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.
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 Works Cited
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With a growing list of over 180 titles across a broad range of subject areas, Macat works with leading academics from the world’s top universities to produce new analyses that focus on the ideas and the impact of the most influential works ever written. By setting them in context – and looking at the influences that shaped their authors, as well as the responses they provoked – Macat encourages readers to look at these classics and game-changers with fresh eyes.