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Norman G. Finkelstein
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s ‘Crazy’ Thesis: A Critique of Hitler’s Willing Executioners
In the opinion, not of bad men, but of the best men, no belief which is contrary to truth can be really useful. . .
John Stuart Mill
Rarely has a book with scholarly pretensions evoked as much popular interest as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s study, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.  Every important journal of opinion printed one or more reviews within weeks of its release. The New York Times, for instance, featured multiple notices acclaiming Goldhagen’s book as ‘one of those rare new works that merit the appellation landmark’, ‘historic’, and bringing to bear ‘corrosive literary passion’. Although initial reviews were not uniformly positive, once the Goldhagen juggernaut proved unstoppable, even the dissenting voices joined in the chorus of praise. An immediate national best-seller, Hitler’s Willing Executioners was hailed in Time magazine’s year-end issue as the ‘most talked about’ and second best non-fiction book of 1996. Before long, Goldhagen was also an international phenomenon, creating an extraordinary stir in Germany. 
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