Best non-fiction holocaust books
November 16, 2016 6:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm finishing up The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I would like to read another similar book more specifically about the Holocaust.

I'm specifically not looking for memoirs or first-person accounts or things like Maus or Anne Frank's diary. Is there an equivalent book to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich regarding the Holocaust? Dry, factual and research/document-based is fine, if not ideal.
posted by so fucking future to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Bloodlands.

Lots of good histories of Auschwitz, including Auschwitz: A New History and Auschwitz, 1270 to the Present.

A Concise History of Nazi Germany.
posted by Melismata at 6:43 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Raul Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews was I think sort of the classic text when I was in college--I'm not sure if there is a better, more recent book. I've heard good things about Saul Friedlander's book but haven't read it myself.
posted by leesh at 6:44 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ave Maria in Auschwitz by Felicia (Lusia) Karo Weingarten.
posted by Become A Silhouette at 8:20 PM on November 16, 2016

Best answer: The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 11:31 PM on November 16, 2016

The Holocaust Museum has a recommended reading list of about a dozen books, and here's a related Q&A on Quora. The previously mentioned Gilbert and Hilberg are included on both.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 5:54 AM on November 17, 2016

Also, After the Reich is an excellent book on what happened next.
posted by Melismata at 7:46 AM on November 17, 2016

Best answer: Just a small point of clarification: the reading list linked above is not from the Holocaust Museum in Washington (where I work), but instead from Jewish Federation of St Louis. Not that the books on that list are bad, but I will say some of them are a bit old and dated.

I'm a librarian at the Museum, so if you are looking for titles on a particular aspect of the subject, feel free to contact me. We have more than 110,000 volumes in our collection, and I help historians and others who are writing new scholarship in the field.

Saul Friedländer's two volume Nazi Germany and the Jews is highly-regarded and very accessible to non-specialists, and is based on sources like diaries that many previous scholars could not access. (A one-volume edition is also available.) There are numerous other excellent, recent monographs that are also worth noting, such as Devid Cesarani's Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-49. David was one of my favorite people in this field, and I'm really looking forward to reading this, which was his final book before he died suddenly last year. It's 1,000+ pages, though, so I can't blame you if you want something a little less daunting. Among forthcoming books, I have heard very good things about Peter Hayes' Why?, set to come out early next year, which attempts to illuminate some of the key questions historians, sociologists, philosophers, and others still wrestle with about this subject.
posted by arco at 7:58 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

Treblinka has stuck with me more than the dozen(?) other books I've read relating to the holocaust.
posted by latkes at 9:50 AM on November 17, 2016

Best answer: This is the definitive work. It is available as an abridged edition as well.

It is cited as source material in most of the books that will be referenced in this post.
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:28 AM on November 17, 2016

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder. The War Against the Jews: 1933–1945 by Lucy S. Dawidowicz. Perhaps not exactly what you're looking for, but still an excellent historical, and almost philosophical, book, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum.
posted by mdrosen at 12:59 PM on November 17, 2016

Thirding Hilberg.
posted by number9dream at 9:28 PM on November 17, 2016

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