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Beyond Belief: The American Press And The Coming Of The Holocaust, 1933- 1945 Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (February 8, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029191610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029191613
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This most complete study to date of American press reactions to the Holocaust sets forth in abundant detail how the press nationwide played down or even ignored reports of Jewish persecutions over a 12-year period. The conclusions amplify but do not seriously challenge previous studies; what is more significant here is the effortfar from completeto explain press actions. While revealing more about major newspapers and correspondents than about the mass of smaller ones, and saying far too little about newsreels and American Jewish newspapers, this raises larger questions concerning the relationship between press coverage, public knowledge, and government policy that deserve serious consideration. Readers may wish that Lipstadt explained more and indicted less. Still, there is plenty of important data in this volume for serious students. Jonathan D. Sarna, History Dept., Hebrew Union Coll.
Jewish Inst. of Religion, Cincinnati
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Deborah Lipstadt, author of The Eichmann Trial (2011), History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (2005), and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-45 (1986), occupies the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karen S. Salina on August 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for all jounalism college majors who intend to "tell the whole truth." If the present doesn't reveal the truth then history will.

Ms. Lipstadt did an incredible job of researching and tying together huge numbers of old newspaper articles and putting them together to tell the whole story chonologically and coherently. She showed the hypocricy of the press in calling for "something" to be done (after they could no longer deny atrocities were happening) then fomenting opposition to allowing anymore refugees into this country. They could have cited, "there are almost half a million immigration visas available, bring them in."

She also shows the hypocricy of the British press who also called for "something" to be done, then when the war was over and surviving Jews were trying to get into British Mandate Palestine, there was no cry from the press, "We didn't do anything then, but now we should not hinder them in immigrating to their homeland." Of all nations, the Brits are the most culpable because they had control over The Land, and instead of allowing walking miracles to start new lives, they hindered them with all their might,preventing surviving Jews from coming in before and during the war, then sending them to Cyprus after the war; shooting them down as they tried to swim ashore after their ships had been fired upon sunk, and the French sent those survivors on "The Exodus," back to camps in Germany. With every cell in my body I want to cry out, "How could you??"

Thank you, Ms. Lipstadt for gathering painful information and putting it into such a gripping account.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 2001
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This is a very good read. The book tells the story as to how the press in the USA covered the Holocaust. In doing so it explodes a lot of myths concerning the alleged lack of knowledge about what was happening to the Jews. Newspaper after newspaper from The New York Times on down had articles about the persecutions and murders. Yet they were never emphasized properly and were often relegated to the back pages. Rarely did they ever make the front pages. It was almost as if the nation preferred not to know. Many factors contributed to this; anit-Semitism, isolationism, American skepticism. The American government also contributed to down playing the news. The three most prominent villains in this were: Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long ( anativist), Assistant Secrteary of War John J. McCloy (who said that if the USA bombed Auschwitz the nazis would be "even more vindictive") and Congressman Sol F. Bloom who headed the House Foreign Affairs Committee (and was referred to by Stephen Wise as "the State Departments House Jew"). There were reporters who did their jobs well who constantly emphasized that anti-Semitism was a "raison d'etre" of National Socialism however they were in the minority. This book along with David S. Wyman's "The Abandonment of the Jews" are the two best books on the subject. William D. Rubinstein's "The Myth of Rescue" is a poorly written book that contradicts itself over and over again and is a book for peopel who think that FDR could do no wrong.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book gives great insight into the way in which the American press treated the holocaust. While often overlooked, the press handled the holocaust in a manner that many Americans would be ashamed of today. This book is unique in that no other book i know of has delved as deeply into this area. In addition, Dr. Lipstadt is a truely unique and knowledgable expert on the holocaust.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil S. Friedman on January 2, 2013
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Before the Internet became a primary source of unconfirmed journalism, innuendos and trivial gossip, the American media was generally a responsible and accountable outlet.
When the Washington Post broke the Watergate scandal forty years ago, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, diligently pursued the facts while the rest of the media sat idly by, reluctant to jump on the story that was hard to comprehend.
Similarly, the America press, before television, ignored or was reluctant to report on European Jews being persecuted or systematically annihilated by Nazi Germany, despite the fact that Adolph Hitler had, in fact, put his motive in writing, nearly a decade before he came to power.
"Beyond Belief" is a painstaking, scholarly examination that raises disturbing questions of how and why the American press, as well as the American government, was derelict in its pursuit of the story of the persecution and annihilation of Europe's Jewish population.
While other books have condemned the American and other allied governments for their reluctant attempts to intervene to save countless Jewish lives, this one, in particular, demonstrates how the press may have shirked its duty that doomed millions.
In hindsight, though it is easy to castigate, albeit not accept, the press' dereliction for being insufficiently proactive, it is, to some degree, easier to understand when you examine the temper of the times and the international climate.
As a journalist, I was drawn to this book to learn the extent of the press's role in reporting on the events that led up to and during the Holocaust. Though I knew beforehand that the American government should and could have done more, I never realized that press also failed to fulfill its obligation to relay the horrors being systematically conducted across Germany and Eastern Europe.
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