Author(s): Laurence Rees
Based on twenty-five years of meeting survivors and perpetrators, The Holocaust is a sweeping new history that combines first-person testimony with the latest academic research to investigate how history's greatest crime was made possible. Laurence Rees argues that a series of escalations compounded into the horror. Though Hitler was ultimately most responsible for what happened, the blame is widespread, he reminds us, and the effects are enduring. An intensely readable narrative, this is a compelling account of humanity's darkest moment. Book jacket.
Anyone wanting a compelling, highly readable explanation of how and why the Holocaust happened, drawing on recent scholarship and impressively incorporating moving and harrowing interviews need look no further than Laurence Rees's brilliant book -- Professor Ian Kershaw A masterpiece. Laurence Rees's best book yet . . . In compelling prose, Rees tells the full story of the most shameful period in the story of Mankind -- Andrew Roberts You might have thought that we know everything there is to know about the Holocaust but this book proves there is much more... -- Andrew Roberts * Daily Mail * With The Holocaust he has set himself the task of writing an accessible chronological account of the murder of six million Jews in conditions of scarcely imaginable horror. He's done it excellently. There is no shortage of books on the Holocaust but Rees's stands out as a readable and authoritative exposition of how and why it happened, and the barbarous methods by which it was pursued. The amount of ground it covers in 500 pages is remarkable - from the anti-Semitism of popular German literature of the 19th century to Hitler's suicide and the surrender of his regime. It's excellently written and skilfully interweaves narrative history, sound interpretation and the recollections (through interviews, listed in the notes as "previously unpublished testimony") of survivors. Rees provides an exemplary account of how the greatest crime in modern history came about. * The Times * Rees has distilled 25 years of research into this compelling study, the finest single-volume account of the Holocaust. It is not a book for the faint-hearted. Some of the first-hand testimony is both shocking and heart-rending. Yet it has important things to say about human nature - what our species is capable of doing if not prevented by civilized laws - and demands to be read -- Saul David * Telegraph * This is by far the clearest book ever written about the Holocaust, but also the best in explaining both its origins and grotesque mentality, as well as its chaotic development -- Antony Beevor A fine book. Rees is a gifted educator, who can tell a complex story with compassion and clarity, without sacrificing all nuances...it comes alive through the voices of victims, killers and bystanders. -- Nikolaus Wachsmann, author of 'KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps' * Guardian * The interview material is largely compelling, always illuminating and on occasion, very moving . . . Like all of Rees's work, it is accurate and carefully researched -- Richard Evans * New Statesman * Absorbing, heart-breaking...he has drawn skilfully on speeches, documents and diaries of the Third Reich, and on the vast library of secondary literature, to weave together a powerful, inevitably harrowing revelation of the 20th century's greatest crime -- Nick Rennison * Sunday Times *
Laurence Rees is the author of the award-winning Auschwitz- The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' - the world's bestselling book on the history of the camp. A former Head of BBC TV History programmes, he has written six books on the Nazis and the Second World War, as well as writing and producing the accompanying documentary TV series. His work includes the TV series and books The Nazis- A Warning from History, Auschwitz- The Nazis and the 'Final Solution', World War II- Behind Closed Doors and The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler. Laurence Rees was educated at Solihull School and Oxford University and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Sheffield and the Open University. For several years he was a visiting senior fellow in the International History Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London University. His many awards include a British Book Award, a BAFTA, a George Foster Peabody award, a Broadcasting Press Guild award, a Grierson award, a Broadcast award, two International Documentary awards and two Emmys.