Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949 (Paperback)David Cesarani (author)
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This reappraisal will show that by ignoring the war, Holocaust historians have missed the single most important thing that determined the fate of the Jews – more important even than Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Hatred of the Jews was essential to his self-identity, but Hitler also saw himself as a warrior.
Wriiten just before his death in 2015, David Cesarani's Final Solution is an intelligent and thought-provoking short history of the Holocaust. Not only does he draw together and engage with the latest scholarly research, making extensive use of previously untapped resources such as diaries and letters from within the ghettos and camps (many of them in Polish or Yiddish and therefore previously largely inaccessible to Anglo-American scholars) but by adopting a rigorously Judeocentric approach the whole narrative of the march to genocide and its aftermath the book presents a subtly different timeline which casts afresh the horror of the period and engenders a significant re-evaluation of the how and why.
Eschewing some of the more fevered theses about the guilt of the perpetrators (and indeed recasting how wide that net should be spread), David Cesarani's measured and skilful negotiation of a crowded field is, as a result, all the more devastating.‘This is a book as hard to read as a set of Human Rights Watch reports. But it’s difficult not to be first moved and then overwhelmed by the mere listing of what happened, and in this respect Cesarani… has fulfilled his ambition of reclaiming the killings of Jews for another generation.’ – The Guardian
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 1056
Weight: 785 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 46 mm
Edition: Unabridged edition
This is an elegantly written, honest and plausible account and it deserves to be widely read and reflected upon in a continent where racial and religious prejudice is not as far below the surface as we would like to think. Final Solution is a fitting monument to a fine historian and a fine human being. -- Richard Overy * Literary Review *
Masterly . . . Final Solution will take its place among the most authoritative surveys of the persecution and murder of European Jewry in the Second World War * Financial Times *
A masterpiece . . . dense with fascinating detail, so very well written, and so passionately and compellingly argued * Jewish Chronicle *
With his ability to bring coherence to the confusion of genocide and connect those narratives to geopolitical events, Cesarani makes us rethink the Holocaust * Prospect *
Traces a path across a vast mass of material - new and old - demonstrating with urgency and verve how Hitler's progress towards mass extermination of the Jews was never pre-planned or preordained . . . utterly convincing . . . One of Cesarani's most remarkable achievements is to reinvigorate this monstrous narrative -- Sarah Helm * Daily Telegraph *
Lengthy, compelling and devastating . . . a powerful and intensely moving account, drawing on the diaries and letters of those who suffered and died as well as the historical accounts and bland instructions of the remorseless killers. * Irish Independent *
It is difficult not to be first moved and then overwhelmed by the mere listing of what happened, and in this respect Cesarani has fulfilled his ambition of reclaiming the killings of the Jews for another generation. * Observer *
With his clear, detailed analysis, Cesarani has written a definitive study of the Holocaust that succeeds in bridging the gap between academia and popular understanding. -- Lisa Pine * BBC History Magazine *
Ultimately, the book's greatest strength lies less in rewriting the Holocaust then in chronicling it with vivid and synoptic vision . . . few if any have traced as well as David Cesarani does the global skeins of influence, ideas and power on which Jewish fates hung. -- Mark Roseman * Times Literary Supplement *
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