The end of the Cold War dramatically changed research into the Holocaust. The gradual opening up of archives across Eastern Europe allowed a flood...

The end of the Cold War dramatically changed research into the Holocaust. The gradual opening up of archives across Eastern Europe allowed a flood of local and regional studies that transformed our understanding of the Final Solution. We now know much more about the mechanics of destruction in the East, about the interaction between center and periphery in planning and carrying out mass killings, and about the interaction between Germans, local inhabitants and Jews.

Twenty years later, historians have begun to integrate these new studies into broad reexaminations of the Holocaust. Donald Bloxham has written one of the best of these. His book, The Final Solution: A Genocide (Oxford UP, 2009), is a remarkable attempt to put the Holocaust into the broader context of global history. It’s analytical rather than narrative. Its arguments are careful and always attentive to nuance and complexity. And Bloxham demonstrates a deep understanding of research on the Holocaust and in the broader field of Genocide Studies. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, you will come out of this book having reconsidered what you thought you knew about the Holocaust and about European history in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

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