Zygmunt Bauman Modernity and the Holocaust

ISBN 13: 9780745609300

Modernity and the Holocaust

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9780745609300: Modernity and the Holocaust

A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember―But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in such phenomena as the seductiveness of martyrdom; going to extremes in the name of safety; the insidious effects of tragic memory; and efficient, "scientific" implementation of the death penalty. Bauman writes, "Once the problem of the guilt of the Holocaust perpetrators has been by and large settled . . . the one big remaining question is the innocence of all the rest―not the least the innocence of ourselves."Among the conditions that made the mass extermination of the Holocaust possible, according to Bauman, the most decisive factor was modernity itself. Bauman's provocative interpretation counters the tendency to reduce the Holocaust to an episode in Jewish history, or to one that cannot be repeated in the West precisely because of the progressive triumph of modern civilization. He demonstrates, rather, that we must understand the events of the Holocaust as deeply rooted in the very nature of modern society and in the central categories of modern social thought.

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About the Author:

Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw. He is the author of many works including Legislators and Interpreters (Polity Press) and Modernity and Ambivalence (Polity Press). He was also awarded the Theodor W. Adorno Prize in 1998.

Review:

"A stunningly original set of reflections on racism, extermination, rationality, individual responsibility in criminal societies, and the sources of obedience and resistance."―Voice Literary Supplement

"Such is the concentrated brilliance of Modernity and the Holocaust that it is sure to find an appreciative audience in every field of research which touches on the Holocaust (or which has been touched by it). Above all, to those who still hold faith with the notions of civilization, progress, and reason, this book will sit alongside others which have challenged fundamental beliefs of our time."―Times Literary Supplement

"Intellectually rich and provocative. . . . This is a text which belongs in our classrooms as well as on our shelves. Exceptionally well written."―Contemporary Sociology

"A new afterword to this edition tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels."―Shofar, Summer 2001, Vol. 19, No. 4

"This book is an intense scrutiny of the lengths to which haters sink in displaying their hostility to targeted victims of that malady sometimes called xenophobia."―Rabbi Sam Silver. Indiana Jewish Post and Opinion. 8/22/01

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Zygmunt Bauman
Verlag: Polity Press Nov 1991 (1991)
ISBN 10: 0745609309 ISBN 13: 9780745609300
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Buchbeschreibung Polity Press Nov 1991, 1991. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Sociology is concerned with modern society, but has never come to terms with one of the most distinctive and horrific aspects of modernity - the Holocaust. The book examines what sociology can teach us about the Holocaust, but more particularly concentrates upon the lessons which the Holocaust has for sociology. Bauman s work demonstrates that the Holocaust has to be understood as deeply involved with the nature of modernity. There is nothing comparable to this work available in the sociological literature. 238 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780745609300

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