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The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, New Edition 2nd Edition [Paperback]

by Norman G. Finkelstein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 17, 2003 185984488X 978-1859844885 Second Edition
In an iconoclastic and controversial study, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an interrogation of the place the Holocaust has come to occupy in American culture to a disturbing examination of recent Holocaust compensation agreements. It was not until the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, when Israel’s evident strength brought it into line with US foreign policy, that memory of the Holocaust began to acquire the exceptional prominence it enjoys today. Leaders of America’s Jewish community were delighted that Israel was now deemed a major strategic asset and, Finkelstein contends, exploited the Holocaust to enhance this newfound status. Their subsequent interpretations of the tragedy are often at variance with actual historical events and are employed to deflect any criticism of Israel and its supporters. Recalling Holocaust fraudsters such as Jerzy Kosinski and Binjamin Wilkomirski, as well as the demagogic constructions of writers like Daniel Goldhagen, Finkelstein contends that the main danger posed to the memory of Nazism’s victims comes not from the distortions of Holocaust deniers but from prominent, self-proclaimed guardians of Holocaust memory. Drawing on a wealth of untapped sources, he exposes the double shakedown of European countries as well as legitimate Jewish claimants, and concludes that the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket. Thoroughly researched and closely argued, The Holocaust Industry is all the more disturbing and powerful because the issues it deals with are so rarely discussed.

In a devastating new postscript to this best-selling book, Norman G. Finkelstein documents the Holocaust industry’s scandalous cover-up of the blackmail of Swiss banks, and in a new appendix demolishes an influential apologia for the Holocaust industry.

Frequently Bought Together

The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, New Edition 2nd Edition + Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, New and Revised Edition + Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History
Price for all three: $48.59

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Editorial Reviews


“[S]cathing in his denunciation of the institutions and individuals who have cropped up around the issue of reparations.”—New York Press

“The most controversial book of the year.”—The Guardian

“His basic argument that memories of the Holocaust are being debased is serious and should be given its due.”—The Economist

“Finkelstein’s downright pugilistic book delivers a wallop.”—LA Weekly

“Breathtaking in [its] angry accuracy and irony.”—The Jewish Quarterly

“A lucid, provocative and passionate book.”—New Statesman

About the Author

Norman G. Finkelstein is the author of A Nation on Trial (with Ruth Bettina Birn), named a notable book for 1998 by the New York Times Book Review, and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; Second Edition edition (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185984488X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859844885
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
881 of 966 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criticism is not prejudice October 2, 2001
By A Customer
I am an American Jew, and no, I don't "hate myself" or hate my ethnic heritage. I am proud of my Jewish heritage. I feel all Jews should read this book and give serious thought to it. Contary to what his critics say, Finkelstein does not deny and never has denied that European Jews suffered one of the most terrible atrocities in human history under the Nazi holocaust. (He does, however, argue persuasively that Jews are not the only people in history to have suffered genocide. This is NOT the same as holocaust denial.) What Finkelstein argues, and the critics of this book refuse to consider, is that many Jews unfortunately feel that this tremendous suffering confers upon them some kind of moral blank-check for whatever political or financial purposes they see fit--kicking Palestinians out of their homes, for example. It is a controversial statement in the current political climate, but Finkelstein presents a tight, devastating argument in favor of it, and all morally serious people should at least evaluate the argument in terms of facts and logic, rather than dismissing it off-hand with ad hominem attacks against the author. (I am not suggesting, by the way, that ad hominem attacks are never admissable in the course of argument--Finkelstein loves to pepper his argument with stinging, and often quite comic, insults to his opponents. However, Finkelstein realizes that these attacks must be an addition to, not a substitute for, reasoned argument. His opponents, in turn, don't seem to care much for reasoned argument at all, and prefer instead to employ ad hominem attacks exclusively.)
It is sad, though I suppose inevitable, that some anti-Semitic elements have latched on to this book as providing "support" for their prejudice.
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455 of 507 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holocaust Industry August 11, 2000
The thrust of Professor Finkelstein's unsettling book is that powerful interests (Israel and Jewish organizations in America) have hijacked what has become known as the holocaust. And while Israel has exploited the holocaust as a weapon to deflect criticism, regardless how justified, American Jewish organizations have used the plight of supposedly needy survivors to extort staggering sums of money from the rest of the world. This was done not for the benefit of survivors, but for the financial advantage of these organizations.
There are no conclusions reached in Professor Finkelstein's book that a careful reader of daily newspapers could not have reached, assuming the reader could read between the lines and base his judgment on evidence and common sense rather than the politically correct slant of the media reporting.
Finkelstein has infuriated his critics not by ranting or raving or misrepresenting the evidence, as they have accused him, but by painstakingly supporting his arguments with irrefutable documentation. The first line of defense of the mass media in America, one of the holocaust industry's most effective and compliant tools (second only to the Clinton administration), was to pretend Finkelstein's book did not exist. Once this tactic became ineffective due to an outpouring of Internet exposure, the mass media launched scathing attacks on the author and his book. Read the New York Times book review for one such "hit piece" and compare that review with your own reading of the book. Naturally, reading the book is something the review is designed to discourage.
A zealous supporter of the holocaust industry, Professor Zweig from Tel Aviv, posted a negative "one star" review of Dr. Finkelstein's book on Amazon.
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188 of 210 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable approach July 26, 2000
By A Customer
Mr Finkelstein's basic point is that there are certain groups in the state of Israel and the World Jewish Community who use the Holocaust as a means of protecting themselves from any kind of criticism whatsoever: As soon as anyone would question what they are doing, they would point the finger to the Holocaust as a justification for it. At first, I was not really sure what to make of this idea. Should I condemn it, as it could be a try to end Holocaust commemorance? Or should I read on and see what it was about? I decided to do the latter, and I have not regretted it.
Norman Finkelstein does not object to remembering the Holocaust. His parents were sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis - why should he want to forget what they had gone through? What Mr Finkelstein does object to, is the exploitation of their suffering, and all the other victim's suffering, by a Holocaust Industry that has hardly a connection to them. It would be a mistake to try to summarize his arguments in this short review, as this would only lead to generalizations and misunderstandings. This book is neither an attack on Holocaust commemorance nor on the Jews and their religion. It is an attempt to take a reasonable approach to a topic that has been, up to now, often discussed in a much too emotional way.
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115 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anger but never hatred! August 16, 2000
Prof. Finkelstein's book has been described by other reviwers as "angry"; and it is that! Yet, even if only half of the meticulously documented accusations in the book are true, the author has every right to his anger. So, in fact, does the entire population of the United States, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, and even more, citizens of Isreal, the Arab world and of Europe: not least those of Germany and Switzerland for whom the book convincingly documents shocking revelations of extortion and malfeasance, often at the expense of Holocaust survivors.
Anger, then, pervades the 150 pages of this well written book; but never hatred. That reaction seems reserved for his critics who, in this reviewer's opinion, have advanced few arguments against the veracity of Finkelstein's theses and, instead, have felt obliged to resort to personal insult and character assassination; strengthening rather than weakening his case. Professor Finkelstein is a brave man!
Like all iconoclastic and thought-provoking books, this one is essential reading for any student of the Holocaust because it is scholarly and rationally argued. The arguments therein challenge the leadership of the alleged "Holocaust Industry" to refute them in an unbiased court of public opinion which likely doesn't exist today. Finkelstein's is as yet a minority voice and may still readily be shouted down without recourse to rational argument; the day, however, will surely come when a less self-serving history of these awful events will be generally accepted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new and yet revolutionary
That individuals try to scam the world by pretending suffering is not a surprise. The insurance companies have been fighting this scourge from immemorial times. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Adrian Marchidann
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book
This is one of those rare books that is bound to have an impact on how you look at the world. That is, if you take the time to read it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by thomas conner
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative
It took a great deal of courage to write this book. The thesis is that the Holocaust has become a shakedown industry,
and the Holocaust is also used to deflect any and all... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jane White
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, But Far Too Polemic
I get it. Norman Finkelstein doesn't like people who exploit the Holocaust. Who does? But it would be nice if along with all the useful research and analysis he didn't insist on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by brxbrxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Self-Proclaimed Victimhood is Now an Industry
Because Jewish Victimization is dogmatically accepted as truth, even challenging it can subject the challenger to charges of "antisemitism. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frances T. Nowve
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this.
The author tackles a very touchy subject in an honest way, and confirms a lot of the suspicions that people have about the way the Holocaust and the state of Jews has evolved in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cassiel
5.0 out of 5 stars NAIVETE WITH A GOLDEN HEART
Published 2 months ago by aslanbek
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for anyone interested in the Holocaust today
Dr. Finkelstein is one of my heroes; he is a true academic who pursues the truth no matter what the cost. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Redheaded Pirate
5.0 out of 5 stars the book is really good....but
I like this book but i noticed that nowhere in it does dr finklestein oontest the number of jewish survivors that died in the holocaust. Read more
Published 3 months ago by guest
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Finkelstein is the bravest writter on the topic as well as the best informed, he does the most research and does not lie like the jew controlled media
Published 4 months ago by Y. Demetriou
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