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Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
It's hardly a provocative thesis. But ask yourself this: Would you be able to refute a Holocaust denier? The fact of the Holocaust is like the spherical Earth: Every reasonable person accepts it, but few can prove it. That is why Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer teamed up with historian Alex Grobman to write Denying History. They believe thinking people have a duty to fight Holocaust denial head on; and they want them to come to the battle armed with historical facts.
When the eyes of the public are upon them -- such as during the 1985 trial of Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel, or the famous 1994 Donahue episode that pitted two Holocaust deniers against Shermer and an Auschwitz survivor -- deniers often get the best of staged confrontations. The most prominent deniers know a lot about the Holocaust, especially arcane subjects like the chemistry of Zyklon-B gas and the architecture of gas chambers. Many of the sound bites they spit out are quite true. It is a fact, for instance, that the Nazis never manufactured soap from Jewish bodies on a mass scale -- contrary to urban legend. Deniers are also correct when they claim that there is no known Holocaust order bearing Hitler's signature. David Irving, the on-again off-again denier who recently lost a defamation suit in Britain, has never had to make good on his $1,000 challenge to any historian who could produce such a document.Read more ›
With this volume, historians Michael Shermier and Alex Grobman have presented a virtual tidal wave of substantiating evidence of the nature of the complex social movement that the Holocaust deniers comprise. The authors trudge through a depressing tour of every aspect of this social movement, and go deeper into every aspect of the deniers and their social network in an effort to both better understand what motivates them as well as how to finally and authoritatively refute their claims. In so doing, they not only illustrate how shallow, self-serving, disingenuous, and disreputable these claims and positions are, but also provide much more substantial proof of the existence of the Holocaust.
In some ways this tour into the deep underbelly of continuing hate, bigotry, and ignorance is a descent into a Dante-like inferno, one the reader tends to recoil from because of its `in-your-face' portrayal of such rampant and continuing racial hate and conflict.Read more ›
Significantly, no Nuremburg defendants attempted to claim that the Holocaust, a specific government sponsored program to kill Jews that actually resulted in some six million Jewish deaths, actually occured. This remained the state of affairs even fifteen years later when Adolf Eichmann, was captured and put on trial in connection with his role in the final solution. It was even the state of affairs some thirty years after that when John Damjanjuk was extradicted to Israel to face trial on allegations that he was one in same with concentration camp guard Ivan the Terrible.
However, as is made clear in this book, there are those who deny that the Holocaust occured. As might be expected those denying the Holocaust almost always hail from anti semitic circles from which they are funded and supported.
Not surprisingly the methods employed by these Holocaust deniers involve slip shod resesarch and reasoning. One example of this type of slip shod research and reasoning, as explained in this book, can be found in the Leuchter report, a report done by Fred Leuchter (a self described engineer) who went to Auschwitz where he illegally took wall samples from the area where inmates had been gassed to see if they contained traces of Zyclon B, the gas used to kill them. According to Leuchter his samples did not contain evidence of the lethal substance. However, the samples Leuchter took were from areas that had been subject to exposure to the elements for some fifty years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not exhaustive by any means, but Shermer raises critical questions & points that haven't been satisfactorily handled by the deniers.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Showed me a new side to the story of the holocaust that I hadn't seen before.Published 9 months ago by Aubrey Rhodes
Excellent information. I see the same old "deniers" denying this book by proffering their "same old-same old" misinformation. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Magda Denes
Very thorough book. It made much sense out of the deniers playbook.Published 20 months ago by Doctor Jest
This is an incredibly important book that delvers the best ammunition so far against the the Holocaust Denial industry. Read morePublished 21 months ago by mynott t
OK, this isn't the best written work I've ever read but these Holocaust Denial hacks really bother me so I'm glad to see others refuting them and revealing them for what they... Read morePublished on May 20, 2014 by N. Perz
It was a good read. I loved the erudite discussion of historical relativism and other notions that lay at the very foundation of the making of history. Read morePublished on February 22, 2014 by Elsita
I have read Denying History which you wrote with (Jewish) Alex Grobman.
On page 261 you guys wrote, "Yes, the Allies killed innocents on the road to victory, but the... Read more