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Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory Paperback – July 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0452272743 ISBN-10: 0452272742 Edition: Reprint
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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A forceful analysis of attempts to deny the Nazi Holocaust. Lipstadt (Religion/Emory University; Beyond Belief, 1985--not reviewed) traces the history of Holocaust revisionism and contends that it can no longer be ignored, showing how Holocaust-deniers, once dismissed as a lunatic fringe, have been growing in numbers and influence during the past 20 years. Citing groups like the Institute for Historical Review, publications like The Spotlight, politicians like David Duke, and academicians like Leonard Jeffries, Lipstadt presents numerous examples of attempts to prove that the extermination of six million Jews is a hoax; that only a few thousand Jews died in the camps from disease; that the Allied bombings of German cities were worse than any Nazi offense; and that the ``true victims'' of WW II were the German people. These distortions of recorded history, argues the author, threaten to undermine our Western rationalist tradition and to legitimize the politicization of history. To Lipstadt, the common thread among Holocaust deniers is a ``purely anti-Semitic diatribe'' portraying Jews as victimizers. Self-declared scholars like Arthur R. Butz (whose credentials are in electronics) claim that Jews used the world's sympathy after the war to ``displace'' another people, establish the nation of Israel, and ``steal'' billions in reparations from their German and Western ``cash cows.'' Lipstadt argues vehemently against giving revisionists a forum in the name of free speech or freedom of the press, and she details the efforts of California revisionist Bradley Smith, who pushed a ``Holocaust was a hoax'' campaign in college newspapers throughout the US. Lipstadt contends that ``the responses to Holocaust denial by both students and faculty graphically demonstrate the susceptibility of an educated and privileged segment to the kind of reasoning that creates a hospitable climate for the rewriting of history.'' An important, well-documented study that deserves attention. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452272742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452272743
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a good book on a subject whose importance is clear and evident. Professor Lipstadt targets the deniers and presents superb arguments that they are motivated by hate and bigotry. The author, a confident character, faced the trial against her courageously and won.
Lipstadt's outlook, however, is Euro-centered: She only studied holocaust denial in Europe and North America. Characters like Irving and Garaudy are very popular in the Arab world, especially in Egypt. Moreover, Prof Lipstadt ignored Arab individuals who deny the holocaust in the Arabic media. These individuals are considered intellectuals in Arab society, and their message of hate is very popular, primarily because almost all writing about the Holocaust by scholars like Elie WIesel, Walter Laqueur, and Martin Gilbert, is censored, and certainly never ever translated into Arabic. In fact, after the Irving trial, Al Ahram, the most prestigious daily in Egypt and the Arab world, published an interview with David Irving. The interviewers presented David Irving as a victim attacked by sharks, with Professor Lipstadt, whose picture was shown, as one of the sharks. Al Jazeera television network regularly hosts Arab and other holocaust deniers.
Though she is confident, Professor Lipstadt does not seem to be aware that she is being abused in prestigious papers such as Al Ahram and AlJazeera television station. She needs to realize that this is a grave matter, and she cannot afford to be so Euro-centered. She should add a chapter on Arab Holocaust deniers and republish the book. Not only that, she should arrange to have her book translated into Arabic, so that the 300 Million Arabs get a chance to read the truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By reading man on April 4, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading a book that contains a lot of obscure facts, you need some way to check whether the author is both correct and thorough. Perhaps it's unfair to do that with one example, but if the error is glaring ... ?

Ms. Lipstadt apparently thinks Maurice Bardeche first book was his LETTRE A FRANCOIS MAURIAC. In fact, Bardeche was a well-known literary critic before he wrote this book, the author of BALZAC ROMANCIER and STENDHAL ROMANCIER, both of which are important critical studies, both published before the Mauriac volume.

Even more important, Bardeche was greatly influenced by Robert Brassilach, his brother-in-law, who was executed in 1945 for collaboration with Vichy and the Nazis. Bardeche was a gifted writer who was, alas, a fascist and despicable anti-Semite (he wrote for JE SUIS PARTOUT, which, among its many crimes, listed the names and addresses of Jews who were then arrested by the Nazis). To not mention this significant fact in relation to Bardeche is like saying Andre Malraux first came to fame as General DeGaulle's right-hand man.

Lipstadt also doesn't mention that Bardeche's career as a literary critic continued into the 1980s with studies of Flaubert, Proust, Celine, and two more remarkable books about Balzac.

My other complaint about the book under review is that it's written in boring academic prose. Being able to write readable non-fiction requires talent and Ms. Lipstadt doesn't have much, at least not here.

So the book is "okay" for the data it contains (with the caveat that it might be inaccurate and/or incomplete), but a better book is needed on this important subject.
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19 of 28 people found the following review helpful By RandyRP on December 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having read more than 200 books involving the Holocaust, I find Lipstadt in general to be somewhat unique in the sense that some of her work shows great insight, for example her essay in the Non-Bombing of Auschwitz book, kudo's.
On the other hand at times she seems somewhat troublesome, for example calling Jimmy Carter a "soft core" denier because he did not discuss the Holocaust in his book about Isreali/Palestenian relations, well it's simple over the top. While many disliked Carter's book (or mainly the title, little pith between the pages) to call him a "soft core denier" is to diminish what denial really is. Has she ever read David Ben-Guiron's memiors ?? He to does not discuss the Holocaust, does this make him a "soft core" denier, hardly so.

Now onto the book, what first troubled me was her treatment of the earlist so-called deniers and her description of events imediately after the war. There were people that were extremely vocal about what the allies were doing. The Expulsion and the fact that many supported the Morganthau Plan (which was at least partially initiated) was at the time controvesial to say the least. Yet rather than laud those who stood against our intial tyranical policies, she diminishes the atrocities the allies committed, and conflates people like Freda Utley with "true deniers" like Arthur Butz ???...

Her discussion of the "college ads" controveries was also somewhat puzzling. On one hand she is an advocate of free speech, which I applaud, on the other she seems to fail to realize that free speech means some will adopt the shady tatics the ads employed. However where she really missed the boat is that she acknowdelges that on every campus that the controversies took place, enrollment in Holocaust history courses INCREASED.
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