is a courageous and accessible study of "a looking-glass world where black is white, up is down, and the normal rules of reason no longer apply." Authors Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman have immersed themselves in the conferences, literature, and Web culture of Holocaust deniers; they have engaged the pseudo-historians in debate; and they have visited the concentration camps in Europe to investigate the truth of what happened there. Denying History
presents Shermer and Grobman's findings. The book refutes, in detail, the Holocaust deniers' claims, and it demonstrates conclusively that the Holocaust did happen.It also explores the fundamental historical issue in all debates over the truth of the Holocaust: the question of "how we know that any past event happened." Thus, Denying History
is a doubly useful book; it sets the record straight on one of history's most terrible events, and it instructs readers in the scientific, logical, and historiographical principles that can help us make wise judgments about history on our own. --Michael Joseph Gross
From Publishers Weekly
Holocaust denialAback in the news since the British courts shot down David Irving's libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt (for her groundbreaking book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory) in AprilAgets an inventively thorough treatment in this important book. Keeping their focus on larger questions about historical rigor and public memory, Shermer (a professor of the history of science at Occidental College and publisher of Skeptic magazine) and Grobman (Rekindling the Flame) look closely at the methods employed by deniers and those used by legitimate historians. "Holocaust denial," they argue, "is not just a Jewish issue. It is an attack on all history and the way we transmit the past to the future." Drawing on a wide array of evidenceAinterviews they conducted with famous deniers (including Irving himself) and text from their Web sites and literatureAthe authors explore the difference between legitimate historical revisionism and pseudohistorical denial. They note that historians interested in revising accepted knowledge depend on a wide variety of sources to draw a picture of an event or periodAif some of that evidence is contradictory, then respectful scholarly debate ensues; if new evidence surfaces, then the historical record gets revised. Deniers, on the contrary, use the barest of evidenceAone contradiction, for exampleAto discount entire arguments; meanwhile, they bolster their own arguments with out-of-context phrases and mistranslations. Using the deniers' own words to tear down their arguments, Shermer and Grobman provide a clear method for determining the reality of past events and supply a powerful weapon for anyone who cares about learning from the credible historical record. 42 b&w photos. (June)
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