Cover image for The Americanization of the Holocaust
Title:
The Americanization of the Holocaust
Author:
Flanzbaum, Hilene.
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
261 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
The imaginary Jew and the American poet / Hilene Flanzbaum -- Aliens in the wasteland : American encounters with the Holocaust on 1960s science fiction television / Jeffrey Shandler -- Imagining survivors : testimony and the rise of Holocaust consciousness / Henry Greenspan -- America's Holocaust : memory and the politics of identity / James E. Young -- Inheriting the Holocaust : Jewish American fiction and the double bind of the second-generation survivor / Andrew Furman -- Surviving Rego Park : Holocaust theory from Art Spiegelman to Berel Lang / Amy Hungerford -- "Three thousand miles away" : the Holocaust in recent works for the American theater / Joyce Antler -- The cinematic triangulation of Jewish American identity : Israel, America, and the Holocaust / Sara R. Horowitz -- Reflections on the Holocaust from Nebraska / Alan E. Steinweis -- "You who never was there" : slavery and the new historicism- deconstruction and the Holocaust / Walter Benn Michaels -- Suffering as a moral beacon : Blacks and Jews / Laurence Mordekhai Thomas -- Play will make you free : reprising The triumph of the will in Chicago's Nike town / Andrew Levy.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780801860218

9780801860225
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Flanzbaum presents a collection of essays on the American cultural appropriation of the Holocaust, from "Schindler's List" to Elie Wiesel throwing out the first pitch at the Mets season opener in 1988; from the idealizations of Anne Frank to a cookbook of recipes from survivors of the Terezin concentration camp. While several essays touch on survivor testimony, the volume as a whole makes clear how much of our knowledge representations of representations-through editors & publishers, producers & directors.


Summary

"If the Holocaust, as image and symbol, seems to have sprung loose from its origins, it does not mean we should decry Americanization; rather, the pervasive presence of representations of the Holocaust in our culture demands responsible evaluation and interpretation."--from the Introduction

The Holocaust is everywhere in American cultural consciousness today--in movies, books, theater, and television, in college courses, museums, and public monuments. In The Americanization of the Holocaust, Hilene Flanzbaum presents a collection of essays on America's cultural appropriation of this central event in twentieth-century history. The authors discuss a broad range of topics and examples, from Schindler's List to Elie Wiesel's throwing out the first pitch at the Mets season opener in 1988, from the idealizations of Anne Frank to a cookbook of recipes from survivors of the Terezin concentration camp, from a look at Art Spiegelman's acclaimed comic book Maus to a contemporary faux pas at the Nike Corporation. While several authors draw directly from the testimony of survivors, the volume as a whole examines how much of our knowledge of the Holocaust comes to us through cultural filters--from editors and publishers, producers and directors, artists and advertising executives. Covering the more than fifty years since the end of the Holocaust, this rich and comprehensive overview spans a wide variety of critical approaches, media, and genres.


Author Notes

Hilene Flanzbaum is an associate professor of English at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and an editor of Jewish-American Literature: A Norton Anthology .


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Grounded in the unassailable proposition that the Holocaust has "become an artifact of American culture" and has entered the nation's "common discourse," this collection of essays explores the issue of American cultural representation of the Holocaust over the last 50 years. How has it been done? In what cultural forms? With what impact on American Jewish identity and general American social consciousness? Despite the editor's insightful introduction, the volume supplies no grand unifying thematic synthesis to answer these questions. Rather, these disparate essays, several of which have been previously published, are a potpourri of mostly narrowly focused analyses of individual pieces of literature (Flanzbaum, Furman, Hungerford), plays (Antler), film (Horowitz) and television (Shandler). Those pieces seeking a grander theoretical vision are overly abstruse (Michaels) or sermonic (Thomas). The most revealing presentations are Greenspan's chronicle of the evolving portraits of being a "survivor" in the US, Young's reflections on memory and identity, Steinweis's depiction of Nebraskan receptivity to the Holocaust, and Levy's musings about Nike's Chicago store using Nazi iconography and symbols to sell its goods. As a contribution to the theme of Americanization of the Holocaust, this book is useful though limited. Upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Kraut; CUNY Queens College


Choice Review

Grounded in the unassailable proposition that the Holocaust has "become an artifact of American culture" and has entered the nation's "common discourse," this collection of essays explores the issue of American cultural representation of the Holocaust over the last 50 years. How has it been done? In what cultural forms? With what impact on American Jewish identity and general American social consciousness? Despite the editor's insightful introduction, the volume supplies no grand unifying thematic synthesis to answer these questions. Rather, these disparate essays, several of which have been previously published, are a potpourri of mostly narrowly focused analyses of individual pieces of literature (Flanzbaum, Furman, Hungerford), plays (Antler), film (Horowitz) and television (Shandler). Those pieces seeking a grander theoretical vision are overly abstruse (Michaels) or sermonic (Thomas). The most revealing presentations are Greenspan's chronicle of the evolving portraits of being a "survivor" in the US, Young's reflections on memory and identity, Steinweis's depiction of Nebraskan receptivity to the Holocaust, and Levy's musings about Nike's Chicago store using Nazi iconography and symbols to sell its goods. As a contribution to the theme of Americanization of the Holocaust, this book is useful though limited. Upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Kraut; CUNY Queens College


Table of Contents

Hilene FlanzbaumJeffrey ShandlerHenry GreenspanJames E. YoungAndrew FurmanAmy HungerfordJoyce AntlerSara R. HorowitzAlan E. SteinweisWalter Benn MichaelsLaurence Mordekhai ThomasAndrew LevyHilene FlanzbaumJeffrey ShandlerHenry GreenspanJames E. YoungAndrew FurmanAmy HungerfordJoyce AntlerSara R. HorowitzAlan E. SteinweisWalter Benn MichaelsLaurence Mordekhai ThomasAndrew Levy
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: The Americanization of the Holocaustp. 1
1 The Imaginary Jew and the American Poetp. 18
2 Aliens in the Wasteland: American Encounters with the Holocaust on 1960s Science Fiction Televisionp. 33
3 Imagining Survivors: Testimony and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousnessp. 45
4 America's Holocaust: Memory and the Politics of Identityp. 68
5 Inheriting the Holocaust: Jewish American Fiction and the Double Bind of the Second-Generation Survivorp. 83
6 Surviving Rego Park: Holocaust Theory from Art Spiegelman to Berel Langp. 102
7 "Three Thousand Miles Away": The Holocaust in Recent Works for the American Theaterp. 125
8 The Cinematic Triangulation of Jewish American Identity: Israel, America, and the Holocaustp. 142
9 Reflections on the Holocaust from Nebraskap. 167
10 "You Who Never Was There": Slavery and the New Historicism--Deconstruction and the Holocaustp. 181
11 Suffering as a Moral Beacon: Blacks and Jewsp. 198
12 Play Will Make You Free: Reprising The Triumph of the Will in Chicago's Nike Townp. 211
Notesp. 225
Contributorsp. 255
Indexp. 257
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: The Americanization of the Holocaustp. 1
1 The Imaginary Jew and the American Poetp. 18
2 Aliens in the Wasteland: American Encounters with the Holocaust on 1960s Science Fiction Televisionp. 33
3 Imagining Survivors: Testimony and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousnessp. 45
4 America's Holocaust: Memory and the Politics of Identityp. 68
5 Inheriting the Holocaust: Jewish American Fiction and the Double Bind of the Second-Generation Survivorp. 83
6 Surviving Rego Park: Holocaust Theory from Art Spiegelman to Berel Langp. 102
7 "Three Thousand Miles Away": The Holocaust in Recent Works for the American Theaterp. 125
8 The Cinematic Triangulation of Jewish American Identity: Israel, America, and the Holocaustp. 142
9 Reflections on the Holocaust from Nebraskap. 167
10 "You Who Never Was There": Slavery and the New Historicism--Deconstruction and the Holocaustp. 181
11 Suffering as a Moral Beacon: Blacks and Jewsp. 198
12 Play Will Make You Free: Reprising The Triumph of the Will in Chicago's Nike Townp. 211
Notesp. 225
Contributorsp. 255
Indexp. 257