Ver*i"tist, n. [C.F. Eng. verity]

A term coined by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes to describe the writing he does (i.e. The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust, Farm: A Year in the Life of an American Farmer) to distinguish and elevate it from the negative formation nonfiction.

To read his prose is to understand this distinction. Here’s an example from Masters of Death:

By the spring of 1941, Poland had already been decapitated. Albert Speer, Adolph Hitler’s architect and later his munitions and armament minister, remembered that on the night of 21 August 1939, when news of Josef Stalin’s agreement to the nonaggression pact had settled Hitler’s decision to invade Poland. The Führer and his entourage had drifted out onto the terrace of his mountain retreat on the Obersalzberg to watch a rare display of northern lights vermilioning the mountain across the valley. “The last act of Götterdämmerung could not have been more effectively stage,” Speer writes. “The same red light bathed our faces and our hands. The display produced a curiously pensive mood among us. Abruptly turning to one of his military adjutants, Hitler said: 'Looks like a great deal of blood. This time we won’t bring it off without violence.'”

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