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American Jewish Loss After The Holocaust

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American Jewish Loss After the Holocaust

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American Jewish Loss After the Holocaust by Laura Levitt Book Summary:

2012 Americo Paredes Book Award Winner for Non-Fiction presented by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College Selected as a 2012 Outstanding Title by AAUP University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries This is Olivia’s story. Born in Los Angeles, she is taken to Mexico to live with her extended family until the age of three. Olivia then returns to L.A. to live with her mother, Carmen, the live-in maid to a wealthy family. Mother and daughter sleep in the maid’s room, just off the kitchen. Olivia is raised alongside the other children of the family. She goes to school with them, eats meals with them, and is taken shopping for clothes with them. She is like a member of the family. Except she is not. Based on over twenty years of research, noted scholar Mary Romero brings Olivia’s remarkable story to life. We watch as she grows up among the children of privilege, struggles through adolescence, declares her independence and eventually goes off to college and becomes a successful professional. Much of this extraordinary story is told in Olivia’s voice and we hear of both her triumphs and setbacks. We come to understand the painful realization of wanting to claim a Mexican heritage that is in many ways not her own and of her constant struggle to come to terms with the great contradictions in her life. In The Maid’s Daughter, Mary Romero explores this complex story about belonging, identity, and resistance, illustrating Olivia’s challenge to establish her sense of identity, and the patterns of inclusion and exclusion in her life. Romero points to the hidden costs of paid domestic labor that are transferred to the families of private household workers and nannies, and shows how everyday routines are important in maintaining and assuring that various forms of privilege are passed on from one generation to another. Through Olivia’s story, Romero shows how mythologies of meritocracy, the land of opportunity, and the American dream remain firmly in place while simultaneously erasing injustices and the struggles of the working poor. A happy ending for the maid's daughter: Hector Tobar's profile of Olivia for the LA Times

Holocaust Icons

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Holocaust Icons by Oren Baruch Stier Book Summary:

The Holocaust has bequeathed to contemporary society a cultural lexicon of intensely powerful symbols, a vocabulary of remembrance that we draw on to comprehend the otherwise incomprehensible horror of the Shoah. Engagingly written and illustrated with more than forty black-and-white images, Holocaust Icons probes the history and memory of four of these symbolic relics left in the Holocaust’s wake. Jewish studies scholar Oren Stier offers in this volume new insight into symbols and the symbol-making process, as he traces the lives and afterlives of certain remnants of the Holocaust and their ongoing impact. Stier focuses in particular on four icons: the railway cars that carried Jews to their deaths, symbolizing the mechanics of murder; the Arbeit Macht Frei (“work makes you free”) sign over the entrance to Auschwitz, pointing to the insidious logic of the camp system; the number six million that represents an approximation of the number of Jews killed as well as mass murder more generally; and the persona of Anne Frank, associated with victimization. Stier shows how and why these icons—an object, a phrase, a number, and a person—have come to stand in for the Holocaust: where they came from and how they have been used and reproduced; how they are presently at risk from a variety of threats such as commodification; and what the future holds for the memory of the Shoah. In illuminating these icons of the Holocaust, Stier offers valuable new perspective on one of the defining events of the twentieth century. He helps readers understand not only the Holocaust but also the profound nature of historical memory itself.

Suffer the Little Children

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Suffer the Little Children by Jodi Eichler-Levine Book Summary:

This compelling work examines classic and contemporary Jewish and African American children’s literature. Through close readings of selected titles published since 1945, Jodi Eichler-Levine analyzes what is at stake in portraying religious history for young people, particularly when the histories in question are traumatic ones. In the wake of the Holocaust and lynchings, of the Middle Passage and flight from Eastern Europe's pogroms, children’s literature provides diverse and complicated responses to the challenge of representing difficult collective pasts. In reading the work of various prominent authors, including Maurice Sendak, Julius Lester, Jane Yolen, Sydney Taylor, and Virginia Hamilton, Eichler-Levine changes our understanding of North American religions. She illuminates how narratives of both suffering and nostalgia graft future citizens into ideals of American liberal democracy, and into religious communities that can be understood according to recognizable notions of reading, domestic respectability, and national sacrifice. If children are the idealized recipients of the past, what does it mean to tell tales of suffering to children, and can we imagine modes of memory that move past utopian notions of children as our future? Suffer the Little Children asks readers to alter their worldviews about children’s literature as an “innocent” enterprise, revisiting the genre in a darker and more unsettled light.

The Vanishing American Jew

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The Vanishing American Jew by Alan M. Dershowitz Book Summary:

A well-known lawyer and best-selling author of Chutzpah argues that the dwindling of anti-Semitism in America actually threatens the Jewish community and outlines specific steps Jews can take to ensure their continuance in the next century. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Impossible Images

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Impossible Images by Shelley Hornstein,Laura Levitt,Laurence J. Silberstein Book Summary:

Impossible Images brings together a distinguished group of contributors, including artists, photographers, cultural critics, and historians, to analyze the ways in which the Holocaust has been represented in and through paintings, architecture, photographs, museums, and monuments. Exploring frequently neglected aspects of contemporary art after the Holocaust, the volume demonstrates how visual culture informs Jewish memory, and makes clear that art matters in contemporary Jewish studies. Accepting that knowledge is culturally constructed, Impossible Images makes explicit the ways in which context matters. It shows how the places where an artist works shape what is produced, in what ways the space in which a work of art is exhibited and how it is named influences what is seen or not seen, and how calling attention to certain details in a visual work, such as a gesture, a color, or an icon, can change the meaning assigned to the work as a whole. Written accessibly for a general readership and those interested in art and art history, the volume also includes 20 color plates from leading artists Alice Lok Cahana, Judy Chicago, Debbie Teicholz, and Mindy Weisel.

Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States

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Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States by R. Marie Griffith,Melani McAlister Book Summary:

This collection of essays from a special issue of American Quarterly explores the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that religion matters in contemporary public life. Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States offers a groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary conversation between scholars in American studies and religious studies. The contributors explore numerous modes through which religious faith has mobilized political action. They utilize a variety of definitions of politics, ranging from lobbying by religious leaders to the political impact of popular culture. Their work includes the political activities of a very diverse group of religious believers: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. In addition, the book explores the meanings of religion for people who might contest the term—those who are spiritual but not religious, for example, as well as activists who engage symbols of faith and community but who may not necessarily consider themselves members of a specific religion. Several essays also examine the meanings of secular identity, humanist politics, and the complex evocations of civil religion in American life. No other book on religion and politics includes anything like the diversity of religions, ethnicities, and topics that this one does—from Mormon political mobilization to attempts at Americanizing Muslims in the post-9/11 United States, from César Chávez to James Dobson, from interreligious cooperation and conflict over Darfur to the global politics surrounding the category of Hindus and South Asians in the United States.

Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust

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Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Rebecca Boehling,Uta Larkey Book Summary:

Uses six hundred recently discovered letters to reveal how the Kaufmann-Steinberg family was wrenched apart during the Nazi regime and how decisions were made to disperse over three continents.

Religion & Literature

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Religion & Literature by N.A Book Summary:

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Shaping Losses

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Shaping Losses by Julia Epstein,Lori Hope Lefkovitz Book Summary:

Shaping Losses explores how traumatic loss affects identity and how those who are shaped by loss give shape, in turn, to the empty place where something--relationships, family, culture--was and is no longer. Taking the example of the decimation of European Jewry during the Nazi era, Shaping Losses confronts the problem of transforming trauma into cultural memory. This eloquent volume examines how memoirs, films, photographs, art, and literature, as well as family conversations and personal remembrances, embody the impulse to preserve what is destroyed. The contributors -- all distinguished women scholars, most of them survivors or daughters of survivors--examine classic memorializations such as Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah and Roman Vishniac's photographs of prewar Jews as well as several less-well-known works. They also address ways in which children of survivors of the Holocaust--and of other catastrophic traumas--struggle with inherited or vicarious memory, striving to come to terms with losses that centrally define them although they experience them only indirectly. Shaping Losses considers the limitations of Holocaust representations and testimonies that capture shards of the experience but are necessarily selective and reductive. Contributors discuss artistic efforts to "preserve the rawness" of memory, to resist redemptive closure in Holocaust narratives and public memorials, and to prevent the Holocaust from being sealed in "the cold storage of history." The authors probe the nature of memory and of trauma, studying the use of language within and outside a traumatic context such as Auschwitz and pinpointing the qualities that make traumatic memory ineffable, untransmittable, and perhaps unreliable. Within the "haunted terrain of traumatized memory" that all Holocaust testimonies inhabit, the impulse to give form to emptiness--to shape loss--emerges as a necessary betrayal, a vital effort to bridge the gap between history and memory.

American Jewish Political Culture and the Liberal Persuasion

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American Jewish Political Culture and the Liberal Persuasion by Henry L. Feingold Book Summary:

American Jewish Political Culture and the Liberal Persuasion begins with the historical background of American Jewish politics before delving into old roots and then moving onto a thematic understanding of American Jewry’s political psyche. This exhaustive work answers the grand question of where American Jewish liberalism comes from and ultimately questions whether the communal motivations behind such behavior are strong enough to withstand twenty-first-century America.

Film and Risk

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Film and Risk by Mette Hjort Book Summary:

An interdisciplinary collection exploring the many ways risk plays a role in film.

American Jewry and the Holocaust

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American Jewry and the Holocaust by Yehuda Bauer Book Summary:

In this volume Yehudi Bauer describes the efforts made to aid European victims of World War II by the New York-based American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, American Jewry's chief representative abroad. Drawing on the mass of unpublished material in the JDC archives and other repositories, as well as on his thorough knowledge of recent and continuing research into the Holocaust, he focuses alternately on the personalities and institutional decisions in New York and their effects on the JDC workers and their rescue efforts in Europe. He balances personal stories with a country-by-country account of the fate of Jews through ought the war years: the grim statistics of millions deported and killed are set in the context of the hopes and frustrations of the heroic individuals and small groups who actively worked to prevent the Nazis' Final Solution. This study is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the American Jewish response to European events from 1939 to 1945. Bauer confronts the tremendous moral and historical questions arising from JDC's activities. How great was the danger? Who should be saved first? Was it justified to use illegal or extralegal means? What country would accept Jewish refugees? His analysis also raises an issue which perhaps can never be answered: could American Jews have done more if they had grasped the reality of the Holocaust?

The Journal of Jewish Studies

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The Journal of Jewish Studies by N.A Book Summary:

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Genocide, Critical Issues of the Holocaust

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Genocide, Critical Issues of the Holocaust by Alex Grobman,Daniel Landes,Sybil Milton Book Summary:

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Blix

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Blix by Frank Norris Book Summary:

IT had just struck nine from the cuckoo clock that hung over the mantelpiece in the dining-room when Victorine brought in the halved watermelon and set it in front of Mr. Bessemer's plate.

Teaching the Holocaust

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Teaching the Holocaust by Simone Schweber,Debbie Findling Book Summary:

Teaching about the Holocaust is necessarily an act of shaping memory, of forging the consciousness students have. Teaching the Holocaust is written to help teachers help their students to define their understandings of this difficult period in our history.

After the Holocaust

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After the Holocaust by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz Book Summary:

Conventional wisdom holds that Jews killed in Poland immediately after World War II were victims of ubiquitous Polish anti-Semitism. This book traces the roots of Polish-Jewish conflict after the war, demonstrating that it was a two-sided phenomenon and not simply an extension of the Holocaust.

America and the Holocaust: American Jewish disunity

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America and the Holocaust: American Jewish disunity by David S. Wyman Book Summary:

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Jews and Feminism

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Jews and Feminism by Laura Levitt Book Summary:

By interrogating America's promise of a home for Jews as citizens of the liberal state, Jews and Feminism questions the very terms of this social "contract". Maintaining that Jews, women, and Jewish women are not necessarily secure within this construction of the state, Laura Levitt links this contractual construction of belonging and acceptance to legacies of marriage as a contractual home for Jewish women. Exploring the immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe for America, as well as their desire to make this country their permanent home, Levitt raises questions about the search for stability in specific Jewish religious and cultural traditions which is linked to the liberal academy as well as feminist study, thus offering an account of an ambivalent Jewish feminist embrace of America as home.

The Transformation of American Jewish Politics

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The Transformation of American Jewish Politics by Peter Medding Book Summary:

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Judaism Since Gender

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Judaism Since Gender by Miriam Peskowitz,Laura Levitt Book Summary:

Judaism Since Gender offers a radically new concept of Jewish Studies, staking out new intellectual terrain and redefining the discipline as an intrinsically feminist practice. The question of how knowledge is gendered has been discussed by philosophers and feminists for years, yet is still new to many scholars of Judaism. Judaism Since Gender illuminates a crucial debate among intellectuals both within and outside the academy, and ultimately overturns the belief that scholars of Judaism are still largely oblivious of recent developments in the study of gender. Offering a range of provocations--Jewish men as sissies, Jesus as transvestite, the problem of eroticizing Holocaust narratives--this timely collection pits the joys of transgression against desires for cultural wholeness.

Archives of the Holocaust: American Jewish Archives, Cincinnnati: The papers of The World Jewish Congress 1945-1950: Liberation and the saving remnant

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Archives of the Holocaust: American Jewish Archives, Cincinnnati: The papers of The World Jewish Congress 1945-1950: Liberation and the saving remnant by Henry Friedlander,Sybil Milton Book Summary:

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A Mortuary of Books

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A Mortuary of Books by N.A Book Summary:

The astonishing story of the efforts of scholars and activists to rescue Jewish cultural treasures after the Holocaust In March 1946 the American Military Government for Germany established the Offenbach Archival Depot near Frankfurt to store, identify, and restore the huge quantities of Nazi-looted books, archival material, and ritual objects that Army members had found hidden in German caches. These items bore testimony to the cultural genocide that accompanied the Nazis’ systematic acts of mass murder. The depot built a short-lived lieu de memoire—a “mortuary of books,” as the later renowned historian Lucy Dawidowicz called it—with over three million books of Jewish origin coming from nineteen different European countries awaiting restitution. A Mortuary of Books tells the miraculous story of the many Jewish organizations and individuals who, after the war, sought to recover this looted cultural property and return the millions of treasured objects to their rightful owners. Some of the most outstanding Jewish intellectuals of the twentieth century, including Dawidowicz, Hannah Arendt, Salo W. Baron, and Gershom Scholem, were involved in this herculean effort. This led to the creation of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Inc., an international body that acted as the Jewish trustee for heirless property in the American Zone and transferred hundreds of thousands of objects from the Depot to the new centers of Jewish life after the Holocaust. The commitment of these individuals to the restitution of cultural property revealed the importance of cultural objects as symbols of the enduring legacy of those who could not be saved. It also fostered Jewish culture and scholarly life in the postwar world.

Hungarian Jews During the Holocaust and After the Second World War, 1939-1949

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Hungarian Jews During the Holocaust and After the Second World War, 1939-1949 by Tamás Stark Book Summary:

While most studies of the Holocaust stop in 1945, the year of the liberation and the official end of the Holocaust, Tamás Stark follows the fate of the Hungarian Jews until the Communist takeover in the late 1940s. The author goes on to cover the enlarged, war-years territory of Hungary, and then to a detailed comparison of the destruction of Jewish communities and the emigration of the survivors.

The Objects That Remain

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The Objects That Remain by Laura Levitt Book Summary:

On a November evening in 1989, Laura Levitt was raped in her own bed. Her landlord heard the assault taking place and called 911, but the police arrived too late to apprehend Laura's attacker. When they left, investigators took items with them--a pair of sweatpants, the bedclothes--and a rape exam was performed at the hospital. However, this evidence was never processed. Decades later, Laura returns to these objects, viewing them not as clues that will lead to the identification of her assailant but rather as a means of engaging traumatic legacies writ large. The Objects That Remain is equal parts personal memoir and fascinating examination of the ways in which the material remains of violent crimes inform our experience of, and thinking about, trauma and loss. Considering artifacts in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and evidence in police storage facilities across the country, Laura's story moves between intimate trauma, the story of an unsolved rape, and genocide. Throughout, she asks what it might mean to do justice to these violent pasts outside the juridical system or through historical empiricism, which are the dominant ways in which we think about evidence from violent crimes and other highly traumatic events. Over the course of her investigation, the author reveals how these objects that remain and the stories that surround them enable forms of intimacy. In this way, she models for us a different kind of reckoning, where justice is an animating process of telling and holding.

Perspectives on the Holocaust

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Perspectives on the Holocaust by R.L. Braham Book Summary:

The number of books and articles dealing with various aspects of World War II has increased at a phenomenal rate since the end of the hostilities. Perhaps no other chapter in this bloodiest of all wars has received as much attention as the Holo caust. The Nazis' program for the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" - this ideologically conceived, diabolical plan for the physicalliquidation of European Jewry - has emerged as a subject of agonizing and intense interest to laypersons and scholars alike. The centrality of the Holocaust in the study of the Third Reich and the Nazi phenomenon is almost universally recognized. The source materials for many of the books published during the immediate postwar period were the notes and diaries kept by many camp and ghetto dwellers, who were sustained during their unbelievable ordeal by the unusual drive to bear witness. These were supplemented after the liberation by a large number of personal narratives collected from survivors alI over Europe. Understandably, the books published shortly after the war ended were mainly martyrological and lachrymological, reflecting the trauma of the Holocaust at the personal, individual level. These were soon followed by a considerable number of books dealing with the moral and religious questions revolving around the role ofthe lay and spiritual leaders of the doomed Jewish communities, especially those involved in the Jewish Councils, as well as God' s responsibility toward the "chosen people.

The Holocaust and American Jewish Youth

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The Holocaust and American Jewish Youth by American Zionist Youth Foundation Book Summary:

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The Fragility of Empathy After the Holocaust

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The Fragility of Empathy After the Holocaust by Carolyn Janice Dean Book Summary:

Comprises four essays - "Empathy, Suffering, and Holocaust 'Pornography', " "Goldhagen's Celebrity, Numbness, and Writing History, " "Indifference and the Language of Victimization, " and "Who Was the 'Real' Hitler?" - that deal with the question of bystander indifference during the Holocaust and numbness afterward on the part of those who distance themselves from Jewish and other suffering. In both cases, indifference is seen as a socio-cultural and historical problem. Those Germans who accepted the brutality with which Hitler treated the Jews are seen as banal collaborators whose complicity was active. However, considers totalistic condemnations of Germans as eliminationist antisemites or wholesale attribution of Nazi behavior to latent homosexualism as reflecting the phenomenon of creating false alibis for the kind of bystander indifference that characterized many Germans during the Holocaust and people afterwards who assume that only others can manifest such prejudice-based attitudes as antisemitism.

Archives of the Holocaust: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, New York, pt.1. 1933-1939, pt.2. 1939-1950. (2 v.)

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Archives of the Holocaust: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, New York, pt.1. 1933-1939, pt.2. 1939-1950. (2 v.) by Henry Friedlander,Sybil Milton Book Summary:

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Spectacular Suffering

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Spectacular Suffering by Vivian Patraka Book Summary:

Surveying texts ranging from plays and performances to films and museums, this book explores the struggle to represent the landscape of the Holocaust.

Studies in American Jewish Literature

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Studies in American Jewish Literature by N.A Book Summary:

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IBM and the Holocaust

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IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black Book Summary:

IBM and the Holocaust is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling shocker--a million copies in print--detailing IBM's conscious co-planning and co-organizing of the Holocaust for the Nazis, all micromanaged by its president Thomas J Watson from New York and Paris. This Expanded Edition offers 37 pages of previous unpublished documents, pictures, internal company correspondence, and other archival materials to produce an even more explosive volume. Originally published to extraordinary praise in 2001, this provocative, award-winning international bestseller has stood the test of time as it chronicles the story of IBM's strategic alliance with Nazi Germany. IBM and the Holocaust provides nothing less than a chilling investigation into corporate complicity. Edwin Black's monumental research exposes how IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies for the Nazis, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s.

Projecting the Holocaust Into the Present

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Projecting the Holocaust Into the Present by Lawrence Baron Book Summary:

In this accessible, clear, jargon free, and comprehensive text, Projecting the Holocaust into the Present offers an insightful historical perspective on how public conceptions of the Holocaust in film have changed over time.

Archives of the Holocaust: American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati: The papers of the World Jewish Congress, 1939-1945

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Archives of the Holocaust: American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati: The papers of the World Jewish Congress, 1939-1945 by N.A Book Summary:

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Living After the Holocaust

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Living After the Holocaust by Lucy Y. Steinitz,David M. Szonyi Book Summary:

A collection of poems, essays and illustrations from the post-war generation (including children of survivors) addressing their personal feelings about the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Industry

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The Holocaust Industry by Norman G. Finkelstein Book Summary:

Argues that public emphasis on the Holocaust and on reparations serves more to enhance the status of Israel and Jewish elites elsewhere, and to distract attention from other abuses, than to preserve the memory of its victims.

Common Ground

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Common Ground by Akemi Kikumura-Yano,Lane Ryo Hirabayashi,James A. Hirabayashi Book Summary:

Los Angeles's Japanese American National Museum, established in 1992, remains the only museum in the United States expressly dedicated to sharing the story of Americans of Japanese ancestry. The National Museum is a unique institution that operates in collaboration with other institutions, museums, researchers, audiences, and funders. In this collection of seventeen essays, anthropologists, art historians, museum curators, writers, designers, and historians provide case studies exploring collaboration with community-oriented partners in order to document, interpret, and present their histories and experiences and provide a new understanding of what museums can and should be in the United States. Current scholarship in museum studies is generally limited to interpretations by scholars and curators. Common Ground brings descriptive data to the intellectual canon and illustrates how museum institutions must be transformed and recreated to suit the needs of the twenty-first century.