DeSmog Canada, January 9, 2014: Walter M. Miller Jr.’s classic sci-fi book A Canticle for Leibowitz tells the story of a post-apocalyptic future in which a small group of monks strive to preserve the remnants of humanity’s scientific knowledge. After the destruction of civilization, in the absence of physical records of its history, humanity repeats the worst of its mistakes.
There have been many tales over the years of the destruction of books. Sometimes, as with the sacking of the library of Alexandria, it was out of sheer thoughtlessness. Other times, it was with the clear intent of the reigning regime to banish knowledge that didn’t fit its worldview. However it happened, it was only in hindsight that we understood to what extent the loss set humanity back.