- Series: New Studies in European History
- Hardcover: 540 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st Ed. edition (May 23, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521847060
- ISBN-13: 978-0521847063
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World Hitler Never Made: Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism (New Studies in European History) 1st Ed. Edition
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"With The World Hitler Never Made Gavriel Rosenfeld takes a completely fascinating and highly original cut into the complex of questions concerning the relationship between history and memory on the subject of Nazism and its place in post-1945 popular culture. He tackles these themes with great verve, writing with admirable clarity, and marshalling a prodigious array of speculative fictions and 'alternate histories' in order to build his arguments. The resulting book is both accessible and challenging, densely documented and thoroughly absorbing. All German historians will want to read it, as will anyone interested in Holocaust memory and the legacies of Nazism." Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
"Gavriel Rosenfeld's analysis of 'alternative historical' treatments of Nazi Germany, embracing a broad range of popular media, is bound to raise hackles. Yet in seeking to comprehend the comparative, changing mentalities of postwar America, Britain, and Germany he has conceived and produced a provocative and deeply insightful book. The World Hitler Never Made is a strikingly original and imaginative cultural history that reveals a great deal about the post-war world by examining 'alternative historical' forays into Nazism and the Holocaust. It is perhaps the most accessible, as well as one of the most important scholarly books ever written about the role of the Holocaust in popular consciousness from the war's end up to our own time." Michael Berkowitz, University College London
"A history of alternative histories, The World Hitler Never Made is an imaginative and intriguing look at our culture's fascination with what might have been, had things gone differently during the Second World War. With panache, erudition and a broad comparative sweep, Rosenfeld analyzes these distorted images of what occurred, unearthing our evident pleasure in imagining other outcomes and what that says about our relationship to the Nazi past. The possibility of evil winning, or at least sidestepping defeat, cuts perhaps all too close to the bone today." Peter Baldwin, University of California, Los Angeles
"In this wide-ranging and highly stimulating book, Gavriel Rosenfeld explores the changing nature yet strange persistence of alternate histories of the Nazi past, showing the ways in which Hitler and the Third Reich have occupied Western popular culture long after the regime's demise. In so doing Rosenfeld does more than simply advance a persuasive case for why such mass market myth-making and counterfactual history deserve to be taken more seriously as revealing expressions of popular memory; The World That Hitler Never Made goes a long way towards furnishing a cultural history of some of the most powerful fears and fantasies haunting the Western social imagination from the end of the Second World War to the present." Paul Betts, University of Sussex
"The World Hitler Never Made is an impressive work." -Financial Times, Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at Oxford University
"There is no better guide than The World Hitler Never Made, which takes us through this strange domain without descending into it." -The New Leader
"The World Hitler Never Made is an important, well-researched book."
"Gavriel Rosenfeld's recent study is an interesting and original contribution to our understanding of history and memory." -Clifton Ganyard, German Studies Review
What if the Nazis had won World War II? What if Adolf Hitler had escaped from Nazi Germany in 1945 and gone into hiding? What if Hitler had been assassinated or had never been born? Gavriel Rosenfeld's 2005 study explores why those questions about Nazism have proliferated within Western popular culture.
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The problem is the remaining one-third, which consists of scholarly analysis of these works. These sections, which are spread throughout the book, are slow and repetitive, with discussion of concepts like normalization of the Nazi past and of Hitler. Apparently, they are intended for professional historians much more than for general AH readers.
My advice: If you want to read this book, as a fan of AH, skip over the sections of scholarly discussion.
Check out pages 274 to 278 pg 327, 329 and 365 and the footnotes
http://www.amazon.com/The-World-Hitler-Never-Made/dp/1107402751/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1367934939&sr=8-5&keywords=elleander+morning Keep up the good work Mr. Rosenfeld.
My favorite of this genre is Norman Spinrad's amazing The Iron Dream which I urge everyone to go out and buy immediately. Rosenfeld raises the question whether Spinrad's historical pessimism lets Hitler off the hook a little bit: in the novel, the Holocaust happens anyway in the Soviet Union even though Hitler never came to power and ended up a hack sci-fi writer in America. I don't agree with this spin on Spinrad, but it's interesting to think about. In spite of all the large historical forces at work, individuals have to be held accountable for the evil that they do. Rosenfeld's not unexpected conclusion is that Hitler was a dominant, horrific figure in the imagination of the culture and we are unlikely to forget him for the foreseeable future.
Incidentally, this book is advertised as a survey of the literature about alternate histories, not as a factual "expert's perspective of what a world in which the Nazi's won WWII would look like." So it's missing the point to give this book only two stars for not being something it was never intended or advertised to be in the first place.
This book is a summary and analysis of the victorious Third Reich books, films and TV shows of the past 70 years or so. It's incredibly detailed and unearths some real gems, as well as stinkers and books/films that are mostly forgotten now.
Rosenfeld puts forward an interesting argument as to why this sub-genre of alternate history continues to haunt the imagination. He also shows how the genre has changed and why it has been so successful. One interesting parallel he points out is the link between recessions and 'what ifs' selling well. That being the case, and given the state we're in, I guess we're due another big hit any day soon! 'Fatherland 2', anybody?
Two criticisms: it can be a bit repetitive (he shows again and again how the books/films fit his pattern; I got it the first time!) and some of the analysis is a bit dry. This is clearly meant as a more academic leaning book rather than being for the general reader. Nevertheless a fascinating volume and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.