7 Ways Kurt Vonnegut Poisoned Readers’ Minds with Humanity

Kurt Vonnegut once said he wanted his novels to “catch people before they become generals and Senators and Presidents,” to “poison their minds with humanity. Encourage them to make a better world.” Here are seven ways he lived up to those aspirations.

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Kurt Vonnegut once said he wanted his novels to “catch people before they become generals and Senators and Presidents,” to “poison their minds with humanity. Encourage them to make a better world.” Here are seven ways he lived up to those aspirations.

In an obituary for writer Kurt Vonnegut published in the Los Angeles Times, Elaine Woo called Vonnegut “an American original, often compared to Mark Twain for a vision that combined social criticism, wildly black humor and a call to basic human decency.” She quotes Jay McInerney, who considered Vonnegut “a satirist with a heart, a moralist with a whoopee cushion.” For Woo, Vonnegut “was a public writer — one who directly addressed some of the most vexing issues of his day.”

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