A book that is more than a book

Books are “uniquely portable magic,” as Stephen King says. Carl Sagan calls them magical, too. Studies show that stories can help us become more empathetic. Books can be art. I shouldn’t be surprised that books can be monuments, too. Teacher Phil Chernofsky has created the first such monument book (that I’ve heard of): And Every Single One was Some One.

And Every Single One was Some One, by Phil Chernofsky

This book is comprised of only one word, repeated six million times. It is page after page of the word, “Jew.” There are no names, just that one word. Even the picture of the book above had an impact on me. Can you imagine, turning those pages, with the title reminding you that every single repetition represents a person that was taken away by the Holocaust?

There are innumerable monuments to the memory of the Holocaust’s victims, but they’ve all struggled with the task of conveying the immensity of the event. It might be that, because I’m a book person, this one hits me where I live.

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