First published in 1999, this book provides a scholarly account of the development of the role of Holocaust in America.
It shows how the Holocaust, relatively little discussed in public in World War II and the 1950s and 1960s, has become the leading feature of Jewish identity in the US, and has become central to the way many Jewish organizations in the US present themselves and to the way that Jews are perceived: they have, in effect, become the People of the Holocaust, though Novick does not use this phrase. At the same time, the Holocaust has been `memorialized' as an ahistorical cult in the form of Holocaust remembrance within the context of a broader celebration of victimhood, which is very easily exploited for political ends. Others have, unsurprisingly, jumped on to Holocaust bandwagon, appropriating aspects of its imagery and status.
The first half or so of the book, dealing with developments up to c. 1970, is excellent; the second half, which describes later developments, is also very good, but inevitably more controversial.
Although the book is concerned with the US, many of the more general points apply much more widely. More than a decade after its publication it is still valid and well worth reading.
For me, it answered many questions about the rise of Holocaust cult and its manipulation.