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Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil
— —
Susan Neiman
Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil by Susan Neiman at Abbey's Bookshop,

Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil

Susan Neiman


9780241262863

Allen Lane


History;
European history;
Social & cultural history;
The Holocaust;
Social discrimination;
Comparative politics;
Advocate - History


Hardback

352 pages

$45.00
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In the wake of white nationalist attacks, the ongoing debate over reparations, and the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and the contested memories they evoke, Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germansdelivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its historical wrongdoings. Neiman is a white woman who came of age in the civil rights-era South and a Jewish woman who has spent much of her adult life in Berlin. Working from this unique perspective, she combines philosophical reflection, personal stories, and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories.

Through discussions with Germans, including Jan Philipp Reemtsma, who created the breakthrough Crimes of the Wehrmacht exhibit, and Friedrich Schorlemmer, the East German dissident preacher, Neiman tells the story of the long and difficult path Germans faced in their effort to atone for the crimes of the Holocaust. In the United States, she interviews James Meredith about his battle for equality in Mississippi and Bryan Stevenson about his monument to the victims of lynching, as well as lesser-known social justice activists in the South, to provide a compelling picture of the work contemporary Americans are doing to confront our violent history. In clear and gripping prose, Neiman urges us to consider the nuanced forms that evil can assume, so that we can recognize and avoid them in the future.

By:   Susan Neiman
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 39mm
Weight:   667g
ISBN:   9780241262863
ISBN 10:   0241262860
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Susan Neiman is an American moral philosopher who has taught at Yale and Tel Aviv University. She currently lives in Germany, where she is the Director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam.


Eloquent, moving and searching -- Michael Ignatieff Neiman's commentary is thoughtful and perceptive, her comparison timely. This is an exceptional piece of historical and political philosophy. * Publisher's Weekly * An ambitious and engrossing investigation of the moral legacies of two pasts - German and American - which stubbornly refuse to pass -- Brendan Simms Susan Neiman has devised a genre that's encompassing enough to address the problem of evil: investigative philosophy. She tests moral concepts against lived realities, revealing actual human beings wrestling with-or away from--the unforgiving past: Germans who implant memorial plaques in the street, who work to integrate immigrants, and who think Germany was not defeated but liberated in 1945; and in Mississippi, citizens who insist that humanity drives better when it takes the time to gaze into the rear-view mirror. This compelling, discerning book is as necessary and provocative as its title. -- Todd Gitlin The United States has much to learn from twentieth-century German history. As a learned, and passionate guide, Susan Neiman draws on her long-term immersion in German history and her knowledge of American (especially Southern) racism to address vital questions: Does Germany's reckoning with Nazism offer lessons for the United States? How should a nation's history be told to new generations? Should monuments to Confederate leaders be removed? Should there be reparations for slavery and other historical injustices? Packed with stories about individuals and communities dealing with the legacy of racial violence, Learning from the Germans identifies constructive steps for addressing the past and the present to make a different future. -- Martha Minnow The history wars shape far more than how we remember the past. They shape the societies we bequeath to future generations. Susan Neiman's book is an important and welcome weapon in that battle * The New York Times *

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