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Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust Holocaust And The David Irving Trial Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0465021529 ISBN-10: 0465021522 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (March 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465021522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465021529
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As an expert witness for the defense in last year's Irving-Lipstadt trial, Evans (history, Cambridge Univ.) was charged with determining whether David Irving was, as Deborah Lipstadt asserted, a Holocaust denier. Evans spent two years researching Irving's work, tracing his sources, and then evaluating his publications and public speeches. Moving easily from analysis of Irving's abuse of primary documents to a discussion of what constitutes legitimate historical methodology, Evans presents compelling proof that Irving is a Holocaust denier and why he should not be considered a legitimate member of the historical profession. Evans's depiction of the trial and of Irving's behavior in court is followed by an assessment of the implications of the judgment in Lipstadt's favor. Evans's point that some commentators seemed to forget that it was Irving who was attempting to silence Lipstadt, rather than academic historians and "Jewish interest groups" attempting to stifle free speech, is well worth remembering. Evans eloquently argues that what was really on trial was history itself. Fortunately, history won. Ironically, Evans's carefully documented book has not yet been published in the U.K., as Irving's threats to bring a libel suit have already caused one company to drop publication. Highly recommended. Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

When Deborah Lipstadt's Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (1993), a groundbreaking book about the disturbing movement to refute the reality of the Holocaust, was published, one of the writers identified as a Holocaust denier, the Englishman David Irving, sued Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin, for libel. Although Irving never earned a degree, he has written nearly 30 books about Hitler and other related subjects. His contention, therefore, was that Lipstadt had denigrated his work as a historian by accusing him of distorting the historical record to support his extreme anti-Semitic politics. The defense had to prove that Irving, in fact, had deliberately misrepresented the contents of relevant documents to conform to his sympathetic view of Hitler and his belief that nothing on the order of genocide occurred under Nazi rule. Evans, a Cambridge-based historian who specializes in modern German history, was retained by the defense as an expert witness, and he chronicles his arduous research effort with impressive lucidity. At question was the very bedrock of history: Is there such a thing as historical objectivity? Or, as Evans writes, "How do we know when a historian is telling the truth? . . . Wasn't it all a matter of interpretation?" Sensitive to these conundrums and the high emotional valence attached to the Holocaust, Evans was scrupulous in his examination of thousands of pages of documents, assiduously evaluating Irving's interpretation of such primary sources as Goebbels' diaries, always on the lookout for evidence of inaccuracies and bias. He found plenty, and he describes his discoveries with quiet and contagious excitement. By sharing his vast insider's knowledge and recounting his surreal experiences on the stand as Irving, who represented himself, conducted his chaotic cross-examinations, Evans enables readers to fully appreciate the significance of both Lipstadt's victory and Irving's exposure as exactly what he claimed not to be. There is such a thing as truth, and history, responsibly practiced, will reveal it. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Ahlstrom on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Evans is one of the top historians on modern Germany today. He has written several outstanding works including the "Third Reich" trilogy, which is highly recommended. I see that a number of Amazon's reviewers do not understand the current book, nor do they seem to understand how scholarship and peer review works. I have been an editor for management and international business journals for many years and have had to read and review well over one thousand manuscripts (articles, books, monographs). There is a standard for scholarship; particularly for determining if an event is likely to have occurred (unfortunately, we do not yet have anything like the Central Limit Theorem for historical and process research, as is contained in much historical scholarship). Still it is possible to make a reasonable case for what events occurred and what was much less likely. In this interesting book, Richard Evans argued that the Holocaust deniers' scholarship is flawed on many accounts. For example, Holocaust deniers often argue that Hitler did not know about Kristallnacht (in 1938) and was not in favor of it. This is highly unlikely as Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was with Hitler during much of that night, and Goebbels was the driving force behind that awful 1938 event. I see this type of poor scholarship all the time in the business field also in the papers and books I have to review; many researchers in our field do not understand how to use past research - evidence, definitions, concepts -- to build their cases. They basically ignore past research and claim to be "discovering" new things. I have found this is rarely the case. I have no 'pony in this particular race' but after reading several of Evans' works, and that of some other German scholars (e.g.Read more ›
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149 of 224 people found the following review helpful By on March 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Did you know that during the Beer Hall Putsch Hitler was firmly opposed to anti-Semitic violence and when he heard that some Nazis had attacked Jewish stores he summoned them and summarily dismissed them from the party? Well if you don't know, don't blame yourself, it's not actually true. And if you thought you knew this you have been misled by David Irving. As Richard J. Evans points out in this useful book, what Irving did was rely on the testimony at Hitler's trial of a Nazi Party member and Munich police officer. Aside from massaging various details to make Hitler look even more principled that the witness said he was, Irving ignored the fact that the witness was obviously trying to improve Hitler's image and even the amazingly indulgent tribunal agreed he was too partial a witness to be believed. As readers will find out in this book, this is not the first nor the last questionable interpretation Irving has inflicted on his readers.
This book arises out of last year's libel trial in which Irving sued the American author Deborah Lipstadt for claiming he was a Holocaust denier. He lost his case, basically because Lipstadt and her lawyers were able to show that in fact he was one. Evans, a distinguished historian of modern Germany was asked to examine Irving's work, and he produced a damning affidavit that showed that Irving had systematically distorted the evidence in order to euphemize and indulge Hitler's actions. Surprisingly, Irving went into the trial with a much better reputation than he deserved. He was able to quote prominent and respected historians who claimed that, regardless of his views on the Holocaust, his other work was often scholarly and informative.
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116 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Woodbury on July 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is an outcome of the libel trial brought by David Irving against Penguin Books (in general) and Deborah Lipstadt (specifically). A historian and modern social commentator, Deborah Lipstadt had referred to Irving as a Holocaust denier (and a poor historian) three or four times in a nearly 600-page book. Irving took exception and sued her for libel. He waited to sue her in England where the burden of proof is on the defendant, not the Plaintiff. Evans was one of the many historians asked, by the defense, to prove that Lipstadt was not committing libel when she called Irving a Holocaust denier.

Evans has consequently built up a massive body of evidence to show that Irving continually, and with knowledge, suppressed historical facts and documents to support his position. Evans presents both the process of his investigation and the conclusions that he reached. Evans makes a formidable case. He points successfully to incident after incident where Irving knew that information was incorrect and still used it. Evans also points out that Irving's "mistakes" were all in one direction, not chaotic as one might expect from a researcher that didn't have enough time on his hands or was uncertain about his material.

Lying About Hitler clarifies a number of issues, the first being that Irving was not the defendant (I thought so when I first heard about the case). Irving was suing Lipstadt, not the other way around. It was Lipstadt's freedom of speech (and Penguin Books') that was under attack. If Irving had won, he and others like him would have been able to stop (or attempt to stop) anyone who called them liars or disagreed with their position.
Another issue Evans deals with is the "but history is so hard to interpret" argument.
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