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Assassins of Memory : Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust - Pierre Vidal-Naquet

Assassins of Memory

Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust

Hardcover

Published: 18th February 1993
For Ages: 22+ years old
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"Assassins of Memory" is a passionate and painstaking look at one of the more curious realities of recent French cultural life: the prominence accorded to the phenomenon of "revisionism". An attempt on the part of a tiny group of fanatics, often masquerading as scholars and researchers, to deny the existence of the gas chambers and horrors of Hitler's genocidal policies, revisionism is quietly gaining adherents. The movement has been most visible in France in the past decade, particularly because of the trial of Klaus Barbie and the writings of Robert Faurisson. Revisionists are more prevalent and are gaining followers in other countries, including the United States, where the "Journal of Historical Review" is devoted to revisionist thought and where a current presidential candidate has expressed what could be described as revisionist ideas. "Assassins of Memory" exposes revisionism for the deeply perverse enterprise it is, laying bare the mechanisms of lies and manipulations on which it is sustained. More than this, it asks searching questions about the underlying causes of revisionism and its influences and diffusion in France and elsewhere. The book is particularly illuminating on the role the American linguist Noam Chomsky has played as writer of a preface to one of the movement's more influential tracts. Underlying Vidal-Naquet's argument is the question: is it acceptable for people to spread evil ideas, or should they be suppressed?

This is a collection of essays written in the 1980s in response to those who deny the reality of the Holocaust. The writer, a scholar of ancient Greece who teaches at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris, is torn by the dilemma of how to provide a necessary critique of academics who reject the genocide of European Jewry without at the same time dignifying them as a possibly legitimate "revisionist" school of intellectual thought. Vidal-Naquet writes persuasively and often passionately in response to Robert Faurisson, a French professor of literature, whose arguments have appeared in Le Monde and other outlets for French intellectuals, and also takes to task American linguist Noam Chomsky, who wrote a preface to one of Faurisson's books. Vidal-Naquet offers an interesting perspective on a debate that should not have taken place. For informed readers. Library Journal In these essays the eminent French classicist Pierre Vidal-Naquet engages the issues raised by the denial of the Holocaust with an extraordinary fusion of moral passion and historical vigor. -- Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Columbia University

Foreword
Preface
A Paper Eichmann (1980)p. 1
Anatomy of a Lie
On Cannibalism, Its Existence, and How It Has Been Explained
On La Vieille Taupe and Cannibals
On History and Its Revision
On the Revisionist Method
Moscow, Nuremberg, Jerusalem
The Fantastic Calculations of Paul Rassinier
The Jewish War
On the Art of Not Reading Texts
On Plato, Lies, and Ideology
Living With Faurisson?
Appendix: Zyklon B
On Faurisson and Chomsky (1981)p. 65
On the Side of the Persecuted (1981)p. 75
Theses on Revisionism (1985)p. 79
From One Revisionism to Another
On Myths of War and the Advance of Truth
That There are Several Abodes...
On an Explosive Mixture
On the Nations and Israel
History after Auschwitz
Assassins of Memory (1987)p. 99
The Destruction of the Helots of Sparta
History and Stories
Discourse-Memory-Truth
The Sect
History and the Nation
Auschwitz and the Third World
The Confusion of Feelings
In the Guise of a Conclusion
Notesp. 143
Indexp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231074582
ISBN-10: 0231074581
Series: European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 18th February 1993
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.44