Holocaust: An American Understanding

Holocaust: An American Understanding

by Deborah E. Lipstadt

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Overview

Holocaust: An American Understanding by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Immediately after World War II, there was little discussion of the Holocaust, but today the word has grown into a potent political and moral symbol, recognized by all.  In Holocaust: An American Understanding, renowned historian Deborah E. Lipstadt explores this striking evolution in Holocaust consciousness, revealing how a broad array of Americans—from students in middle schools to presidents of the United States—tried to make sense of this inexplicable disaster, and how they came to use the Holocaust as a lens to interpret their own history.
 
Lipstadt weaves a powerful narrative that touches on events as varied as the civil rights movement, Vietnam, Stonewall, and the women’s movement, as well as controversies over Bitburg, the Rwandan genocide, and the bombing of Kosovo. Drawing upon extensive research on politics, popular culture, student protests, religious debates and various strains of Zionist ideologies, Lipstadt traces how the Holocaust became integral to the fabric of American life. Even popular culture, including such films as Dr. Strangelove and such books as John Hershey’s The Wall, was influenced by and in turn influenced thinking about the Holocaust. Equally important, the book shows how Americans used the Holocaust to make sense of what was happening in the United States. Many Americans saw the civil rights movement in light of Nazi oppression, for example, while others feared that American soldiers in Vietnam were destroying a people identified by the government as the enemy.   
 
Lipstadt demonstrates that the Holocaust became not just a tragedy to be understood but also a tool for interpreting America and its place in the world. Ultimately Holocaust: An American Understanding tells us as much about America in the years since the end of World War II as it does about the Holocaust itself.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813564760
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 07/21/2016
Series: Key Words in Jewish Studies Series , #7
Pages: 220
Sales rank: 1,204,734
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her many books include Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945, History on Trial, and The Eichmann Trial.  

Table of Contents


Foreword by Andrew Bush, Deborah Dash Moore, and MacDonald Moore
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1        Terms of Debate 
           Finding a Name to Define a Horror
           Laying the Foundation: The Visionary Role of Philip Friedman
           Creating a Field of Study: Raul Hilberg
           Survivors in America: An Uncomfortable Encounter
           “Holocaust” in American Popular Culture, 1947–1962
2        State of the Question
           The Eichmann Trial and the Arendt Debate
           “Holocaust”: Shedding Light on America’s Shortcomings
           A Post-Holocaust Protest Generation Creates Its Memories
           The Baby Boom Protesters
           From the Mideast to Moscow: Holocaust Redux? 
           Survivors: From DPs to Witnesses
           Severed Alliances
           The Holocaust and the Small Screen
           America and the Holocaust: Playing the Blame Game
           The White House: Whose Holocaust?
           The Kremlin versus Wiesel: Identifying the Victims 
3        In a New Key
           Skewing the Numbers: Counting the Victims
           An Obsession with the Holocaust? A Jewish Critique
           The Bitburg Affair: The “Watergate of Symbolism”
           Memory Booms as the World Forgets
           Assaults on the Holocaust: Normalization, Denial, and Trivialization
           The Uniqueness Battle
           Impassioned Attacks
           Competitive Genocides? The Holocaust versus All Others
           Scaring the People: On How Not to Proceed
Notes
Index
 

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