From Publishers Weekly
In the past few decades, scholars have produced a prodigious amount of work on the Nazi period and the Holocaust. As Deak puts it, "Holocaust literature is one of the richest devoted to a single event; it is also one of the newest." In this collection of scholarly essays, many of them first published in the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, Deak provides a balanced, incisive review of much of this academic work. The articles deal with a broad variety of topics, demonstrating remarkable familiarity with hundreds of books, all crafted around several themes. De k, a Hungarian-born professor of history at Columbia University, generally takes a cautious approach to the vast amounts of scholarship he reviews, ranging from the initial support for the Nazi Party (more spread out among all classes of society than once believed), Pope Pius XII and the Jews (the pope "proved weak and fallible") and the Holocaust in several European countries (all of which, he says, "produced roughly the same proportion of butchers, of the indifferent, of sympathizers, and of active rescuers"). But he's not afraid to be more opinionated. For example, he's critical of Daniel Goldhagen's controversial theory about longstanding "German eliminationist anti-Semitism" being responsible for the Holocaust. "What stands out is the book's preconceived notions and unsubstantiated claims, its intended shock value instead of historical value," he writes. This can take its place alongside Robert Wistrich's Hitler and the Holocaust (Forecasts, Sept. 3) as an up-to-date shortcut to holocaust scholarship.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Deak (history, Columbia Univ.; The Lawful Revolution) is a prominent historian and a prolific author whose scholarly works on Eastern Europe, Germany, and World War II are widely read and cited. In addition, for a number of years he has written stimulating review essays, chiefly for the New York Review of Books and the New Republic, some of which are collected in this volume. Only slightly revised, these essays provide an engaging series of overviews of the issues surrounding the Hitler era. Deak's clear exposition of the main issues of the Nazi period and the work of its most important historians provides a useful overview and introduction for any reader who wants to find a way into the vast literature about Hitler's Europe. These essays consider the acts of both leaders and ordinary citizens and show how the perceptions of this period have evolved over time. Suitable for all academic and larger public libraries. Barbara Walden, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.