From the November/December issue of The National Interest.
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity (New York: PublicAffairs, 2009), 672 pp., $29.95.
Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity IT IS hard to believe that the erstwhile-Harvard political scientist turned full-time moralist, pro-Israel polemicist and amateur historian Daniel Jonah Goldhagen could have a more devoted admirer than, well, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. In his first book, Hitler's Willing Executioners, he stated baldly that explaining why the Holocaust occurred required a radical revision of "what has until now been written" and that his book was that revision. His next effort, A Moral Reckoning, claimed to expose the malign role of the Catholic Church not only during the Holocaust but pretty much from its inception, since, according to Goldhagen, the Church had been the central locus of Western anti-Semitism almost from its founding.
Having, by his own lights, first single-handedly rebutted what he called the "false paradigm" about the Holocaust, replaced its mendacities with his true rendering, before finally unmasking the Catholic Church and its clergy's enormous "crimes and transgressions," the historical contours of which, he has said, "no one can rightly deny," Goldhagen has now written Worse Than War, a book whose modest goal is to "reconceptualize, understand anew, interpret differently, explain adequately, and to propose workable responses to [the] catastrophic and systematic problem of eliminationism."
And on the seventh day, He rested.