Until comparatively recently, I implicitly accepted the image of the holocaust and its victims that was presented by the mass media. Then, a year ago, I read the Penguin Book of Twentieth-century Speeches, in particular some of what Elie Weisel had to say about the holocaust.
It was clearly exaggerated, sentimentalist nonsense. I began to think a little more independently about the issue, but had nowhere to turn for a more balanced view.
One day, Amazon's recommendations system suggested this book to me, and I bought it at once. Having read it, I'm delighted to be able to recommend it unreservedly as exactly the book I needed.
Finkelstein does not deny the Nazi holocaust, nor the suffering it inflicted on both those it killed, and on those who survived. His contention - persuasively argued - is that their genuine suffering is being debased and abused by the Holocaust "industry" in order to bring political power and huge sums of money to an élite minority.
He also points out that by labelling the Holocaust with false superlatives, one belittles the plight of others who have suffered comparably awful genocide and victimisation, both in World War II and throughout history.
The book is well written. Finkelstein occasionally personalises the debate, or becomes less than dispassionate, but I never once felt this damaged his objectivity. He quotes sources throughout the book - in many cases his opponents are condemned by their own tongues.
It is time the media stopped pandering to the abusive interests of the Holocaust Industry, time they took a more balanced, more critical and less sensationalist view. Billions of dollars are being extorted from governments (even those that can hardly afford it, such as Poland's) by the playing of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism cards. This is unjust.
Buy this book. Read it. Tell your friends about it.