Cover image for Reading the Holocaust
Reading the Holocaust
Clendinnen, Inga.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
ix, 227 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D804.348 .C54 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
D804.348 .C54 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Fifty years after their occurrence, the events of the Holocaust remain for some of their most dedicated students as morally and intellectually baffling, as 'unthinkable', as they were at their first rumoring. Reading the Holocaust challenges that bafflement, and the demoralization that attends it. Exploring the experience of the Holocaust from both the victims' and the perpetrators' points of view, as it appears in histories and memoirs, films and poems, Inga Clendinnen seeks to dispel what she calls the 'Gorgon effect': the sickening of imagination and curiosity and the draining of the will that afflict so many of us when we try to look squarely at the persons and processes implicated in the Holocaust. Searching, eloquent, and elegantly written, her book is an uncompromising attempt to extract the comprehensible - the practical, human reality - from the unthinkable. Reading the Holocaust has won the Premier's Award for General History in New South Wales.

Author Notes

Inga Clendinnen was born in Geelong, Australia on August 17, 1934. She studied history at the University of Melbourne. She became a historian of Aztec and Mayan culture and society. She taught at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University. She wrote numerous books during her lifetime including Reading the Holocaust, Tiger's Eye, Dancing with Strangers, and Agamemnon's Kiss. She died on September 8, 2016 at the age of 82.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

1 Beginning
2 Impediments
Part I Victims
3 Witnessing
4 Resisting
Part II Perpetrators
5 Defining: inside the grey zone: the Auschwitz Sonderkommando
6 Leaders
7 The men in the green tunics: the order police in Poland
8 The Auschwitz SS
9 Representing the Holocaust