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America, the Holocaust, and the Experience of Radical Evil

  • David H. Hirsch
Chapter

Abstract

Preter novick’s The Holocaust in American Life1 seems to have been intended initially to express his disapproval of what he takes to be the excessive prominence of the Holocaust on the American scene, but it became, in effect, another instance of Holocaust denial. I shall start with an outline of the book’s main themes. Though my brief summaries may oversimplify Novick’s argument, I will engage Novick’s text directly as I develop my own counter-themes, thus, I hope, doing full justice to the complexity of his views.

Keywords

Historical Event American Culture American Life Holocaust Survivor Moral Legacy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999). Hereafter page numbers will appear in text.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Richard J. Evans, In Hitler’s Shadow (Pantheon Books, New York, 1989), especially Chapter 2, ‘Asiatic Deeds’. Evans’s book is still the clearest and most fair-minded presentation in English of the debate among German historians.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Eugen Weber, in ‘Recommended Reading’ The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa 64/4 (Summer, 1999): 12.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Stephen E. Whicher (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1957, pp.21–22.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Lionel Trilling, ‘Manners, Morals, and the Novel,’ in The Liberal Imagination (Garden City, New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957), p.200.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Ron Schoolmeeste, USA Today, 11. September 1990, Life Section, p. 1DGoogle Scholar
  7. 15.
    Doug Gelbert, Civil War Sites, Memorials, Museums and Library Collections (Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997), p.1.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Erich Kahler, The Tower and the Abyss (New York: George Braziller, 1957; rpt. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick & London, 1989), p.xxi.Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    C.S. North, S.J. Nixon, S. Shariat, S. Mallonee, J.C. McMillen, E.L. Spitznagel, E.M. Smith,, ‘Psychiatric Disorders Among Survivors of the Oklahoma City Bombing’, The Journal of the American Medical Association 282/8, (25 August 1999): 755–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 23.
    Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms, with an Introduction by Robert Penn Warren (New York, etc., Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1957), p. 191.Google Scholar
  11. 24.
    To appreciate the enormous gap in the quality of the poetry generated by the two wars in England and America, see Vernon Scanneil, Not Without Glory: Poets of the Second World War (London: The Woburn Press, 1976) andGoogle Scholar
  12. Fred D. Crawford, British Poets of the Great War (London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1988). Crawford’s book is one of many on poets and/or literature of the Great War.Google Scholar
  13. 25.
    David Piper, Trial by Battle (New York, Chilmark Press, 1965). See also, The Second World War in Fiction, p. 13.Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    Jorge Semprun, Literature or Life, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale (New York: Penguin Books, 1997), p.226.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Hirsch

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