- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 17, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393254364
- ISBN-13: 978-0393254365
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why?: Explaining the Holocaust 1st Edition
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“With his judicious, thoughtful and balanced answers to difficult and often inflammatory questions, Hayes....has provided an intellectually searching and wide-ranging study of the Holocaust.”
- Nicholas Stargardt, The New York Times Book Review
“Superbly written and researched, synthesizing the classics while digging deep into a vast repository of primary sources.”
- Josef Jofee, Wall Street Journal
“Explain? Impossible. But Hayes’s timely, accessible book sheds light on the horror. In certain circumstances it reminds us that humans can rationalize anything.”
“This clearly written, cogently argued and researched book....courageously confronts some of the thorniest issues raised by the Shoah, making Why?: Explaining the Holocaust an indispensable work for specialists and informed readers alike.”
- Michael N. Dobkowski, Jewish Book Council
“Hayes has written a valuable book for today’s challenges, with perspective and sensitivity, that is, indeed, authoritative, readable and revealing.”
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A fascinating, remarkably lucid, compulsively readable explanation of how the mass murder of Europe’s Jews came about and how it transpired in the middle of the twentieth century.”
- David I. Kertzer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Pope and Mussolini
“Calmly argued, alert to the most recent scholarship about the Holocaust, and full of good sense, Peter Hayes’s new book carries an essential title asked universally: Why? Why did such a thing happen? Taking up this most difficult of challenges, his pages answer questions that many analysts dare not even ask, let alone answer. That is why this work should be required reading, both for specialists and for those who seek more recently to understand.”
- Michael R. Marrus, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto and author of Lessons of the Holocaust
“This book is outstanding―beautifully written, with enviable clarity of argument, countless instructive details, and memorable, evocative images. On every issue around which there has been either controversy or confusion―from the interrelationships between the Holocaust and the mass murder of individuals with disabilities to the motivations of the perpetrators, the economics of the killing operations, the special situation of Poland, the experiences of slave laborers, or the dimensions of Jewish resistance―Peter Hayes helpfully distills the debates and provides judicious, orienting assessments. A masterful, indispensable, landmark work.”
- Dagmar Herzog, distinguished professor of history and the Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York
“I recommend this book for a lucid, well-crafted introduction to the history of the Holocaust. Unlike most works on the history of the Holocaust....Hayes’ book concentrates....on helping readers to understand why the Holocaust occurred when it did, in the manner it did and with the results it produced. It offers readers a window onto how historians go about finding answers to these questions.”
- David Engel, professor of Holocaust studies and chair of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, Jewish Telegraphic Agency
“An original, informative and essential addition to the field of Holocaust Studies. It should be required reading for every introductory course on the Holocaust.”
- Lawrence L. Langer, author of Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory and Using and Abusing the Holocaust
“The book breathes the spirit of serious learning but is at the same time extremely well written and readable....Hayes gives conclusive, well considered, and persuasive answers to many Holocaust questions. In the introduction, he promises a 'comprehensive stocktaking.’ In that he has succeeded.”
- Wolfgang Benz, Director of the Center for Research on Antisemitism of the Technische Universität Berlin
“A short review cannot do justice to the breadth and depth of the scholarship exhibited in each chapter. This authoritative volume is mandatory for scholars and armchair historians interested in the origins, course, and outcomes of the Holocaust. Essential for all levels/libraries.”
“Peter Hayes poses eight key questions about the Holocaust and then analyzes and answers them with enviable mastery, succinctness, and clarity. Hayes’ arguments are presented with a scholarly authority that is judicious, compelling, and accessible. A gem of a book.”
- Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
About the Author
Peter Hayes is professor of history and German and Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Northwestern University, and chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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The result of this approach is an explanation both broad and deep. Anchored in rigorous scholarship and punctuated with human narratives, the book makes understandable the incomprehensible.
As a member of the general reading public, I’m grateful that this book neither condescends nor complicates. The author is clear in his presentation of information, concise in his style, and compelling in his arguments and conclusions. The book shattered a number of my personal misconceptions and gave me a greater understanding of the political, geographical, cultural, and ideological underpinnings of the Holocaust. Given the current political climate in the our country, the lessons and legacies Dr. Hayes identifies are particularly poignant — we must mind the beginnings.
Fellow classmates at Northwestern University during my undergraduate years describe Dr. Hayes as legendary. He was so popular, in fact, that his classes were nigh impossible to get into. This books shows why.
Incidentally, this analytical book is a fine companion to David Cesarini's "Final Solution," which addresses the Holocaust almost as serendipity.
for anyone interested in the early foundations of what became the Holocaust and its profound effects. The latter part of the book is also quiite
informative as it puts
This is the best introduction, explanation, and exploratory examination of the Holocaust I have come upon. It examines how antisemitism
was born and how it grew historically, culturally, and religiously. It also examines its profound and everlasting effects philosophically and religiously with long term questions to examine for the future.