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Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? Updated and Expanded Paperback – April 1, 2009
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Denying History is a courageous and accessible study of "a looking-glass world where black is white, up is down, and the normal rules of reason no longer apply." Authors Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman have immersed themselves in the conferences, literature, and Web culture of Holocaust deniers; they have engaged the pseudo-historians in debate; and they have visited the concentration camps in Europe to investigate the truth of what happened there. Denying History presents Shermer and Grobman's findings. The book refutes, in detail, the Holocaust deniers' claims, and it demonstrates conclusively that the Holocaust did happen.It also explores the fundamental historical issue in all debates over the truth of the Holocaust: the question of "how we know that any past event happened." Thus, Denying History is a doubly useful book; it sets the record straight on one of history's most terrible events, and it instructs readers in the scientific, logical, and historiographical principles that can help us make wise judgments about history on our own. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Holocaust denialAback in the news since the British courts shot down David Irving's libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt (for her groundbreaking book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory) in AprilAgets an inventively thorough treatment in this important book. Keeping their focus on larger questions about historical rigor and public memory, Shermer (a professor of the history of science at Occidental College and publisher of Skeptic magazine) and Grobman (Rekindling the Flame) look closely at the methods employed by deniers and those used by legitimate historians. "Holocaust denial," they argue, "is not just a Jewish issue. It is an attack on all history and the way we transmit the past to the future." Drawing on a wide array of evidenceAinterviews they conducted with famous deniers (including Irving himself) and text from their Web sites and literatureAthe authors explore the difference between legitimate historical revisionism and pseudohistorical denial. They note that historians interested in revising accepted knowledge depend on a wide variety of sources to draw a picture of an event or periodAif some of that evidence is contradictory, then respectful scholarly debate ensues; if new evidence surfaces, then the historical record gets revised. Deniers, on the contrary, use the barest of evidenceAone contradiction, for exampleAto discount entire arguments; meanwhile, they bolster their own arguments with out-of-context phrases and mistranslations. Using the deniers' own words to tear down their arguments, Shermer and Grobman provide a clear method for determining the reality of past events and supply a powerful weapon for anyone who cares about learning from the credible historical record. 42 b&w photos. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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On page 261 you guys wrote, "Yes, the Allies killed innocents on the road to victory, but the killing stopped the moment the Allies won."
You are monstrously misinformed, Mr. Shermer! Haven't you heard that between twenty and twenty-five million Germans and collaborators perished in the years after the war had officially ended? This includes women and children murdered by the Allied forces.
Please read Thomas Goodrich's Hellstorm: The Death Of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947. Goodrich's 2010 book informs us about this other Holocaust that the media has been hiding from us since the end of WW2.
It is for a good reason the subtitle of the book is "Who says the Holocaust never happened and why do they say it?" and not "what they say and why are they mistaken." Dr. Shermer spends most of the book attacking men and motives rather than answering the arguments or claims of the revisionists. If people want to know what revisionists really claim, they can read some of their books for themselves. That is a better way to go about it. Also go out to web sites like vho.org, ihr.org, codoh.org and russgranata.com. Read some of the essays there.
As for Dr. Shermer's "convergence of evidence," I learned this concept under a different name in religion class. It was called "leap of faith." Early in the book, the authors state that revisionists prey on people's ignorance. I found quite the opposite to be the case. The more I learned about the Holocaust the less I believed it. As I read more still the disbelief turned to the knowledge of what actually happened and why major aspects of Holocaust story are false.
This book is a failure. It doesn't even address most revisionist research much less answer all revisionist arguments or claims. As I was reading it, my wife kept asking me what was so funny.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, it is an exploration of historical method intended to show how not only Holocaust deniers, but fringe groups of all kinds, distort and pervert history to make their points. The book is a virtual guide to BS detection, displaying the techniques used by pseudo-historians and how the conclusions drawn by these techniques evaporate in the light of a careful, objective evaluation of the evidence.
In a sense, it is too bad that the Holocaust, a very emotional topic (and this book can be quite angry at times), is the test case; less of a hot-button issue might have made for a calmer (and at times less disturbing) book. But the Holocaust deniers need to be denied, and Shermer and Grobman do a masterful job of it, without losing sight of the larger historiographical issues involved. Denying History is intense, readable, valuable, and for anybody who has ever been upset by bizarre historical claims, essential.