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The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the explotation of Jewish Suffering Hardcover – Jul 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; First Edition edition (July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859847730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859847732
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 470,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Finkelstein's downright pugilistic book delivers a wallop."--"LA Weekly""The most explosive book of the year."--"The Guardian""A lucid, provocative and passionate book."--"New Statesman""His basic argument that memories of the Holocaust are being debased is serious and should be given its due."--"The Economist""[S]cathing in his denunciation of the institutions and individuals who have cropped up around the issue of reparations."--"New York Press""Finkelstein has raised some important and uncomfortable issues."--"The Jewish Quarterly"

About the Author

Norman G. Finkelstein is the author of "A Nation on Trial" (with Ruth Bettina Birn), named a notable book for 1998 by the "New York Times Book Review," and "Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict."

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Siriam TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books on the Nazi Holocaust and had a growing personal discomfort about the manner in which the non-Jewish element was increasingly marginalised (I must admit that I had a similar feeling when I started learning about the numbers of Asian non-POWS who had been killed in building the Death Railway in Burma in WWII, a feature that is ignored in most books of that event). This feeling was added to when I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Now in this book I have some basis for understanding my discomfort though for reasons I had not envisaged.

Finkelstein's book delivers a very hard hitting analysis of how the Holocaust has been increasingly suborned to a mixture of Jewish American political and religious personal interests and the Israeli pursuit of garnering US support post the 1967 Six Days War, covering key events up to the current day. At times he has a very personal and edgy emotional style in dealing with counter arguments but given the personal abuse and attacks he has suffered from such groups, this adds to the drama of the story he tells. His analysis of the abuses engineered under the Swiss "Nazi Gold" claims alone is worth the price of this book in my mind.

Read and you will not be unmoved even if you disagree certain points.
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205 of 220 people found the following review helpful By Clive Jones on 8 July 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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96 of 104 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Feb. 2001
Format: Hardcover
With the exception of Noam Chomsky it has been a long time since anyone attempted a deconstruction of an American power elite along the lines of C. Wright Mill's famous study. The present author attempts to step into the breach. Finkelstein is concerned with the relationship between the collective American Jewish self image and how that image is mediated and bolstered through a plethora of devices (from compensation claims to educational trips)originating from the impact of the Nazi Holocaust. Many readers will wince at phrases such as 'organised American Jewry'and one from another source that 'Jews are better', as they have uncomfortable connotations in European life - on occasion I had to check myself from saying only a Jewish academic could make these points. Finkelstein's main arguments are (a) that American Jewry (or that aspect he portrays)has used the tragedy of the Holocaust as a means of morally, and on occasion even financially, terrorising critics into silence, (b) the 'uniqueness' of the Holocaust is to the contrary purely historically relative, and (c) that the suffering of nonJewsish victims of the Nazis has largely been set aside, especially when financial settlements are being pursued. His castigation of various Holocaust organisations as a cynical self serving 'industry' is unstinting, and his contrasting of the reception given to Jewish concerns by successive Administrations, in contrast to Black America's treatment, is grim reading. Finkelstein furnishes copious notes throughout the book, which are very useful. Two subcurrents emerge in the book which are never fully debated (and weaken its central theses to an extent). Firstly Finkelstein argues that 'organised American Jewry' has used the ethnicity of the Holocaust to put itself beyond criticism and inter alia Israel.Read more ›
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Aug. 2000
Format: Hardcover
The thrust of Professor Finkelstein's unsettling book is that powerful interests (Israel and Jewish organizations in America) have hijacked what has become known as the holocaust. And while Israel has exploited the holocaust as a weapon to deflect criticism, regardless how justified, American Jewish organizations have used the plight of supposedly needy survivors to extort staggering sums of money from the rest of the world. This was done not for the benefit of survivors, but for the financial advantage of these organizations.
There are no conclusions reached in Professor Finkelstein's book that a careful reader of daily newspapers could not have reached, assuming the reader could read between the lines and base his judgment on evidence and common sense rather than the politically correct slant of the media reporting...
The bottom line of Finkelstein's book is that it says what was very long overdue to be said. But few academics have the courage or intellectual fortitude to weather the defamation campaign that will predictably descend on anyone who challenges this multi-billion dollar industry...
I recommend the advice Nietzsche gave his readers 130 years ago: "If you want to know something about a book or its author, read what HE wrote rather than what his critics or enemies have to say about him."...
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