A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth

A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth

by Norman G. Finkelstein, Ruth Bettina Birn
     
 

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No recent work of history has generated as much interest as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners. Purporting to solve the mystery of the Nazi holocaust, Goldhagen maintains that ordinary Germans were driven by fanatical anti-Semitism to murder the Jews. An immediate national best-seller, the book went on to create an international sensation.

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Overview

No recent work of history has generated as much interest as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners. Purporting to solve the mystery of the Nazi holocaust, Goldhagen maintains that ordinary Germans were driven by fanatical anti-Semitism to murder the Jews. An immediate national best-seller, the book went on to create an international sensation.

Now, in A Nation on Trial, two leading critics challenge Goldhagen's findings and show that his work is not scholarship at all. With compelling cumulative effect, Norman G. Finkelstein meticulously documents Goldhagen's distortions of secondary literature and the internal contradictions of his argument. In a complementary essay, Ruth Bettina Birn juxtaposes Goldhagen's text against the German archives he consulted. The foremost international authority on these archives, Birn conclusively demonstrates that Goldhagen systematically misrepresented their contents.

The definitive statement on the Goldhagen phenomenon, this volume is also a cautionary tale on the corruption of scholarship by ideological zealotry.

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Editorial Reviews

Ian Kershaw
Finkelstein and Birn provide a devastating critique of Daniel Goldhagen's simplistic and misleading interpretation of the Holocaust. Their contribution to the debate is, in my view, indispensable. -- Ian Kershaw
Eric Hobsbawm
All readers of Goldhagen's controversial book should take note of these much-needed studies, which, in line with serious historians, convincingly and authoritatively dismantle its arguments. -- Eric Hobsbawm
From the Publisher
"All readers of Goldhagen's controversial book should take note of these much-needed studies which authoritatively dismantle its arguments." —Eric Hobsbawm

"Finkelstein's contribution is more than a dessection: it tells us something about where we are." —Raul Hilberg

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466864276
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/04/2014
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
447,649
File size:
1 MB

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