The Willing Misinterpreter

Despite Goldhagen's extraordinary claims, he himself concedes in his unwittingly revealing afterword that he is not presenting much in the way of original research.

Issue: Nov-Dec 2009

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.


[amazon 1586487698 full] 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.

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