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Chicago professor's new book on Americans and the Holocaust heaps criticism on Deborah Lipstadt: He makes the "shoah-business" argument, Novick cites her work as an example of the santification of the Holocaust. [See Jeff Sharlet's Review]

Novick bookThe Holocaust in American Life
by Peter Novick, Eric Chinski (Editor)

List Price: $27.00 • Our Price: $18.90 at a glance You Save: $8.10 (30%)

Hardcover - 320 pages (June 1999)

Houghton Mifflin Co (Trd); ISBN: 0395840090 Sales Rank: 1,297
From Booklist , May 1, 1999

Why has the Holocaust, five decades after its conclusion, remained such a burning issue in the consciousness of Americans, both Jews and Gentiles?After all, most historical events fade from memory with the passage of time and the deaths of those who directly experienced the events. Yet, despite the occurrence of more recent and certainly quite horrific mass atrocities, from Cambodia to Ruanda, the Holocaust continues to play a central role in American public discourse. In this unsettling and fascinating work, Novick, a Jew and a professor of history at the University of Chicago, examines how a variety of domestic and foreign events have moved Holocaust consciousness to the center of American life and kept it there. The author unhesitatingly probes the subjects, including the role of Holocaust consciousness in cold war politics, the "uniqueness" of the Holocaust, and even the supposed "obsession" of American Jews (few of whom are Holocaust survivors) with the Holocaust. This is an important work that is bound to irritate, even outrage, many readers. Jay Freeman -- Copyright© 1999, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer comments:-

prisonersJonathan D. Sarna , Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Chair, Dept of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Brandeis University This provocative volume challenges much that we thought we knew about America and the Holocaust, and poses daunting questions that will be debated for years to come. It may be the most brilliant, iconoclastic and controversial Holocaust study since Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary A long overdue, endlessly fascinating and finely nuanced corrective to the temptation to turn the Holocaust from historical fact into world view.

Paul Mendes-Flohr, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem This is an unyielding book -- unyielding in its analysis, unyielding in its intellectual and moral integrity. Many will undoubtedly also find it to be a profoundly disturbing book. A master of the historian's craft, Novick, with an engaging style and enormous learning, unravels the complex and contradictory roles the Holocaust plays in American life. What clearly exercises Novick most is how Holocaust has come to occupy such an overwhelmingly central place in American Jewish culture. He unabashedly decries this development as vitiating the moral and spiritual fiber of America Jewish life.

© 1999, Inc. and its affiliates
Now see the scholarly debate in The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Do Americans obsess over the Holocaust? Has the focus on the Holocaust distorted scholarship and our understanding of history, and our perception of other atrocities and war crimes?"
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