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History on Trial : My Day in Court with David Irving Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In a much-publicized case, David Irving, the author of numerous books about WWII, sued Emory University historian Lipstadt and her British publisher, Penguin, for libel. Lipstadt had called Irving a Holocaust denier in a book about the Holocaust denial movement, and Britain's libel laws put the burden of proof on her to show that the charge was true. Did that mean proving the Holocaust had happened? Was Lipstadt, as Irving claimed, trying to restrict his freedom of speech, or was he restraining hers? Was the courtroom the proper place to examine historical truth? The press hotly debated these issues, but as Lipstadt relates in this powerful account, she and her adept lawyers felt they simply had to discredit a man who had said that "no documents whatsoever show that a Holocaust had ever happened." In 2000, Judge Charles Gray decided in Lipstadt's favor, finding it "incontrovertible" that Irving was a Holocaust denier. The drama of the book lies in the courtroom confrontations between an evasive and self-contradictory Irving (serving as his own lawyer) and Lipstadt's strategically brilliant barrister, Richard Rampton, and the scholars who testified in her defense. Lipstadt herself is a reluctant heroine, a feisty, outspoken woman forced to remain silent (she did not testify in court) and let her lawyers speak for her. No one who cares about historical truth, freedom of speech or the Holocaust will avoid a sense of triumph from Gray's decision—or a sense of dismay that British libel laws allowed such intimidation by Irving of a historian and a publisher in the first place.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In Denying the Holocaust (Penguin, 1994), Lipstadt called Irving, an English author of books on World War II and the Third Reich, the most dangerous Holocaust denier because his works were reviewed in mainstream journals and he commanded a certain level of respect and influence in the field. Irving later sued her and her publisher, Penguin UK, for libel. Under English law, the burden of proof in a libel case rests with the defendant. The core of the book is the trial itself, combining a page-turning eyewitness account and a close look at the mind-set and dubious research methods of a neo-Nazi. Irving served as his own lawyer and constantly courted press coverage. Among his assertions: Hitler did not order the Kristallnacht violence but attempted to stop it; the Allies were responsible for typhus epidemics in the concentration camps; Anne Frank's diary is a romantic novel; more people died in Ted Kennedy's car at Chappaquidick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Ultimately, Irving's case collapsed under the weight of evidence and expert testimony provided by the defense. In addition to possible use with the curriculum, this book will appeal to teens interested in modern history, historiography, and law.–Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HARPER COLLINS 7 WOR (February 1, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 0060593768
  • ASIN: B000BHA3QI
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,701,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book about the libel trial of David Irving (Hitler's War) vs Deborah E.Lipstadt (Denying the Holocaust)
In her work, Denying the Holocaust, Miss Lipstadt had exposed David Irving as a 'Holocaust denier' that is one who denies the fact that the Holocaust was a real historical event. That there was a systematic attempt to wipe out the Jews in Europe, that approx 6 million were killed.
She did this in a matter of fact manner, since, as she believed, Mr. Iriving's views were so clear on the subject it wasn't an issue of controversy. She was thus, shocked when she found that Mr. Irving had sued her and Penguin books for libel.

Mr. Irving, took Miss Lipstadt to court in England, where the burden of proof of libel is on the defendent, so defending oneself can be quite daunting and exhausting.
Mr. Irving had often used threats of libel lawsuits to intimiate other authors, who would often just back down rather than go through the trouble of fighting a costly law case.

However, Miss Libstadt and Penguin books, were made of firmer stuff.
Recognizing the threat to the very history of the Holocaust itself, Miss Lipstadt gathered the best legal minds to defend her.
The Jewish community also saw the threat that David Irving's charges represented and rallied around Lipstadt.

What follows is a case in which truth itself is on trial.

The Defense lawyers are dedicated and brillant. David Irving, who was his own defense attorney, clever and ruthless.
The battlefield was the historical reality of the murder of 6 million men, women and children, whose only 'crime' was being Jewish.
Was the Holocaust real? was it exaggerated? Was Hilter responsible for it?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most gripping courtroom dramas I ever read, and I have read it a number of times.

Deborah Lipstadt, an Emory University professor, wrote a book, "Denying the Holocaust," ripping the lid off of critters who distort one history's most horrific episodes of genocide and organized slaughter, turning it upside down, presenting it as a hoax, making the victims into blood-sucking liars and the perpetrators into innocents or heroes. The purpose of denying the Holocaust, of course, is to make Nazism a legitimate political force and continue Jew-hating. Remove the Holocaust, and Nazism goes from being a genocidal sadistic kleptomania to a tough, rough, but viable form of ethnic nationalism, which builds good roads and fights Communism.

After Professor Lipstadt published her book, one of the people she assailed (almost in passing), Englishman David Irving, whose career as a historian was on the downswing because of his open support of Holocaust denial, sued Prof. Lipstadt. Irving did so in a British court, which places a heavy burden on defendants -- they have to prove the plaintiff is wrong, instead of the plaintiff having to prove he is right.

As matters turned out, Prof. Lipstadt whupped Irving pretty effectively. She assembled a crack team of historians, who presented reports that ripped Irving's research and knowledge of history bloody. Her barrister, Richard Rampton, tore Irving apart on the witness stand. At the end, the judge ruled for the defendants, shredding Irving's reputation as a historian, calling him a liar and a racist.

Prof.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Holocaust survivor (a hidden child in WWII Czechoslovakia), I am sensitive to the lies perpetuated by those who choose to deny that the systematic murder of six million Jews by the Nazis took place. I was somewhat familiar with David Irving and his twisted, made-up history of a war which cost my family twenty-five lives. In doing research for my own memoir of war experiences, I had read Deborah Lipstadt's "Denying the Holocaust." However, I was unaware of the libel suit brought against her by the British anti-Semite, Irving.

I was surprised to learn that, in England, unlike in the U.S., the burden of proof in a libel suit is on the defendant. In other words, upon bringing the suit, Irving did not have to prove that he was not a Holocaust denier, as he claimed; Dr. Lipstadt had to prove that he was. "History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving" is a gripping, moving story of her ordeal. In the past, Irving had often used the threat of libel suits to intimidate and discourage other authors. No doubt, he expected this lady to back off as others had done and to let his lies go unchallenged. Instead, she and her publisher decided to take a stand, and friends, colleagues, and the Jewish community rallied around her. An outstanding defense team was formed to do battle against Irving, who chose to represent himself in court.

The beautifully, touchingly written courtroom drama describes in great detail how the defense exposes, piece by piece, Irving's fraudulent misrepresentations and distortions of facts as he attempts to exonerate Hitler and his henchmen of their crimes against humanity. For a week, while reading the book, I felt as though I was in the room with Dr.
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