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Histories of the Holocaust by Dan Stone

Histories of the Holocaust


Histories of the Holocaust by Dan Stone

The Holocaust is one of the most intensively studied phenomena in modern history. The volume of writing that fuels the numerous debates about it is overwhelming in quantity and diversity. Even those who have dedicated their professional lives to understanding the Holocaust cannot assimilate it all. There is, then, an urgent need to synthesize and evaluate the complex historiography on the Holocaust, exploring the major themes and debates relating to it and drawing widely on the findings of a great deal of research. Concentrating on the work of the last two decades, Histories of the Holocaust examines the 'Final Solution' as a European project, the decision-making process, perpetrator research, plunder and collaboration, regional studies, ghettos, camps, race science, antisemitic ideology, and recent debates concerning modernity, organization theory, colonialism, genocide studies, and cultural history. Research on victims is discussed, but Stone focuses more closely on perpetrators, reflecting trends within the historiography, as well as his own view that in order to understand Nazi genocide the emphasis must be on the culture of the perpetrators. The book is not a 'history of the history of the Holocaust', offering simply a description of developments in historiography. Stone critically analyses the literature, discerning major themes and trends and assessing the achievements and shortcomings of the various approaches. He demonstrates that there never can or should be a single history of the Holocaust and facilitates an understanding of the genocide of the Jews from a multiplicity of angles. An understanding of how the Holocaust could have happened can only be achieved by recourse to histories of the Holocaust: detailed day-by-day accounts of high-level decision-making; long-term narratives of the Holocaust's relationship to European histories of colonialism and warfare; micro-historical studies of Jewish life before, during, and after Nazi occupation; and cultural analyses of Nazi fantasies and fears.


Histories of the Holocaust demonstrates a magisterial grasp of its subject. It will become required reading on any course dedicated specifically to the history of the Holocaust. * Nicholas Chare, Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory * highly intelligent and judicious discussion of the most recent trends in Holocaust historiography ... an ambitious project which succeeds * Larry Eugene Jones, English Historical Review * Stone has written an intelligent, wide-ranging and thought-provoking textbook on the Holocaust which will be indispensable reading for scholars and students alike ... a stellar critical synthesis. * Christian Goeschel, European History Quarterly * Truly superb...the way in which Dan Stone delineates the issues, aided by several previous works in this area, is simply without equal. * Matthew Feldman, Holocaust Studies * Dan Stone examines critically and insightfully the post-1989 literature in question, together with the schools of thought and areas of debate. The impressive range, quantity and diversity of the material discussed makes Stones book the first interpretive guide to this vast literature. * Florin Lobont, Reviews in History * If someone were to read only one book on Nazi Germany's efforts to exterminate European Jewry during World War II, it should be Dan Stone's Histories of the Holocaust. * Mark Brennan, Quarterly Review * Essential... concise, elegantly written, and well argued...A superb engagement with Holocaust scholarship. * John David Smith, Choice *

About the Author

Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London. As well as some fifty scholarly articles, he is the author or editor of ten books, including: Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain (2002); Constructing the Holocaust: A Study in Historiography (2003); Responses to Nazism in Britain, 1933-1939: Before War and Holocaust (2003); The Historiography of the Holocaust (ed., 2004); History, Memory and Mass Atrocity: Essays on the Holocaust and Genocide (2006); The Historiography of Genocide (ed., 2008); and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History.

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Book Info

Publication date

17th June 2010


Dan Stone

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Oxford University Press


328 pages


20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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