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Beyond belief : the American press and the coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945 / Deborah E. Lipstadt.

By: Lipstadt, Deborah E.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Free Press, c1986Description: xi, 370 p. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0029191602; 9780029191606; 0029191610; 9780029191613.Subject(s): Jews -- Germany -- History -- 1933-1945 -- Public opinion | Germany -- Foreign public opinion, American | Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Public opinion | American newspapers | Public opinion -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Beyond belief.; Online version:: Beyond belief.DDC classification: 943/.004924 LOC classification: DS135.G33 | L57 1986Other classification: 15.70 Summary: Examines the role of the American press in presenting the information known about the Jewish Holocaust during World War II to the American people in such a way that it fostered inaction and indifference.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DS135.G33 L57 1986 (Browse shelf) Available 0000000746404

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Examines the role of the American press in presenting the information known about the Jewish Holocaust during World War II to the American people in such a way that it fostered inaction and indifference.

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Library Journal Review

This most complete study to date of American press reactions to the Holocaust sets forth in abundant detail how the press nationwide played down or even ignored reports of Jewish persecutions over a 12-year period. The conclusions amplify but do not seriously challenge previous studies; what is more significant here is the effortfar from completeto explain press actions. While revealing more about major newspapers and correspondents than about the mass of smaller ones, and saying far too little about newsreels and American Jewish newspapers, this raises larger questions concerning the relationship between press coverage, public knowledge, and government policy that deserve serious consideration. Readers may wish that Lipstadt explained more and indicted less. Still, there is plenty of important data in this volume for serious students. Jonathan D. Sarna, History Dept., Hebrew Union Coll.-Jewish Inst. of Religion, Cincinnati (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


In this valuable scholarly work, Lipstadt (UCLA) examines how US newspapers and magazines reported Nazi Germany's anti-Semitic actions, from the persecution of the 1930s to the extermination of the war years. Relying heavily on the clippings (now at the FDR Library) upon which FDR's daily press briefings were based, Lipstadt finds that much information did appear in the American press, including (after 1942) accounts of the death camps, but that it was consistently downplayed. Well before Germany's surrender, the press had published most of the elements of the Holocaust story, but relegated it to the inside pages without giving it the attention it merited or assembling the fragmentary bits into a coherent whole. In this instance, journalism's virtues-its skepticism, its unwillingness to be made the tool of ``special interests''-did not serve it or the American people well. This book is not without flaws. Many quoted snippets are assembled, but sometimes at the expense of analysis or interpretation. Radio and the religious press (except for the perhaps atypical Christian Century) receive little attention. The occasional tone of sarcasm and heavy irony is unnecessary in an account whose moral meaning speaks for itself. But Lipstadt's sober, well-documented study clearly deserves inclusion among the growing number of historical works documenting America's shamefully inadequately response to Nazi racism and the Holocaust. All libraries.-P.S. Boyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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