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Buried by the Times
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  • Page extent: 442 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.728 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 070.4/499405318
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: D804.7.P73 L44 2005
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Press coverage--United States
    • World War, 1939-1945--Press coverage--United States
    • New York Times Company
    • Journalism--Social aspects--United States

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521812870 | ISBN-10: 0521812879)

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$59.99 (G)

An in-depth look at how The New York Times failed in its coverage of the fate of European Jews from 1939–45. It examines how the decisions that were made at The Times ultimately resulted in the minimizing and misunderstanding of modern history's worst genocide. Laurel Leff, a veteran journalist and professor of journalism, recounts how personal relationships at the newspaper, the assimilationist tendencies of The Times' Jewish owner, and the ethos of mid-century America, all led The Times to consistently downplay news of the Holocaust. It recalls how news of Hitler's 'final solution' was hidden from readers and - because of the newspaper's influence on other media - from America at large. Buried by The Times is required reading for anyone interested in America's response to the Holocaust and for anyone curious about how journalists determine what is newsworthy.


Introduction: the last voice from the abyss; Part I. 1933–41: 1. 'Not a Jewish problem': the publisher's perspective on the Nazis' rise and the refugee crisis; 2. 'This here is Germany': reporting from the Berlin bureau; 3. 'Worthy of France': the Vichy government's anti-semitic laws and concentration camps; 4. 'A new life in Nazi-built ghettos': German domination of Poland, Rumania and the Baltic States; Part II 1941–5: 5. 'To awaken the conscience of Christendom': pressure to publicize the first news of the extermination campaign; 6. 'Amidst the advertisements on page 19': placement decisions and the role of the news editors; 7. 'All Jews are not brothers': the publisher's battle with Zionists; 8. 'The semitic question should be avoided': German atrocities and US Government propaganda; 9. 'Final phase of supreme tragedy has begun': the War Refugee Board and the destruction of Hungary's Jews; 10. 'Political prisoners, slave laborers and civilians of many nationalities': the liberation of the concentration camps; 11. 'Lessons from the Hitler tragedy': the publisher and the aftermath of war; Conclusion: 'the horrible story was not told'.

Prize Winner

American Journalism Historians Association's Award for Best Book in Media History, 2006


"...[an] important book..."
-New York Post

-Commentary Magazine

"Laurel Leff has written an exceptional study of one of the darkest failures of the New York Times--its non-coverage of the holocaust during World War II. How could the best newspaper in the United States, perhaps in the world, under-estimate and under-report the mass killing of more than 6,000,000 Jews? Read this book, which provides answers and in the process stands tall in scholarship, style and importance."
-Marvin Kalb, Senior Fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy

"Laurel Leff[...]has done a fine job...[a] wonderful book..."
-New York Daily News

-The New York Times

"This is the best book yet about American media coverage of the Holocaust, as well as an extremely important contribution to our understanding of America's response to the mass murder of the Jews."
-David S. Wyman, author of The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust

"This important book answers--in a compelling fashion--some of the questions which have long been asked about the New York Times' coverage of the Holocaust. Probing far behind the headlines, Leff tells the fascinating story of how the Sulzberger family was rescuing its relatives from Germany at the same time that it was burying the story of the Holocaust in the inner recesses of the paper."
-Deborah E. Lipstadt, author of Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust

"Laurel Leff has written an engrossing and important book about the abject failure of the world's most influential newspaper, The New York Times, to report on the Holocaust its owner and key figures knew was occurring. Her book tells us much about America at the time, the level of anti-Semitism, and the assimilationist desire of the Jewish owner of the Times to avoid stressing the unique Jewish nature of the genocide. It is part and parcel with the same mindset of the Roosevelt Administration. One can only wonder in great sorrow at how many lives might have been saved if the nation's and world's conscience had been touched by full and complete coverage by the Times of what remains the greatest crime of world history."
-Stuart E. Eizenstat, former senior official in the Clinton Administration and the Special Representative of President Clinton on Holocaust-Era Issues. Author of Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor and the Unfinished Business of World War II

"...skilfully[...]written, researched, and analyzed..."
-New Haven Advocate

"A complicated important look back."
-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"This is a well-researched and well-written book."
-Haim Genizi, The Journal of American History

"Buried by the Times is admirably relentless."
-Ron Hollander, Montclair State University, American Jewish History

..."thoroughly researched and so carefully written." -Owen V. Johnson, Jhistory

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