As a history teacher, I felt like a complete failure after reading this book. Even though I teach a (brief and concentrating a lot on the Holocaust) unit on WWII, I knew NOTHING about the bombing of Dresden. This book is Vonnegut's attempt at working through this tragedy many years after the war. He creates a character, Billy Pilgrim, who was in his company and experienced the same things Vonnegut did (along with being able to time travel within his own life span AND getting abducted by aliens, but I digress). It's a tough read, as satires go, but what I loved was that it forced me to research the Dresden firebombing and decide that I will definitely include information on this in my history class this year. I suggest reading one classic a year--it's good for your intellectual health.