Occupied by enemy troops, a small, peaceable town comes face-to-face with evil imposed from the outside–and betrayal born within the close-knit community
Originally published at the zenith of Nazi Germany’s power, this masterful fable 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 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 the occupation. Few literary works of our time have demonstrated so triumphantly the power of ideas in the face of cold steel and brute force.