Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Beyond Belief: The American Press And The Coming Of The Holocaust, 1933- 1945 Paperback – February 8, 1993
Find Rare and Collectible Books
Discover rare, signed and first edition books on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
This most complete study to date of American press reactions to the Holocaust sets forth in abundant detail how the press nationwide played down or even ignored reports of Jewish persecutions over a 12-year period. The conclusions amplify but do not seriously challenge previous studies; what is more significant here is the effortfar from completeto explain press actions. While revealing more about major newspapers and correspondents than about the mass of smaller ones, and saying far too little about newsreels and American Jewish newspapers, this raises larger questions concerning the relationship between press coverage, public knowledge, and government policy that deserve serious consideration. Readers may wish that Lipstadt explained more and indicted less. Still, there is plenty of important data in this volume for serious students. Jonathan D. Sarna, History Dept., Hebrew Union Coll.
Jewish Inst. of Religion, Cincinnati
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Deborah Lipstadt, author of The Eichmann Trial (2011), History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (2005), and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-45 (1986), occupies the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.
Top customer reviews
As Robert Daller stated very well, the book " raises disturbing questions about the capacity of the press to understand and respond to unprecedent events"
I read other books from Deborah Lipstadth and I like her sharp , vigorous appproach to facts.
When the Washington Post broke the Watergate scandal forty years ago, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, diligently pursued the facts while the rest of the media sat idly by, reluctant to jump on the story that was hard to comprehend.
Similarly, the America press, before television, ignored or was reluctant to report on European Jews being persecuted or systematically annihilated by Nazi Germany, despite the fact that Adolph Hitler had, in fact, put his motive in writing, nearly a decade before he came to power.
"Beyond Belief" is a painstaking, scholarly examination that raises disturbing questions of how and why the American press, as well as the American government, was derelict in its pursuit of the story of the persecution and annihilation of Europe's Jewish population.
While other books have condemned the American and other allied governments for their reluctant attempts to intervene to save countless Jewish lives, this one, in particular, demonstrates how the press may have shirked its duty that doomed millions.
In hindsight, though it is easy to castigate, albeit not accept, the press' dereliction for being insufficiently proactive, it is, to some degree, easier to understand when you examine the temper of the times and the international climate.
As a journalist, I was drawn to this book to learn the extent of the press's role in reporting on the events that led up to and during the Holocaust. Though I knew beforehand that the American government should and could have done more, I never realized that press also failed to fulfill its obligation to relay the horrors being systematically conducted across Germany and Eastern Europe.
This brings me to a small caveat about this book written in 1986. There has been considerable debate about the number of Jews murdered at Auschwitz. Controversially there was a plaque at Auschwitz claiming that 4 million Jews perished there. This plaque (erected when Poland was heavily under Soviet control) was removed and a replacement that gave the more accurate 1.1 million was erected. The higher figure has never been accepted by western historians so it is strange that Lipstadt appeared in this pre-Glasnost book to continue to accept this figure. Denier websites have descended on this figure to reject this book in its entirety. I think this would a shame.
In this book Deborah Lipststadt describes the ways that the American press reported actions by the Nazis against the Jews. This must have been a painstaking task reading through thousands of newspapers across the country over a 12 year period.
The title is apt. The key thing that becomes clear is that journalists and reporters were aware of actions by the Nazis and were aware of mass murder in gas chambers in Polish extermination camps. This information was being fed to editors who then reported it. However, in many cases a natural skepticism came into force and information became under reported or inappropriately reported. Articles reporting thousands of deaths appeared hidden within the pages and were therefore ignored. As a result of this, the US government had little incentive to take any action to aid Europe's Jews and as a result millions died.
The skepticism was understandable. During the First World War, there were false atrocity stories about Germany's actions which were credulously reported by American papers. Editors were reluctant to be caught out again. Furthermore, Germany was regarded a civilised nation. How could a nation that had produced Goethe, Schiller and Beethoven sink to such barbarity? So, when papers received reports of mass murder and intense discrimination, they tended to under report it. Jews were never singled out as the principle victims. The deaths in Poland were reported as Polish deaths rather Jewish deaths for instance. The other problem is that a certain "compassion fatigue" can set in when the news is unrelenting. Readers gradually became inured against the news.
This meant that although people might decry the actions of the Nazi state, there was never much desire on the part of Americans (and even American Jews) to do much to stop the slaughter. America had a strong anti-immigrant policy at the time and did not relax it to help Jews in Europe. Similarly, Britain did not allow mass Jewish immigration into Palestine.
This has been a very interesting book that could be described as an exercise in media studies rather than history and as such is an extremely worthwhile read with wider lessons than the Holocaust.