Besides being a terrific read, Rosenbaum’s book is sort of like Hell’s production of Citizen Kane — recording the attempts by American and German intellectuals to boil Hitler — and the causes of World War II — down to a single Rosebud-like explanation: Hitler had syphilis, he was unloved by his parents, had malformed genitalia, etc. Ultimately such efforts, as Rosenbaum writes, do little to explain the epoch-shattering events of the 1930s and ’40s, but like the cast of Citizen Kane, tell us far more about the people who conjure them up — and in many cases, their reasons why. (See also: Rosenbaum’s brilliant critique of German novel and subsequent big-budget film adaptation of The Reader, which attempted to explain away German complicity in the Holocaust through the metaphor of illiteracy.)
As Kathy Shaidle writes, Explaining Hitler is finally out on Kindle, along with a new interview with Rosenbaum on its updated version.
Oh and by the way, “California Eighth Graders Denied Holocaust In Essays After Reading Required Bizarro Screeds,” the Daily Caller reports.
I shudder to think how we’ll collectively look back in World War II ten years from now. Or maybe even right now:
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