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History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,969 ratings  ·  248 reviews
In her acclaimed 1993 book Denying the Holocaust, Deborah Lipstadt called putative WWII historian David Irving "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial." A prolific author of books on Nazi Germany who has claimed that more people died in Ted Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, Irving responded by filing a libel lawsui ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Ecco (first published February 1st 2005)
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Sean Watson She only wrote 100 words about Irving, so reading the whole book isn't necessary, and she recounts those words in Holocaust on Trial.…moreShe only wrote 100 words about Irving, so reading the whole book isn't necessary, and she recounts those words in Holocaust on Trial.(less)

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Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal, holocaust
“I don’t see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz,” World War II “historian” David Irving told a Calgary audience in 1991. “It’s baloney. It’s a legend.” Irving had written a book in 1977 called Hitler’s War that attempted to rehabilitate the reputation of the Führer. Since then, he had begun giving talks to groups who were – if we are being extremely generous – skeptical of the Holocaust. Later in his speech, undoubtedly with a naughty-boy relish, Irving slyly mused that “in fact…more wome ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Seeking something a little controversial thought-provoking, I turned to Deborah Lipstadt’s book, which depicts the trial she faced for libel against prolific UK author, David Irving. While this may seem a tad mind-numbing, the topic of discussion—Holocaust denials—turns the piece on its head and pulls the reader into the mix. Lipstadt sets the scene for the reader by explaining how things got to this point. In the mid-90s, she penned a book about the Holocaust, in which many of David Irving’s se ...more
BAM the enigma
A book for all Seasons: book about a tragedy
Elliot Ratzman
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
David Irving, Holocaust denier, is a walking psychology case study in narcissism, chronic lying, cognitive dissonance, and willful ignorance. In British court, he sued historian Deborah Lipstadt for describing him as a Holocaust denier in her book. This is a page-turning account of the suit, the trial, and the aftermath; it is also a recommendable description and appreciation of the craft of Historians. The most annoying thing about this book is Lipstadt’s incessant fretting, anxious worrying, a ...more
Edited on the 18 Dec 2016. Teaching this next year so re-read.

Book is better on the re-read.

I need to point out that the only reason why I gave this book three stars is that sometimes the style feels a little a like a list. I'm not sure how Lipstadt could have made an English trial more lively, but I'm trying to be fair.

Lipstadt is da bomb! She is my new hero! She is awesome! And her lawyers are awesomer (yes, I know that it is not really a word, but really there is no other way to put it).

I wou
Tracy Rowan
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was stymied by the task of writing this review for a long time.  I didn't know where to start because this is a subject so emotionally charged that it's difficult to discuss.  Then I realized that this was one of the central issues of the book and the trial. How do you approach Holocaust denial?  Do you even dignify that position by bothering to argue it?

This is the question Deborah Lipstadt has to answer when historian David Irving brought a lawsuit against her for calling him a Holocaust den
AKA History on Trial

Deborah E. Lipstadt tells her story of when she’s sued for libel for calling David Irving, a Holocaust denier.

Reading this was an eye opener and left me stunned. I’ve never doubted that the Holocaust never happened – so I couldn’t fathom firstly, why would a person bring a suit against another for something that is a seriously tragic part of our history, and secondly how they could do this?

I’m not that familiar with the legal institutes. Over the years, I’ve picked up that t
Kimba Tichenor
In 1993, Deborah E. Lipstadt, a full professor at Emory University, published "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The following year, she found herself subject to a libel suit by David Irving, a British amateur "historian", who had published numerous books on Hitler and World War II. Irving accused her of defamation of character because she had labeled him a Holocaust denier whose allegations were based on his ideology of anti-Semitism. This book is her account of th ...more
Apr 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
I do not think Professor Lipsdat should have set about demonizing David Irving by pejoratively labelling him. Supporting the ostracism and vilification of a person has no place in the academia of a free society.The tone of her writing invited the reader to enter into an adversarial frame of mind and view her opponent with an attitude of contempt, as if he deserved to be pitilessly excluded and regarded as not quite human.

A paradigm of complexity is reduced to a simple binary good versus bad. Thi
Maine Colonial
In 1996, well-known British author David Irving sued American historian Deborah Lipstadt, and her publisher, Penguin, for libel. The suit was brought in Britain, and that location was important because in the UK, unlike in the US, the burden of proof in a libel case is on the defendant, and the losing party usually must pay the winner’s costs. Irving claimed that Lipstadt had libeled him in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust, when she wrote that he was a Holocaust denier and that in his histor ...more
Yeva B
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and I find it funny how many other reviewers were put off by a Jewish woman describing her anxiety and taking the matters so personally. I think she was more stoic than many would have been in her situation when a vicious antisemite decided to attack her reputation and livelihood. I think this book was beautifully written and brought me to tears on multiple occasions. Lipstadt put enormous trust into her legal team and followed their instruction at every turn, even when she di ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: august-2018
In 1993, Deborah E. Lipstadt published a book called Denying the Holocaust. In this, she called British historian David Irving, a prolific author of books on World War Two, 'one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial'. She went on to say that he was a 'Hitler partisan wearing blinkers', and that 'on some level Irving seems to conceive himself as carrying on Hitler's legacy'. In the entire book, she devoted no more than two hundred words to Irving. Despite this, and as he had do ...more
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The good guys win in Deborah Lipstadt's memoir, Denial (previously published as History on Trial). That's not a spoiler. I think anyone who has even a passing interest in Holocaust history would have been aware of Lipstadt's legal battle with a prominent Holocaust denier.

In her acclaimed 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt named David Irving 'one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial'. When the book was released in the UK, Irving promptly filed a libel suit against
Jed Sorokin-Altmann
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’d say it’s the lawyer in me, but my artist/art history-professor Dad couldn’t put down Deborah Lipstadt’s book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier” either.

Lipstadt, a renowned Jewish studies professor at Emery University was sued for libel by British author and holocaust denier David Irving, who alleged that Lipstadt calling him a denier in one of her books was untrue and defamatory.

The British legal system is very different than ours when it comes to defamation. Unlike
My interest in this book waxed and waned but ultimately I'm glad I read it. The author, Deborah Lipstadt, a well-educated, opinionated, and headstrong Jewish woman wrote a book called Denying the Holocaust, in which she described the historian, David Irving, as very dangerous because he was a well-respected author who continually tried to defend Hitler and the Nazis and denied the Holocaust had occurred. Because of the way British law works Lipstadt was the one who had to prove Irving was a liar ...more
Steve Smits
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having seen the recent movie (Denial) I thought the book might be worth the read. The movie was good, but the full-length treatment that a book provides is always certain to be more satisfying. The titles of each are suitable for attracting the interest of viewers and readers, but overlook, I think, what is also on trial here: historians, historiography and freedom of speech.

David Irving is a prolific writer of histories of Hitler and World War II, well-known for taking iconoclastic and revision
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deborah Lipstadt is my new go-to for Tisha be-Av reading. Here, she gives a detailed account of the lawsuit to which she was subjected when Holocaust denier David Irving sued her for libel. Lipstadt won the case, and Irving was repeatedly discredited as a pseudo-historian drawing the target around the arrow in pursuit of his antisemitic agenda, which was unequivocally demonstrated throughout the trial.

The level of detail strengthened Lipstadt's case against Irving but also made this a bit of a c
Mar 16, 2007 rated it it was ok
I appreciated the premise of the book, but there were entirely too many moments when she irritated me for me truly to "like" the book. For instance, she seemed to have completely forgotten the fact that people other than Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Her stance on certain things (which I did not see as necessarily pertinent to the topic of the book and which I frankly disagree with) was quite clear. ...more
Sep 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most important and interesting books I have read recently.

I watched the movie not so long ago and liked it, but the book is even better — more informative, more detailed, more fascinating, more thought-provoking, more realistic.

It’s a very thorough (mostly literally word by word) reconstruction of the famous trial held in 1996 when a well-known Holocaust denier, Nazi-whitewasher “historian” David Irving, tried to sue Deborah E. Lipstadt, a very respected and diligent historian. Formal
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting combination of history book, courtroom drama, and commentary on historical method. Lipstadt does a very good job of combining all these elements and transitions between them in a way that seems natural. It could have easily gone terribly wrong--for example, I doubt that a general American audience knows much about either British court procedure or the exact mechanics of concentration camp elevators. It could have been very confusing trying to juggle explanations for both of these at ...more
I’m a bit hesitant about reviewing Denial because I don’t care to give conspiracy theorists any air on this blog and the fellow who unsuccessfully sued the author Deborah Lipstadt for libel is one of the most egregious.  But the movie-tie in edition of the book was there at the library and I had heard about the win in court because it was front page news all over the world.  What interested me, was how could the author contrive to make the story interesting, given that anyone who was paying atte ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many Holocaust deniers in the world who, for various reasons, believe or at least claim to believe that the Holocaust never happened, there were no gassings at Auschwitz and similar camps, there was no program by the Nazis and Hitler in particular to irradicate the Jews from Europe, there were no death camps, and that deaths were just because of harsh wartime conditions. This book is based on the author, Deborah Lipstadt's, real experience of being sued, along with her publisher, for l ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was a fascinating account of a legal battle and trial that should never have happened:

In 1993, the American author and career academic Deborah Lipstadt wrote a book called 'Denying the Holocaust' about the trend in, well, denying that the Holocaust happened. Her primary research does relate to the Holocaust but not to deniers, that was a specific project and grant given to her by a specific American university. In that book she mentioned in passing a WWII academic and author by the name of
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Since anti-semitism and, for that matter, all forms of prejudice are impervious to reason, they cannot be disproved. Therefore, in every generation they must be fought."

This book was slow. As the author had just been embroiled in a libel lawsuit that spanned many years and racked up millions in legal fees, it is not surprising that she decided to take absolutely no creative liberties with her story. She did not make up the dialogue from conversations to the best of her recollection. Instead, sh
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-2010
This book was amazing! Holocaust denial IS ABSOLUTELY Absurd. In several countries Holocaust denial is against the law, and "deniers" have been punished with stiff fines and prison sentences. Debora does a great job showing the lies one denier, David Irving who became a renown historian based on his lies. He is fraudulence and actually falsifies a bunch of historical record. There is a lot to learn from this book, not least importantly that one must be very careful about believing what one reads ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly detailed and well-written account of Deborah Lipstadt's court battle regarding her Denying The Holocaust book that came out in the early 1990s. Also a good look at the British legal system and its workings. It would be helpful for readers to have read the first book before attempting this one. A recent price drop for Nook and Kindle brought this book to my attention, as I was not aware she had written an account of the trial. ...more
Tom Emory Jr.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I write a review of the book, I'd like to warn anyone who watches the movie "Denial" that they will see a highly fictionalized account of Deborah Lipstadt's marvelous book. The core of the story is there but the screenplay license is egregious staring with the advanced ages and appearances of the major lawyer characters. (Think 5-7 Margot Robbie playing 5-1 Tonya Harding in "I, Tonya.)

I will return with a book review. Meanwhile, Four Stars and a planned trip to Auschwitz.
From IMDb:
Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.

With Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall.

May 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Truth isn’t part of a cultural conversation if freedom of speech doesn’t accompany it. That’s the most salient–of many–lessons that emerges from Dr. Lipstadt’s powerhouse account of her 2000 trial defending herself from a libel suit by David Irving. I can’t endorse this book enough. Pardon the long post, but this work deserves it.

I’ve discovered of late that my secular humanist perspective makes me particularly cranky about anti-science, anti-intellectual, or dishonest ideologues. David Irving f
E Ho
I was looking for a word to describe the feelings this book brought me, and there it is in the book as Prof Lipstadt described the night before the verdict - overwhelming .

For some this may be a very boring book. But for anyone interested in Holocaust, or history, or law, or whoever watched the film Denial and found it interesting, this is an excellent book to read. Even though, it’s also extremely appalling to read.

There are many points when I was reading this book that I couldn't control
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Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies (1993), Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and the Department of Religion. Lipstadt was an historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust.

At Emory she created the Institute for Jewish Studies and wa

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19 likes · 3 comments
“Hearing this, I was reminded of Hajo’s comment the previous summer. “People like David Irving do not throw firebombs. They throw the words that can cause others to throw those firebombs.” 4 likes
“In an Internet age it is, at first glance, democratic to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That is surely true. It is however a fatal step to then claim that all opinions are equal. Some opinions are backed by fact. Others are not. And those which are not backed by fact are worth considerably less than those which are.” 1 likes
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