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The crucial technology was a precursor to the computer, the IBM Hollerith punch card machine, which Black glimpsed on exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, inspiring his five-year, top-secret book project. The Hollerith was used to tabulate and alphabetize census data. Black says the Hollerith and its punch card data ("hole 3 signified homosexual ... hole 8 designated a Jew") was indispensable in rounding up prisoners, keeping the trains fully packed and on time, tallying the deaths, and organizing the entire war effort. Hitler's regime was fantastically, suicidally chaotic; could IBM have been the cause of its sole competence: mass-murdering civilians? Better scholars than I must sift through and appraise Black's mountainous evidence, but clearly the assessment is overdue.
The moral argument turns on one question: How much did IBM New York know about IBM Germany's work, and when? Black documents a scary game of brinksmanship orchestrated by IBM chief Watson, who walked a fine line between enraging U.S. officials and infuriating Hitler. He shamefully delayed returning the Nazi medal until forced to--and when he did return it, the Nazis almost kicked IBM and its crucial machines out of Germany. (Hitler was prone to self-defeating decisions, as demonstrated in How Hitler Could Have Won World War II.)
Black has created a must-read work of history. But it's also a fascinating business book examining the colliding influences of personality, morality, and cold strategic calculation. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Book was in excellent condition, gave it as a gift. ThanksPublished 1 month ago by Ann-Marie Nygren
Rigorous and brilliantly explicated. No details is left out andd the big picture is never lost.Published 1 month ago by Dr Gary K
The book surpassed my expectations. My decisions on what questions to answer and fill out on any entry blank, medical paper, and census of
any kind is forever altered toward... Read more
Black says he collected 20,000 documents to write this book. Too bad no one told him he didn't have to include every one in the book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by typo_kign
You'll never think of IBM, Sloan Kettering and Ford the same way again. Very thoroughly researched, there's no escaping their complicity in the Holocaust or their support of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert M. Braun
I have to admit I've just got to around page 50, but I can already see why Thomas J Watson was capable of what he did with his cohorts. Read morePublished 6 months ago by steve uk