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War and Genocide Audiobook

War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust

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Publisher's Summary

In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris L. Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, this revised, third edition discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Roma, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the disabled, and other groups deemed undesirable. In clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi German program of conquest and genocide - purification of the so-called Aryan race and expansion of its living space - and discusses how these goals affected the course of World War II. Including firsthand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, her book is immediate and human.

©2006 Rowman & Littlefield (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A book that will likely be required reading in college-level courses for years to come.... A detailed overview of the Holocaust." (History in Review)

"This succinct book is remarkably comprehensive, making it unusually accessible to nonexperts. Highly recommended." (CHOICE)

"This is a book that will find its place on the bookshelves of most Holocaust scholars and should be included in any Holocaust library." (Jewish Book World)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Angela 03-22-17
    Angela 03-22-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Agency - the capacity or state of exerting power"
    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for a comprehensive history of The Holocaust, and Goodreads pointed me toward Timothy Snyder. I read Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.... Still, I needed something more. Doris Bergen's book was exactly what I didn't know I needed.

    Her history is concise, as titularly promised, but also complete. In the first chapter, she addresses not just the question of why did World War II happen but also the often forgotten question of "Why the Jews?" as the author puts it. She lay to rest many of my preconceived notions and mythology that I'd embraced as "cultural literacy."

    Bergen also resists laying the entire Holocaust at the feet of one man, nor does she hold entire nations responsible. Specifically and deliberately, the author indicts those who actively and passively created and perpetuated mass murder.

    Jarring and brutal, Bergen's language consistently used the voice of agency in describing the events of the Holocaust. Nobody "died" in the concentration camps described in War and Genocide; they were murdered by starvation, work, disease, gas, torture, suffocation (buried alive), gunshot, hanging, beating, or some other depravity that had a specific perpetrator and victim.

    And Bergen does not allow either to be a faceless entity in the shadows of history. Through well-developed anecdotes, she brings the murderer and the murdered out of the darkness and names them. Her scorn or respect has an individuality that, for me, echoed the voice of God that each will surely hear on judgement day. The author never descends into collective nouns that tend to lull the reader into a complacency; instead you get the names and descriptions. You understand the person, the people, the Humanity—not the Six Million, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Gays, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Poles, the dead.

    Likewise, the author notes that everyone who survived the Holocaust was saved by someone. I’m thankful to the author that the saved and the saviors, not just the murderers, are remembered here in War and Genocide.

    A note about the narration of the audio book. Collene Curran’s prosody and expression were engaging; her delivery “professorial”, but in the best way possible. Occasionally, her tone was disconnected from the content. Specifically I remember picturing a smiling newscaster reporting “waves of refugees.” The narration did not often distract from the text itself though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Epping, NH, United States 03-19-17
    Christopher Epping, NH, United States 03-19-17 Member Since 2008
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    "An informative review of the subject."

    This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
    This is a ghastly subject, the author concisely provided more facts about it. While everyone has heard of the main atrocities that occurred during WWII, it's easy to forget that a lot of others were marginalized as well. We all know someone that would have been lumped into theses groups.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Newton 03-14-17
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    "Informative and engaging"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a fan of history (not a professional historian) and was delighted to have been given the opportunity to review this audiobook.

    I'm used to hearing audiobooks on the subject of WW2 that are narrated by men, so its refreshing to hear a female narrator. She has a very engaging voice, good tone, good pace. I can be picky about audiobook narration, but I would certainly listen to this narrator again in other audiobooks. One thing that I did notice, for better or worse, was that this narrator effectively conveyed varying levels of subjectiveness/objectiveness. I've listened to other audiobooks where the narrator/author combination leaves me with an impression of objectivity. For this audiobook, I frequently perceived that I was hearing the author's personal opinion. It reminded me of the audiobook of Shirer's 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich' - there, too, you really got a clear sense of where the author's sympathies lay.

    For this reason, I found my eyebrows wrinkling a bit at some of the topics and wished that there was more of an objective explanation for some of the author's assertions. To her credit, the author often prefaced this material with words along the lines of, "This is a controversial topic among historians, or you may have read differently elsewhere, but here's the real truth...". Her discussion of Jewish collaborators, the extent to which the army soldiers participated in genocide (or didn't refuse to obey orders pertaining to this), Germany's losses during the initial invasion of Poland, the role of the Treaty of Versailles --- the way that each of these issues were described, made me want to double check her sources and other sources on these topics. Of course, one of the two biggest drawbacks of audiobooks is that I'm unable to access her bibliography or references (the other drawback being lack of access to illustrations and maps), so I couldn't trace back her sources on these topics. I don't necessarily disagree with her observations, but I suspect that the topics are much more nuanced than her concise account provides. (This has been my experience when reading anything about the world wars, anyway.)

    There were a few minor but also interesting topics that I would have liked to have heard more about. The author described the religious roots of anti-semitism (I wasn't aware that the term was a modern one until I heard this book) but I felt that she could have spent more time with the economic roots of anti-semitism. Also, I think that interesting stories can be told about how Jews fared relatively better in some countries rather than others. The author did talk about some of these countries (e.g., Italy) and very briefly mentioned Finland, but I would have liked to see more emphasis on this because I think it's quite thought-provoking that some countries were less willing to exterminate Jews, and that many Germans may have been compelled to become more complicit due to factors such as propaganda, fear of reprisals, and so on. Given that this is a concise history, though, the author can easily be excused for having to make choices about what to include and what to exclude in this book. I'm curious enough that I will take her clearly stated advice and will not treat this book as a standalone authority and will explore additional information sources on my own.

    I enjoyed the author's excerpts containing personal anecdotes of people who lived during this time period. I'm familiar with some accounts of Holocaust survivors (I'm familiar with 'Night', for example), but I was also happy to read accounts about individuals with other roles to play. They add a very human side to factual descriptions of events during that time.

    All in all, I have no regrets about this book. The fact is, this is a huge, huge subject with lots of information, events, and details. You really need to hear from different sources and gradually build an understanding in order to have an informed opinion. (I've read/listened to several military history books (and podcasts - shoutout to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History's 'Ghosts of the Ostfront' series!) and my 'informed opinion' continues to be revised with each book I read. This audiobook is a great addition to my WW2 collection of books and I'd recommend it to others!

    This review is my personal opinion, provided in exchange for a complimentary copy of the audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Patterson 04-22-17
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    "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing!"
    If you could sum up War and Genocide in three words, what would they be?

    Concise, very enlightening


    What other book might you compare War and Genocide to and why?

    Have not read any books like this before.


    Which character – as performed by Collene Curran – was your favorite?

    She brought Hitler to life and exposed him for what he truly was.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I didn't realize that so many different people were targeted for torture and death not just Jews.


    Any additional comments?

    "I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cps Texas 04-01-17
    cps Texas 04-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Holocaust book with incredible wealth of knowledge"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy books that can teach me something and this book provides more details that were new to me. Very very interesting. I would recommend this book.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bikram Agarwal 03-27-17 Member Since 2017

    Listening to audiobooks for few hours everyday since the start of 2017.

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    "Informative"

    I am always interested in re-learning about the world history because during my schooling days, I had just mugged up everything, without taking any particular interest. But now that I'm grown-up, I understand that was a mistake. I now look for books that will educate me on world history, without the book being academic in nature. This book fits the bill. I came to know of several facts that I didn't know of before. And it shows the length the author had gone to research the topic and present it in concise manner.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nomi 03-21-17
    Nomi 03-21-17 Member Since 2016

    I like a wide range of genres. Favorites include Horror, SciFi, Fantasy, Thriller, LGBT, classics and history.

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    "Fascinating read"

    Fascinating read. I always enjoy reading anything to do with this period in history. Well written this covered some controversial topics. This is an informative book worth reading.

    The narrator gave a good performance.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kingsley Henely Brook, Australia 03-16-17
    Kingsley Henely Brook, Australia 03-16-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A great overview based on facts and research"

    Do we really need yet another book about WW2 and the Holocaust? When the "yet another book" is this one, then the answer seems to be yes.

    Doris L. Bergen has put together a detailed but concise history of the Holocaust, starting with the social, economic and political temperature prior to the rise of the Third Reich and continuing through to the end of World War Two. Bergen done a significant amount of research, and has put that into the book in such a way that it is never overwhelming or confusing. It is clear and easy to read, while giving an exact understanding of the events. Bergen's writing is not based on emotion but fact, it is not written in such a way as to draw out an emotional response but instead is written in an academic manner presenting the events without embellishment. That isn't too say it is dry or without any bias, as Bergen's position and thoughts on some of the issues at hand are reasonably obvious from the writing.

    It also has a focus beyond looking at just the Jewish victims, who are generally the most well known victims, but also sheds light on the actions towards other racial groups (such as Romas/Gypsys), or invalids and disabled people, or homosexuals. Anyone determined to be "non- Aryans". The book is also interspersed with stories of victims and survivors, giving "case study" examples of the individuals caught up in the Holocaust.

    This is the third edition and in that it does not shy away from correcting the previous editions. Bergen has clearly stated where she made error previously and how it has been corrected. She goes into details to explain why she uses the terms she does, and explaining where those terms came from. She also spends time correcting / clarifying incorrect 'common knowledge' - things everyone 'knows' that are actually wrongs - such when the final solution began (was actually prior to the Wannsee Conference) and the effects of the Treaty of Versailles (as I have read in a few other books, it probably had less impact on starting WW2 than many believe).

    The book is interesting and informative, while never getting overwhelming or despairing.

    Some of Bergen's conclusions don't always gel with other books I have read on the subject, but for anyone wanting an good, concise place to start - to get a great overview of the Holocaust - then this book is worth checking out.

    Collene Curran does good work narrating. She is clear and easy to follow, well paced and no obvious annoying issues. There is little place for flourishes in non-fiction history like this but she helps the does little things that help keep the narrative clear, like preceding quotes by saying "quote". This makes it easy to differentiate Bergen's writing from quoted passages. A great benefit when listening to non-fiction audiobooks.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April H. Kansas 03-06-17
    April H. Kansas 03-06-17 Member Since 2010
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    "War and Genocide"


    War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
    : Doris L. Bergen

    This is a concise review of historical events linking WWII and the Holocaust as a singular event. It does not drag out each event in the progression, but gives brief glimpses for the listener to contemplate on their own.



    The narration was well done. Collene Curran made the subject understandable.



    "I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 03-02-17
    Philip 03-02-17 Member Since 2015

    35 year old autodidact that suffers from mental illness. I have bad vision and live off audiobooks. I'm grateful that audiobooks exist.

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    "Modern, reflective, and fairly brief."

    This book does not go into great details as a dry academic text, as it says it is concise, and the description of the Holocaust is effective and much shorter than similar works. The thing that sticks out about this book to me, is the voice with which the subject is discussed. The book has a conversation with you, from our modern world, about the causes and implications. It has a contemplative, social-sciences angle, but chooses words carefully to ensure respect and accuracy is clear.

    The Narrator is easy to understand, has good inflection, and no annoying ticks. Collene Curran makes it easy to lose her voice and feel as if one was reading directly, which is all one could ask for in such a work.

    If you are looking for an exhaustive work, this is not for you. If you want the outline, important events, and some quality insights, I recommend it.

    -I received a free review copy of this work-

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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