From the Publisher
"This wide-ranging, comprehensive analysis of the Holocaust from origins to consequences promises to set a new standard for Holocaust studies."Shofar
"A milestone in holocaust scholarship."Christopher Browning, author of Origins of the Final Solution
"Superb, perhaps the best overview there is." Mark Roseman, author of The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting
"A formidable work of scholarship...the most authoritative account of the Holocaust that we have."Jeremy Noakes, editor of Nazism 1919-1945. Vol 4 The German Home Front in World War II
"Skeptics who maintain that there is little left of value to learn about the Holocaust should read this superb and provocative work originally published in German in 1998. Now revised and published in English for the first time, it offers relatively new data as well as a convincing thesis regarding the genesis and execution of systematic genocide. Longerich rejects the assertions of so-called 'structuralists' who view the 'Final Solution' as a byproduct of war, which implies that anti-Jewish policies simply "got out of control" under wartime stress. Rather, extermination of Jews was the logical result of the virulent race hatred of the Nazis. This is a vital addition to the field of Holocaust studies."Booklist Starred Review
In an extensive rewrite when the book was translated into English, with additional sourcing, Longerich (modern German history, Royal Holloway, Univ. of London) presents an expanded English-language edition of his famous 1998 study of the Holocaust, Politik der Vernichtung. He demonstrates that Nazi policy evolved inconsistently, with almost every new anti-Jewish measure beginning with a sometimes vague decree by central leadership, which local party bosses then implemented, often violently. Once the regime was certain of public support, or at least indifference, it implemented more concrete, harsher rules against the Jews, creating a self-sustaining cycle of radicalization that built up over six years. To Longerich the critical period for deciding upon genocide was not fall 1941 (per the Intenationalist model) or even 1933 (the Functionalist assertion) but the outbreak of war in 1939. The Nazi goal was to create an Aryan racial utopia, and the extirpation of the Jews was a logical product of what Hitler described as a war against international Jewry. VERDICT Based on an additional decade of research in newly available archives, Longerich's book is not a history of Nazism or a comprehensive study of the Holocaust, and thus is not suitable for lower-level undergraduates. It is essential reading for advanced students and scholars who study the Holocaust.—Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati, Clermont Coll.