Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

Farrar. Aug. 2019. 432p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780374184469. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780374715526. HIST
Central to understanding this latest book from Neiman (director, Einstein Forum; Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age) is analyzing history and historical memory. The author closely looks at how East and West Germany have confronted their participation with the past. The road to this new-found awareness has not been smooth. Philosopher Neiman, who currently resides in Berlin, is a Jewish woman born and raised in the American South. With this work, she presents a different perspective on how Germany has acknowledged its Nazi past and suggests the same could possibly be done in the United States. Neiman visits Mississippi, Georgia, and other states to examine what slavery, the U.S. Civil War, and the legacy of Jim Crow wrought on the American people. In doing so, the author discusses ways in which these conversations raise awareness of the dangers of not confronting the past.
VERDICT A fascinating book that assists readers in gaining a deeper understanding of the past in order to move forward. Highly recommended for all history readers and teachers. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]

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