Magill's Choice: Holocaust Literature

At A Glance

2 Volumes
960 Pages
109 Essays; 27 New Acquisitions
Web Sites
"Sources for Further Study" in all essays
General Bibliography
Concentration Camps
More Holocaust Literature
Time Line of Holocaust Events
Ready-reference top matter: title, author, publication date, original title and translation date (if non-English), principal personages/character
Genre Index

Title Index
Author Index

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Reviews

Grade 10 Up—This set of essays is an excellent, comprehensive reference source. Entries describe and review more than 100 core works, and give information about their authors.  Well-known authors such as Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, Aharon Appelfeld, and Primo Levi are included, but it is the representation of a wide variety of other writers and more recent works that make the volumes outstanding.... Each volume contains a list of the major European concentration camps and a time line of the genocide. The second volume also includes a further-reading list with more than 200 works listed by genre and a generous listing of useful Web sites.

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Editors: John K. Roth
Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy
and Director of the Center for the Study
of the Holocaust Genocide, and Human
Rights at Claremont McKenna College

ISBN: 978-1-58765-375-9
# of Pages: 960
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $130
add to cart
e-ISBN: 978-1-58765-443-5
eBook Single User Price: $130

Magill's Choice: Holocaust Literature

Chosen by an eminent scholar of Holocaust studies, more than 100 in-depth reviews of the classics of Holocaust literature, arranged alphabetically by title, covering the essential literature of the Holocaust: histories, biographies, memoirs, diaries, testimonials, philosophy, social criticism, novels, short fiction, poetry, plays.

Between the rise of Nazi Germany in 1933 and the end of World War II in 1945, six million Jews--and hundreds of thousands of Roma Gypsies, disabled persons, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, communists, and others who did not fit the Nazi regime's plan for a "master Aryan race"--perished in a state-sponsored program of persecution and murder. Their civil rights, their human rights, and ultimately their lives were progressively, and legally, relegated to nonhuman status. Now known as the Holocaust, this systematic destruction of those designated "degenerates" lasted so long, reached so far, and destroyed so many that its horrors are hard for some to accept, both then and now. The world looked away while the evil spread. Even today, some self-described "revisionists" deny that the Holocaust ever took place.

As the last survivors of the Holocaust grow into old age and pass on, the rich literary legacy of their experience will remain to remind the world not only of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis but also of the banality and efficiency of the evil that gives rise to such genocide. They also leave us with the mandate to deny complacency in the face of modern genocide: in the Balkans, in Chechnya, in Rwanda, in Darfur, in terrorism driven by a variety of extreme ideologies. The literature of the Holocaust reminds us never to forget--what happened in Hitler's Germany, and also what can happen, is happening, now.

Holocaust Literature offers literature reviews of more than 100 core works about the Holocaust. So much has been written that the selection of the titles covered in this reference work was difficult at best. In these two volumes, editor John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College, has succeeded in identifying the most important works on the Holocaust, by both first- and second-generation survivors as well as philosophers, novelists, and poets reflecting on the Holocaust today.

Teachers and students will find the key works here, from Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl to Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel's Night, and Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower. Core works of nonfiction--histories, biographies, memoirs, diaries, survivor testimonies, reflection, religion, philosophy, ethics--form two-thirds the list, joined by literary fiction, poetry, and drama: classics such as Aharon Appelfeld's Badenheim 1939, William Styron's Sophie's Choice, and Yehuda Amichai and Open Closed Open. Also covered are more recent works, such as Joshua Sobol's play Ghetto (1989), Wladyslaw Szpilman's The Pianist (1998), Ian Kershaw's two-volume biography Hitler (completed in 2000), Deborah Lipstadt's History on Trial (2004), William T. Vollmann's Europe Central (2005), and Heather Pringle's The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust (2006). The resulting set of essays introduces readers to the literature of one of the defining events of our time, essential reading for all serious students of history, literature, social psychology, ethics, and philosophy.

Essays are arranged alphabetically by the work's title. Each essay begins with the title and subtitle if any; the work's author (including years of birth and death); the year in which the work was first published (for non-English works, the original title and its year of publication are followed by the work's English title in translation and the translation year); the work's genre (drama, novel, novella, nonfiction, poetry, or short fiction); for nonfiction works, the subgenre (such as history, biography, memoir, diary, survivor testimony, reflection, religion, philosophy, ethics); a list of principal personages (nonfiction works) or principal characters (fiction works); an overview of the work's contents; and a list of sources for further study about the work, the author, or the subject of the work.

At the end of volume 2 several appendixes point readers toward more Holocaust literature and resources: a secondary "General Bibliography" of works about the Holocaust; a list of the major European concentration camps; well over 200 additional works in "More Holocaust Literature"; a time line of Holocaust events; and a list of Web sites devoted to the Holocaust and/or Holocaust literature.

 

Finally, three finding aids round out the second volume: a Genre Index (works by genre and subgenre); a Title Index (complete list of contents); and an Author Index (works by author).