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Look Inside The World Hitler Never Made

The World Hitler Never Made
Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism


Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: August 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107402751

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • What if the Nazis had triumphed in World War II? What if Adolf Hitler had escaped Berlin for the jungles of Latin America in 1945? What if Hitler had become a successful artist instead of a politician? Originally published in 2005, Gavriel D. Rosenfeld's pioneering study explores why such counterfactual questions on the subject of Nazism have proliferated within Western popular culture. Examining a wide range of novels, short stories, films, television programs, plays, comic books, and scholarly essays appearing in Great Britain, the United States, and Germany post-1945, Rosenfeld shows how the portrayal of historical events that never happened reflects the evolving memory of the Third Reich's real historical legacy. He concludes that the shifting representation of Nazism in works of alternate history, as well as the popular reactions to them, highlights their subversive role in promoting the normalisation of the Nazi past in Western memory.

    • A fascinating and innovative 'alternate history' of Nazism and the Holocaust
    • Analyses a whole range of popular culture - novels, short stories, comic books, films, radio, television programmes
    • This accessible and richly illustrated book will appeal to anyone interested in twentieth-century history, Nazism, alternate history, literary and cultural studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'With The World Hitler Never Made Gavriel Rosenfeld takes a completely fascinating and highly original cut into the complex of questions concerning the relationship between history and memory on the subject of Nazism and its place in post-1945 popular culture. He tackles these themes with great verve, writing with admirable clarity, and marshalling a prodigious array of speculative fictions and 'alternate histories' in order to build his arguments. The resulting book is both accessible and challenging, densely documented and thoroughly absorbing. All German historians will want to read it, as will anyone interested in Holocaust memory and the legacies of Nazism.' Geoff Eley, University of Michigan

    Review of the hardback: 'Gavriel Rosenfeld's analysis of 'alternative historical' treatments of Nazi Germany, embracing a broad range of popular media, is bound to raise hackles. Yet in seeking to comprehend the comparative, changing mentalities of postwar America, Britain, and Germany he has conceived and produced a provocative and deeply insightful book. The World Hitler Never Made is a strikingly original and imaginative cultural history that reveals a great deal about the post-war world by examining 'alternative historical' forays into Nazism and the Holocaust. It is perhaps the most accessible, as well as one of the most important scholarly books ever written about the role of the Holocaust in popular consciousness from the war's end up to our own time.' Michael Berkowitz, University College London

    Review of the hardback: 'A history of alternative histories, The World Hitler Never Made is an imaginative and intriguing look at our culture's fascination with what might have been, had things gone differently during the Second World War. With panache, erudition and a broad comparative sweep, Rosenfeld analyzes these distorted images of what occurred, unearthing our evident pleasure in imagining other outcomes and what that says about our relationship to the Nazi past. The possibility of evil winning, or at least sidestepping defeat, cuts perhaps all too close to the bone today.' Peter Baldwin, University of California, Los Angeles

    Review of the hardback: 'In this wide-ranging and highly stimulating book, Gavriel Rosenfeld explores the changing nature yet strange persistence of alternate histories of the Nazi past, showing the ways in which Hitler and the Third Reich have occupied Western popular culture long after the regime's demise. In so doing Rosenfeld does more than simply advance a persuasive case for why such mass market myth-making and counterfactual history deserve to be taken more seriously as revealing expressions of popular memory; The World That Hitler Never Made goes a long way towards furnishing a cultural history of some of the most powerful fears and fantasies haunting the Western social imagination from the end of the Second World War to the present.' Paul Betts, University of Sussex

    Review of the hardback: 'In this groundbreaking study the 'alternative history' of nazism[/national socialism] in western popular culture is described for the first time … Rosenfeld's book is an eye-opener. The best thing about it is that he doesn't limit himself to the detailed analysis of individual cases, but places them in their political and social context … It is a broad and erudite selection.' Het Financieele Dagblad

    Review of the hardback: 'Gavriel Rosenfeld has had the interesting idea of analysing the numerous alternative histories of Hitler. He explores four counterfactual themes - that the Nazis won the Second World War; that Hitler escaped death in 1945 and survived into the post-war era; that he died before 1933; and that the Holocaust was completed, avenged or undone altogether … The World Hitler Never Made is an impressive work …'. Financial Times

    Review of the hardback: '… a shrewd and balanced appraisal.' Evening Standard

    Review of the hardback: '… an impressive study of counterfactual, alternative histories of World War Two. … Although deeply scholarly, it is also very readable, as Rosenfeld adopts a light touch in places … This is a fascinating book … difficult to put down.' Military Illustrated

    Review of the hardback: '… his book provides much to think about how we choose to view and consume our history.' The Times Higher

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107402751
    • length: 538 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.78kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Nazis Win World War II:
    1. Great Britain defeated: between resistance and collaboration
    2. The United States and the dilemmas of military intervention
    3. Germany's wartime triumph: from dystopia to normalcy
    4. Other nations: a dissenting view
    Part II. Alternative Hitlers:
    5. The fugitive Fuhrer and the search for justice
    6. The world without Hitler: better or worse?
    Part III. Hypothetical Holocausts:
    7. Hypothetical holocausts and the mistrust of memory.

  • Author

    Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, Fairfield University, Connecticut

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