David B. Dennis, “Inhumanities: Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture” (Cambridge UP, 2012)
I occasionally teach Western Civilization and you may have taken it in college. We all know the drill: Greeks-Romans-Dark Ages-Middle Ages-Renaissance-Reformation-Scientific Revolution-Enlightenment-Romanticism-Modernity. Or something like that. I teach Western Civilization as a “march of ideas”: Reason, Beauty, Freedom, Equality, Justice (caps intended) and the like. This way of telling the... Read More
Andrew Demshuk, “The Lost German East: Forced Migration and the Politics of Memory, 1945-1970” (Cambridge UP, 2012)
At the close of the Second World War, the Allies expelled several million Germans from the eastern portion of the former Reich. Thanks to the work of many historians, we know quite a bit about Allied planning for the expulsion, when and how it took place, and the multitude of... Read More
Michael Bryant, “Eyewitness to Genocide: The Operation Reinhard Death Camp Trials, 1955-1966” (University of Tennessee Press, 2014)
My marginal comment, recorded at the end of the chapter on the Belzec trial in Michael Bryant‘s fine new book Eyewitness to Genocide: The Operation Reinhard Death Camp Trials, 1955-1966 (University of Tennessee Press, 2014), is simple:  “!!!!”  Text speak, to be sure, but it conveys the surprise I felt. One... Read More
Ari Joskowicz, “The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France” (Stanford UP, 2014)
In 1873, the German scientist Rudolf Virchow declared in Parliament that liberals were locked in a Kulturkampf, a “culture war” with the forces of Catholicism, which he viewed as the chief hindrance to progress and modernity. Over the past two decades, historians have appropriated the term “culture war,” liberated it... Read More
Wendy Lower, “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)
It seems quite reasonable to wonder if there’s anything more to learn about the Holocaust. Scholars from a variety of disciplines have been researching and writing about the subject for decades. A simple search for “Holocaust” on Amazon turns up a stunning 27,642 results. How can there still be uncovered... Read More
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