Hannah Arendt thread

Michael Pugliese debsian at pacbell.net
Fri Aug 18 07:39:53 PDT 2000

Beyond the Conceivable These two new books from UC Press, look like good reads.

Michael Pugliese

Dan Diner Beyond the Conceivable Studies on Germany, Nazism, and the Holocaust Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism, 20

Publication Date:May 2000

286 pages, 6 x 9 inches Subjects:German Studies; Jewish Studies; Intellectual History Rights:World Clothbound:$45.00 0-520-21345-9 £28.50 "The brilliance of Diner's essays stems in good part from the astonishingly wide perspectives in which he sets his inquiries and from the interdisciplinary synthesis he is able to master. Publication in English is of extreme importance in enriching the debates on Nazism and the Holocaust in this country."--Saul Friedlander, author of Nazi Germany and the Jews "One of the most probing and intellectually sophisticated historians of the German Jewish conundrum, Dan Diner has a quality of mind and an intellectual depth and precision that are altogether unique."--Anson Rabinbach, author of In the Shadow of Catastrophe The major essays of Dan Diner, who is widely read and quoted in Germany and Israel, are finally collected in an English edition. They reflect the author's belief that the Holocaust transcends traditional patterns of historical understanding and requires an epistemologically distinct approach. One can no longer assume that actors as well as historians are operating in the same conceptual universe, sharing the same criteria of rational discourse. This is particularly true of victims and perpetrators, whose memories shape the distortions of historical narrative in ways often diametrically opposed. The essays are divided into three groups. The first group talks about anti-Semitism in the context of the 1930s and the ideologies that drove the Nazi regime. The second group concentrates on the almost unbelievably different perceptions of the "Final Solution," with particularly illuminating discussions of the Judenrat, or Jewish council. The third group considers the Holocaust as the subject of narrative and historical memory. Diner focuses above all on perspectives: the very notions of rationality and irrationality are seen to be changeable, depending on who is applying them. And because neither rational nor irrational motives can be universally assigned to participants in the Holocaust, Diner proposes, from the perspective of the victims, the idea of the counterrational. His work is directed toward developing a theory of Holocaust historiography and offers, clearly and coherently, the highest level of reflection on these problems. Dan Diner is Professor at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, and Director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University.

Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman Denying History Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies Foreword by Arthur Hertzberg

Publication Date: June 2000

330 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 40 figures

"[Shermer & Grobman's] meticulous work not only disproves Holocaust denials while confirming the horrors of the Holocaust but also lays a framework for examining how we know that any historical event actually happened. Fascinating and thorough, this book is essential for academic and large public libraries and for all Holocaust collections." --Library Journal "Holocaust denial gets an inventively thorough treatment in this important book. Using the deniers' own words to tear down their arguments, Shermer and Grobman provide a clear method for determining the reality of past events and supply a powerful weapon for anyone who cares about learning from the credible historical record."--Publishers Weekly

"Whether you have never had an interest in the Holocaust, or have always been passionately interested in it, or are sick and tired of hearing about it, you won't be able to stop reading this great, gripping story."--Jared Diamond, winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Guns, Germs, and Steel "Shermer and Grobman destroy the Big Lie that the Holocaust never occurred, relentlessly confronting outrageous claims with ghastly, irrefutable facts. Denying History is all the more remarkable for its evenhandedness in the face of the Big Lie's perversity. . . . By any measure, an engrossing and important book."--Daniel J. Kevles, author of In the Name of Eugenics

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