be an inescapable call.
Don’t be put off by the American references within this text – it is after all written by an American and released during a presidential race. This small book has a message that is much bigger than one nation or one time frame in history. One of my greatest endorsements for this book is that it is so succinct - the point Andrews makes could have been lost in a larger manuscript. The message contained between the covers of 'How Do You Kill 11 Million People?' shouldn’t just be applied to the possibility of future mass extermination. What we say, and in turn what we blindly believe or accept about plausible deniability, should be a matter for everyone. Christian or non Christian this is an inescapable call.
So how do you kill 11 million people? Well as I don't want to steal Andy's thunder, I really do suggest you give this book some of your time. I’d recommend it to anyone ready to acknowledge their own place in the larger picture of what our governments, businesses or organisations decree to be acceptable, as it pushes us to demand accountability, transparency and truth from those we place in positions of power.
March 12th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Jo Pountney