Daniel Goldhagen's study of the Holocaust offers conclusions that run directly counter to those reached by Christopher Browning, whose book Ordinary Men is also the subject of a Macat analysis. As such, the two analyses make possible some interesting critical thinking exercises focused on evaluation of the evidence used by the two historians. For Goldhagen, a chief reason for German actions was not the mundane good comradeship stressed by Browning, but a longstanding hatred of Jews and Judaism specific to Germany that dated back well into the previous century. Debating which historian is right, which has made better use of the available evidence, which has most successfully written objectively – and which advances the most secure interpretation of contested documents – forces students to think critically about one of the most important and (on the surface at least) incomprehensible events of the past century.
Table of Contents
Ways in to the Text
Who was Daniel Jonah Goldhagen?
What does Hitler's Willing Executioners say?
Why does Hitler's Willing Executioners matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Dr Simon Taylor holds a PhD in Modern History from Columbia University. He is currently undertaking postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago.
Dr Thomas Stammers is lecturer in Modern European History at Durham University, where he specialises in the Cultural History of France in the age of revolution. He is the author of Collection, Recollection, Revolution: Scavenging the Past in Nineteenth-Century Paris. Dr Stammers’s research interests include a wide range of historiographical and theoretical controversies related to eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europe.