The American West and the Nazi East: A Comparative and Interpretive Perspective

Hardcover | August 15, 2011

byPete Kakel

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The American West and the Nazi East is a unique exploration of the conceptual and historical relations between the Early American and Nazi-German national projects of territorial expansion, racial cleansing, and settler colonization in their respective 'western' and 'eastern' empires, along with their associated campaigns of extreme political violence against 'native' indigenous peoples.
Kakel locates the Early American national project in 'the West' as a central part of the histories of imperialism, colonialism, and genocide, and offers a unique window on to the colonial origins, content, and context of the Nazi national project in 'the East', including the Holocaust. By asking new questions of supposedly familiar historical events and periods, this book brings to light the unexpected and unsettling connections between the 'American West' and the 'Nazi East', and links histories previously thought of as totally unrelated.

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From the Publisher

The American West and the Nazi East is a unique exploration of the conceptual and historical relations between the Early American and Nazi-German national projects of territorial expansion, racial cleansing, and settler colonization in their respective 'western' and 'eastern' empires, along with their associated campaigns of extreme po...

CARROLL P. KAKEL, III ('Pete')  is a research historian and lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University Centre for Liberal Arts, USA. He has an MA in Holocaust Studies (with distinction) and a PhD in Modern History from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.89 × 5.66 × 1 inPublished:August 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023027515X

ISBN - 13:9780230275157

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Maps and Illustrations
Preface
Introduction
PART I: CONTINENTAL IMPERIALISM
Empire: National Projects of 'Space' and 'Race'
Racial 'Othering': 'Manufacturing Difference'
PART II: SETTLER COLONIALISM
Conquest and Expansion: 'Obtaining' New 'Living Space'
Colonization: 'Peopling' the Empire
'Out-Group' Policy: 'Eliminating' the 'Natives'
PART III: FRONTIER GENOCIDE
War and Genocide: 'Cleansing' the Lebensraum
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Challenging and provocative, this well-researched and clearly written account utilizes the cutting-edge approaches of comparative genocide studies to identify what Kakel rightly calls 'disquieting underlying patterns of empirical similarity' in the genocidal policies and practices that flowed from colonial ambitions in the American West and the Nazi East. Kakel's judicious and insightful analysis can withstand the controversies that are likely to swirl around this important book.”- John K. Roth, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College, California  “Although historians have recognized that the Euro-American colonization of North America inspired the Nazi war for "living space," Carroll Kakel's study is the first sustained and detailed comparison of the American West and the Nazi East. These episodes of territorial expansionism, which combined settler colonialism with the expulsion and killing of indigenous people, occurred at different times and they evinced important differences arising from their specific contexts. Nevertheless, their similarities, among them the obsession with "space" as vital to national survival and the desire to expel or eliminate racial "undesirables" which Kakel demonstrates with rich detail and telling side-by-side comparisons, show conclusively that empire and race lay at the foundations of the American Republic, and that American expansionism became the most important imperialist model for the National Socialists.”- Shelley Baranowski, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Akron“Shocking as it may be to juxtapose American westward expansion and Nazi eastward expansion, Kakel employs a thorough knowledge of the two histories as well as of Holocaust and genocide studies to present a very unusual comparative history. It is startling, well-researched, and provocative. It deserves a fair-minded and broad readership.”- Walter Nugent, author of Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion