Finkelstein's background

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Tue Aug 29 10:56:38 PDT 2000

Brad De Long wrote:

> Goldhagen is trying to understand why it was the case during World
> War II if you took a random German adult or adolescent male, gave him
> a gun, and had an authority figure tell him to "shoot those jews,"
> the odds were better than nine out of ten that he would do so.

And this (not counting the plain sloppy scholarship or lies Justin calls attention to) is Goldhagen's most serious offense. The implication is that this is something that would not happen in *other* nations -- not, for example, in Israel or the U.S., while in the fact it has happened, will continue to happen and is happening in both nations.

If such an argument occurred in a book in which the scholarship was minimally dependable, one might overlook it as bad reasoning. In a book marred by such bad scholarship (and then defended not intellectually but with a libel suit), it looks more like deliberate malice -- deliberate apology for atrocities in the U.S. and Israel (past, present, and to come).


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