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Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened & Why Do They Say It?
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Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened & Why Do They Say It?

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  338 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Denying History takes an in-depth look at those claiming the Holocaust never happened, exploring their motivations. While many dismiss Holocaust deniers as antisemitic neo-Nazis not deserving response, historians Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman have immersed themselves in their minds & culture. They've interviewed deniers, read their literature, monitored their Web ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published May 3rd 2002 by University of California Press (Berkeley et al.) (first published 2000)
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Paul Bryant
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it

Okay, listen up, we're serious historical revisionists and this is how we roll.

Let's say a survivor of Majdanak talks about how it was well known that they were gassing Jews there. We point out an inaccuracy in this old guy's testimony – there are always inaccuracies, he's probably got Alzheimers by now - and we add that survivors are always exaggerating ( can give examples if you're interested). Okay, so another survivor backs up the first. We say well, what these guys are doing is retailing r
...more
Jud Barry
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book on the heels of assisting with a Holocaust remembrance program at my library. Before the program I'd gotten geared up for what I'd say to someone trying to hijack the program for the purpose of Holocaust denial. ("Please, we are here to remember something that happened. If you want to remember something that didn't happen, you need to reserve the room for your own program some other time.") After the program (which didn't attract any deniers) I was perusing the book exhibit put ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history students
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
This book might profitably be employed in an historiography course as its general thrust is as regards the determination of historical facts, about which the authors are quite sanguine. The "Holocaust" of 5-6 million Jews at the hands of the German state during WWII and the fact that some "historians" deny the event, its magnitude or its agency constitute a controversial case study in the making of this point.

As a refutation of the deniers, or even one of them, the book is sketchy. Frankly, I'm
...more
Michael T.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Perhaps I spend too much time examining the psychology of the "lunatic fringe", but I can't deny a fascination with anyone who could deny something like the Holocaust, for which there is SO much photographic, documentary and eye-witness evidence. And, if you can make it through all the philosophical/ historical ground rules outlined in the early chapters of Denying History (essentially delineating what is considered to be "proof" in the perspective of main-stream historians), it is then a feast ...more
Yael
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Are there really people who deny that the Holocaust, in which around six million Jews were deliberately murdered by the Nazis, never happened? If so, who are they, and why do they say it?

In Denying History, authors Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman take an in-depth look at those who deny that the Holocaust -- called "The Holohoax" and other derogatory terms -- never happened, and provide profound insights into the deniers' psychology. While most authentic historians dismiss the deniers' claims ab
...more
Karol
I've read this book mainly because I wanted to understand how anyone could seriously deny this terrible phase of human history. As a German citizen you hear about verdicts regarding this topic every now and then, and I never could comprehend why people would be in denial of this. Only a while back a nearly ninety year old woman (Ursula Haverbeck) was sentenced to prison, because she publicly denied that Auschwitz was a extermination camp.

As someone interested in the history of the Third Reich, t
...more
Dennis Ross
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took quite an effort to destroy six million Jewish people. In describing the massive social mobilization that enabled the Holocaust, Emil Fackenheim speaks of the Nazi's "scholastically precise definitition of the victims, juridical procedures, enlisting the finest minds of the legal profession, aimed at the total elimination of the victims' rights; a techical apparatus, including murder trains and gas chambers, and, most importantly, a veritalbe army not only of actual murderers but also of ...more
Ken
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is not a book which attempts to present the case that The Holocaust did not occur, but it's an examination of the logic, arguments, aims, and make-up of the groups who make these outrageous claims. The authors do more than just 'shut-down' these appalling theories, but they aptly demonstrate the questionable logic upon which they are based.

The primary proponent of this fallacious theory is a group called,The Institute for Historical Review. The name itself seems to imply that this obvious
...more
Dale
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating.

The title of Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? pretty much tells it all - it is an academic exploration into the people who deny the Holocaust ever happened and their motivations for making this claim.

Of course, you may be wondering why someone would make a claim like this, despite the film footage of newly-liberated camps, eyewitness testimony from both victims and perpetrators, the population records that show that, indeed, some 6 mill
...more
Jesse
Aug 09, 2008 rated it liked it
The best part of this book is the brief overview of the way in which historians analyze historical events and decide which interpretations or theories are most likely to be true. Turns out it is much the same way in which scientists or physicists review their peers work and decide whether they hold weight or, being full of hot air, float away. But the weakness of the book is in the paucity of examples given. There are alot of different TYPES of evidence given, but within each type only a few (if ...more
Simone
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
At the risk of making it sound that I am mocking a serious matter, I believe certain things: Elvis is dead. The Earth is round. We did land on the Moon. Oswald acted alone. There was a Holocaust.

Who in their right mind can deny the Holocaust? It’s just amazing to me that people continue to refute it so vehemently and maintain that was just an elaborate hoax. It’s stupefying.

I did not like the way the book presented the information, it was very “text-booky” and at times it felt like reading a bib
...more
Uwe Hook
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a godsend to anyone that is sickened by holocaust deniers. Written by the editor of the Skeptic, this book shows definitely who the deniers are, why they deny and explodes their theories. The author takes every denier to task and shows how the claims of those that deny the holocaust are totally and clearly false. From photographs to Nazi records the authors explode the myth of holocaust denial, a wonderful book. Really the essence if historical critique must be met with strong voice ...more
Lori
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Read this for class...glad it was assigned! Great book. I learned a lot about the Holocaust, the deniers, and the study of history. One reason I like history so much is that it teaches critical thinking & analysis. This book teaches by example by using those skills in the research and writing while also teaching the concepts more blatantly. Two notes to self: no snapshot fallacies & convergence of evidence is the name of the game. On top of it all, a fascinating (if, at times, hard to s
...more
Alicia Fox
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a great book for anyone who loves history. It does a great job of explaining how we know that something happened, given in the context of the Holocaust, which many people refute. It should be read by every history major (or history buff) because it explains how to call bullsh*t on pseudohistory of any kind. The description of the historical scientific method is easy for most adults to understand. In short, I highly recommend it.
Benjamin Duffy
This is a fact-based crushing of the Holocaust denial, or "revisionist" movement, and a lively look at some of the more infamous proponents of that movement, such as David Irving and Ernst Zundel. More than that, however, it's an examination of what history is, whether objective truth is even possible and why it's important. When I read this book, it's like my brain is lifting weights. Better yet, the book itself is readable, fast-paced and even has its moments of humor.
Rena Sherwood
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is disturbing reading -- and not just because of the graphic descriptions on how to kill six million Jews. If you can get through the first two chapters (which drag like heck) you then get some rewarding reading on why we know what we know. It was a shame that the book came out before the ending of the David Irving trial because it would have made a triumphant ending for this book (yes -- David Irving lost.)

Melissa McHugh
If this was the first book I'd ever read about Holocaust Denial, it likely would have fared better. Unfortunately, I've read just everying that was published about the Lipstadt v. Irving case, including Richard J. Evans, Lying About Hitler. This book is fine, but I wasn't all that impressed. Even the expanded update added nothing new.
Lucsly
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Thorough and accessible refutation of not just holocaust deniers' claims, but also explores who these people are (focusing mostly on well-known deniers like David Irving), why they say these things and how they make their claims.
Important book, very useful, though I personally wish they had explored the psychological and social aspects of these deniers more, especially their intended audience.
Antonia
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just blew through this one! Fascinating to learn how and why history is written, as well as distorted. In this case, the Holocaust, but points can easily apply to the Rape of Nanking, Stalin's Russia, or even America's own holocaust: The African-American experience.
Shawn Dawson
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Simply outstanding. This book is the definitive answer to holocaust deniers, in a scientific and scholarly manner. The content is often not pleasant to consider, but if you've ever wondered why holocaust denial is wrong, and how to show it is, this book provides the answers.
Rob
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A point-by-point teardown of the ridiculous claims of Holocaust deniers. If you don't believe that Hitler and the Nazis systematically murdered 6 million Jews, via gas chambers and other methods, simply because they were Jewish, you are a moron. Sorry.
PWRL
Aug 22, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-new
SM
Nicky
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Required reading for anyone with an interest in combatting pseudohistory and pseudoscience.
Sarah
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. You must read it if you are at all interested in history.
Weavre
OST NON-FICTION ADULT STK 940.53 SHE
Sinistral Scribe
Also using this book for my research paper on Holocaust denial. Another great resource!
Rachel
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Holocaust deniers are delusional idiots with far too much time on their hands.
C.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: jew-ish
just to clarify, all because i thought this book sucked doesnt mean i dont believe the holocaust happened
Matthew Ward
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2014
Gary
rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2012
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Michael Brant Shermer (born September 8, 1954 in Glendale, California) is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating and debunking pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members.

Shermer is also the producer and co-host of t
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