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Cole shows us an "Auschwitz-land" where tourists have become the "ultimate ruberneckers" passing by and gazing at someone else's tragedy. He shows us a US Holocaust Museum that provides visitors with a "virtual Holocaust" experience.
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Cole is the Paul Resnick Resident in Scholar at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. As of September 2000 he will be a Professor at the University of Bristol, UK.From Kirkus Reviews:
A thoughtful and brave study of how the Holocaust has become an overly central myth and too commercialized for its own effectiveness. Cole is a fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and is well positioned to know that there is no business like Shoah (Holocaust) business. The book grew from lectures at the University of Bristol in England, whence its youthful brazenness to criticize the sacrosanct. Holocaustism as an industry is shown to dwarf the budget of other, especially educational needs in the American Jewish community. The three people whom the first chapters are named for reflect Coles vision of Holocaust history. First is Anne Frank, the most famous child and victim in our century. In 1947, long before her book, Broadway show, and Amsterdam attic became global sensations, the diary's modest popularity reflected the Jewish and gentile mood that the unspeakable tragedy was best not spoken about. Even in Israel, where the Holocaust became a flag of victimhood and cause for national survival, the yet unnamed calamity was associated with the powerless Diaspora past and neglecteduntil the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann (Cole's second chapter). Not mere revenge, this ``trial was about reawakening a concern with the Holocaust both inside and outside the country.'' So successful was exhuming the Holocaust from buried memory that the next chapter, ``Oskar Schindler,'' shows how Hollywood turned planet Auschwitz into a well known but more benign place. The last three chapters are named for places, ``Auschwitz,'' ``Yad Vashem,'' and ``The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,'' where Cole scores salient points contrasting the sites of genocide (now with tourist cafeteria), the Israeli museum (emphasizing partisans and resistance), and the ``theme-park'' $168-million-dollar facility in Washington, D.C. (featuring multimedia experiences and nondenominational tolerance). Cole dares to write ``that an element of voyeurism is central to Holocaust tourism. '' If the Holocaust has assumed our centurys moral crown, this book dares to challenge the emperor's clothes. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Routledge, 1999. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. HARDCOVER 1st Printing in dust jacket BRAND NEW, no remainder mark, pristine new copy (dj in mylar protector); 8vo; 214pp indexed. Seller Inventory # 22662
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