Remembering the Holocaust: A Debate

Hardcover | July 26, 2009

byJeffrey C. Alexander

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The meaning of the Holocaust and how it should be remembered has been the subject of much intense public debate. Should its significance be limited to particular groups or are there lessons for all of humanity to draw upon? This book brings together a wide range of leading historians, social scientists, and literary scholars to explore the controversy surrounding the legacy of the Holocaust. Jeffrey Alexander's award-winning essay, "On the Social Construction of Moral Universals: The 'Holocaust' from War Crime toTrauma Drama" traces how the Holocaust gradually became the dominant representation of evil, and what the consequences have been for the development of its universal moral relevance. Through this cultural transformation from a specific, historical event into a generalized symbol, the Holocaust isnow the standard for evaluating the evil nature of other acts. While this extension, or bridging, to other events potentially opens the door to the understanding and condemnation of atrocities across the globe, the routine evocation of the Holocaust may also deprive the event of its meaning, leadingto political manipulation, trivialization, and even forgetting. His inquiry is joined by essays from Martin Jay, Nathan Glazer, Elihu and Ruth Katz, Michael Rothberg, Robert Manne, and Bernhard Giesen, who further debate the geopolitical, national, and cultural limits and dangers of extending the tragic lessons of the Holocaust. This thoughtful and controversialbook will be a welcome addition to the wider academic and public debate continuing around the legacy of the Holocaust and its meaning.

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The meaning of the Holocaust and how it should be remembered has been the subject of much intense public debate. Should its significance be limited to particular groups or are there lessons for all of humanity to draw upon? This book brings together a wide range of leading historians, social scientists, and literary scholars to explo...

Jeffrey C. Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology and Co-Director at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:July 26, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195326229

ISBN - 13:9780195326222

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Geoffrey Hartman: Part I:1. Jeffrey Alexander: The Social Construction of Moral UniversalsPart II:2. Martin Jay: Allegories of Evil: A Response to Jeffrey Alexander3. Bernhard Giesen: From denial to confessions of guilt: the German case4. Michael Rothberg: Multidirectional Memory and the Universalization of the Holocaust5. Robert Manne: (No Title)6. Nathan Glazer: Jeffrey Alexander on the Response to the Holocaust7. Elihu Katz and Ruth Katz: Life and Death among the Binaries: Notes on Jeffrey Alexander's ConstructionismPart III:8. Jeffrey Alexander: On the Global and Local Representations of the Holocaust TragedyContributors