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Christopher SimpsonBooks on the Holocaust and Nazism now number in the tens of thousands. Of that vast library, a handful of texts should be deemed essential reading for any serious student of the bloody and pathetic 20th century. Robert Gellately's Backing Hitler is among them. Nazi crimes are frequently described as bestial, demonic or the acts of a handful of madmen and the hypnotized masses.....In sharp contrast, Gellately dispassionately documents that ordinary human beings organized the Holocaust, extermination camps and all....Gellately's stated aim -- "trying to cope with the full enormity of the many atrocities committed in the name of, and with the support of, so many Germans" -- focuses attention on those aspects of the Holocaust that are less titillating for television and far more difficult to face. Yet it is also these characteristics of systemic cruelty that remain most relevant for today's world.
— Washington Post Book World