Andrea Pitzer is a journalist who loves to unearth lost history. In addition to One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, she is the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov and the forthcoming book Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World, about Dutch navigator William Barents, who was stranded in the Arctic during the winter of 1596.
Andrea’s writing has appeared many places in print and online, from the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, Slate, and USA Today to Longreads and Lapham’s Quarterly. She has spoken on her work at the 92nd Street Y and Smithsonian Associates, as well as presenting on panels at the Modern Language Association (MLA), the International Journalism Festival, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Andrea has also lectured on history and narrative journalism in the U.S. and abroad.
Events and ideas that were once common knowledge but have fallen from public memory fascinate her, as does humanity’s tendency not to learn from history. After archival research and reporting on four continents, she feels most at home in libraries or on a boat in the far North.
Books by Andrea Pitzer
Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
by Andrea Pitzer
In Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World Andrea Pitzer takes on the terrible story of the 16th century Dutch explorer and navigator William Barents, after whom the sea is named.
We previously spoke to Andrea about the best books on concentration camps.
One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps
by Andrea Pitzer
“For the purposes of my book, One Long Night, I defined the concentration camp as the mass detention of civilians without trial, usually on the basis of some aspect of identity. It might be religion, or ethnicity, or race, or political affiliation, but it has to do more with your association or identity than anything you’ve actually done. I didn’t want to be too arbitrary about it. I looked at when that phrase, concentration camp, emerged for the mass detention of civilians and then how that idea changed over time. The goal of the book was to find out, ‘How did we get to Auschwitz? How did concentration camps make it possible to get to a place like Auschwitz?’ And then what happened afterward.”
The best books on concentration camps, Andrea Pitzer Five Books interview, 30 July, 2020
Interviews with Andrea Pitzer
The best books on Concentration Camps, recommended by Andrea Pitzer
Most of us associate concentration camps with Nazi Germany, but they are not, in fact, relics of the past or confined to one particular episode of history. Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, talks us through memoirs and books that illuminate a tool that has been widely used, since the late 19th century, for the mass detention of civilians without trial.