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Never Again: The History of the Holocaust Hardcover – June 17, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The almost unbelievable story of the Holocaust, told by the authoritative Martin Gilbert, is augmented by firsthand accounts and poignant illustrations. Owing much to "those who have assembled the basic Documentation,", his text is easy to follow and matter-of-fact, allowing the horror of the events to speak for itself. Gilbert's chronological narrative captures, in a tragically compelling way, the dark progress of the gathering evil--from a background of "century after century" of anti-Semitic persecution to the Nuremberg Laws and the death camps. Never Again powerfully counteracts the dehumanizing nature of Nazi extermination. As the statistics "represent real people," names are put to faces in photographs and the stories of individuals (some now household names) are told. Ending with coverage of survivors' postwar lives and the war crimes trials, which have continued practically into the new century, the book gives past events a closer reality. Peppered with "acts of individual and collective bravery," Never Again is also a reminder that hope was never extinguished.

As one of the first German books on the Holocaust stated, "Only if we come to terms with it and understand the lessons of those years, can we free ourselves of the legacy of Hitlerite barbarism." Completed by an extensive bibliography and separate indices of people and places, Never Again makes a superbly lucid and accessible contribution toward creating and maintaining that understanding. --Karen Tiley, Amazon.co.uk

From Booklist

Historian Gilbert has reworked the scattered records and witnesses to the implacable plot to destroy the European Jews into an album evidently directed at readers largely oblivious to what happened. He arranges the principal events of the Holocaust into illustrated, two-page layouts per topic, such as Kristallnacht. With the start of the war, a dark cloak enveloped what the Nazis were doing, pierced by rumours and, rarely, by escapees from the death camps, such as Rudolf Vrba from Auschwitz in mid-1944. It was his report that activated the debate whether to bomb Auschwitz or not (see review of The Bombing of Auschwitz, a book that contains an essay by Gilbert, in this section), but, as is Gilbert's wont, he confines his text to noting the fact of the debate, implying that analysis of controversies in Holocaust historiography belong in the weighty tomes of the Raul Hilbergs and Daniel Goldhagens. A perfect authorial judgment, that, because this volume introduces the crime to a new generation, so that it knows of the atrocities and the seemingly futile acts of defiance taken, in the words of Judah Tenenbaum, "for three lines in the history books." Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (June 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789304090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789304094
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 9.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,349,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When one of the world's most eminent historians takes on the single most amazing phenomenon of the century, the Holocaust, it gives one pause for thought. So here we have Sir Martin Gilbert, a noted Holocaust authority, writing masterfully about the events leading up to and including the systematic persecution, deportation and murder of the Jews of Europe. His stirring and singular narrative is regularly punctuated by a number of poignant and shocking eyewitness accounts of many who lived through those numbing events. The test is extremely approachable and easy to read, so that the non-historian can appreciate the breadth and scope of his recounting of the events during the 12-year reign of terror levied by the National Socialists in Nazi Germany.
His approach is chronological, much like that employed in his best-selling three volume series on the 20th century. While he relies heavily on established secondary sources for his documentation, the power of his prose and his well-organized approach makes this an entertaining and educational tome to venture into. Although nowhere near as comprehensive as some other tomes such as Klaus Fischer's "History Of An Obsession", he does trace the centuries' long tradition of anti-Semitism culminating in the official state sanctioned approach codified in the institutionalized Nuremberg laws. In all this, Gilbert brilliantly employs survivor's recollections to paint the atrocities in the hues and colors of real human beings, ordinary and identifiable individuals caught in the insanity of the Third Reich. Furthermore, he pursues their individual identities and humanity by giving the reader information on the postwar futures of these people.
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Format: Hardcover
Martin Gilbert, better known for extremely detailed, research-heavy histories and biographies, has chosen to work from established primary and secondary sources in this history of the Holocaust. As a result, the reader with a strong background in this history will not find much new. However, the book is extremely well-written and very accessible--I read it in two sittings, and my 12-year-old brother has just started it.
In addition to effective writing, Gilbert includes some chilling photographs and reproductions of other primary sources. Especially disturbing are German documents cold-bloodedly noting that so many Jews arrived at such-and-such a camp, of whom X were killed immediately, and Y put to work.
Parents who believe their children are of an appropriate age might consider reading this book together as a way of introducing the most important, and most horrific, crime of this century. It is important.
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Format: Hardcover
Distinguished historian, Martin Gilbert, one of the world's leading authorities on the Holocaust, culminated three years of extensive pictorial research with this new and important illustrated volume, "Never Again: A History Of The Holocaust." Many of the book's photographs are from the massive permanent exhibit at the Imperial War Museum, London. Owing much to "those who have assembled the basic Documentation," his text is well written, easy to follow, and allows the horror of the events to speak for itself

In this visual chronology, Gilbert's narrative compellingly captures the richness of Jewish life in Europe before the rise of Nazism, the effects of antisemitism, and, ultimately, the destruction of much of European Jewry. Also portrayed is evidence of the desperate search by many Jews for safe haven, after 1933, from the horror which was to come. The knowledge that a multitude believed that such a thing as the systematic mass murder of millions was impossible, and/or that the threat would pass, is what truly consternates and deeply saddens. However, there were few places of safety to accommodate even those who did want to leave their homes.

Gilbert documents German military conquests and the spread of Nazism, beginning with Poland, and ending with Italy, Greece and Hungary; the establishment of Jewish ghettos throughout Europe, and life, (and death), in these walled-in communities from which few could escape; individual acts of defiance and group revolts in these ghettos - most famously the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, led by the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB); the stories of "Righteous Gentiles" who risked their lives to save the Jews; the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941; and the death camps.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been interested in the Holocaust for some time, and picked up this book because it seemed like it would be a good overview, and still give me the human side of the story. I was happy to find out that it was very well presented--every two pages is a new topic, and it is laid out with pictures, graphs, and personal recollections which make it easy to grasp. The book is laid out chronologically, which makes it easy to follow, and the language isn't difficult to understand.
Mr. Gilbert's grasp of history and what makes history accessible is discovered during the reading of this book. He seems to know that, with this topic especially, the use of personal stories personifies the experience for the reader.
A very good book, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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