The book is told in Vonnegut's voice; this chapter is about himself. He explains that many details of his story set during WWII in Dresden, Germany are based on his real experiences fighting in the war. He traveled back in 1967 with war buddy Bernard V. O'Hare to see what the city was like after rebuilding. For years, Vonnegut had wanted to write a novel about the firebombing of Dresden, which he witnessed. Asked by a friend if it would be an anti-war book, he responded that would be futile because war will always exist. After the war he went to the University of Chicago to study anthropology and became a police reporter on the side. Later, as a PR guy in Schenectady, NY, Vonnegut was denied access to government files on what happened in Dresden. He visited Bernard to reminisce, but Bernard's wife Mary worried that the book would glorify war. To appease her, Vonnegut said he would call his book "The Children's Crusade." He explains the jumpy nature of the book with what he told his editor: "It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre." After his trip to Dresden, he thought a lot about clocks and time. This plays a big role in the plot. He ends the first chapter by relating the biblical story of Lot's wife looking back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and turning into a pillar of salt. Vonnegut says he loves her for doing this.
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