The World Hitler Never Made: Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism


Product Details

$31.99  $29.43
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
August 11, 2011
6.0 X 9.0 X 1.2 inches | 1.72 pounds
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About the Author

Gavriel D. Rosenfeld is Professor of History at Fairfield University, Connecticut. His area of specialization is the history and memory of the Nazi era. He is the author of several books, including Building after Auschwitz: Jewish Architecture and the Memory of the Holocaust (2011), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the category of visual arts; The World Hitler Never Made: Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism (Cambridge, 2005); Munich and Memory: Architecture, Monuments and the Legacy of the Third Reich (2000), and the co-edited work, Beyond Berlin: Twelve German Cities Confront the Nazi Past (2008). He is also the editor of the forthcoming volume of Jewish alternate histories, 'If Only We Had Died in Egypt!' What Ifs of Jewish History from Abraham to Zionism, also to be published by Cambridge University Press. Rosenfeld is a frequent contributor to the Forward newspaper and edits the blog, The Counterfactual History Review.


"With The World Hitler Never Made Gavriel Rosenfeld takes a completely fascinating and highly original cut into the complex of questions concerning the relationship between history and memory on the subject of Nazism and its place in post-1945 popular culture. He tackles these themes with great verve, writing with admirable clarity, and marshalling a prodigious array of speculative fictions and 'alternate histories' in order to build his arguments. The resulting book is both accessible and challenging, densely documented and thoroughly absorbing. All German historians will want to read it, as will anyone interested in Holocaust memory and the legacies of Nazism." Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
"There is no better guide than The World Hitler Never Made, which takes us through this strange domain without descending into it." -The New Leader
"Gavriel Rosenfeld's recent study is an interesting and original contribution to our understanding of history and memory." -Clifton Ganyard, German Studies Review
"The World Hitler Never Made is an impressive work." -Financial Times, Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at Oxford University
"Gavriel Rosenfeld's analysis of 'alternative historical' treatments of Nazi Germany, embracing a broad range of popular media, is bound to raise hackles. Yet in seeking to comprehend the comparative, changing mentalities of postwar America, Britain, and Germany he has conceived and produced a provocative and deeply insightful book. The World Hitler Never Made is a strikingly original and imaginative cultural history that reveals a great deal about the post-war world by examining 'alternative historical' forays into Nazism and the Holocaust. It is perhaps the most accessible, as well as one of the most important scholarly books ever written about the role of the Holocaust in popular consciousness from the war's end up to our own time." Michael Berkowitz, University College London
"A history of alternative histories, The World Hitler Never Made is an imaginative and intriguing look at our culture's fascination with what might have been, had things gone differently during the Second World War. With panache, erudition and a broad comparative sweep, Rosenfeld analyzes these distorted images of what occurred, unearthing our evident pleasure in imagining other outcomes and what that says about our relationship to the Nazi past. The possibility of evil winning, or at least sidestepping defeat, cuts perhaps all too close to the bone today." Peter Baldwin, University of California, Los Angeles
"In this wide-ranging and highly stimulating book, Gavriel Rosenfeld explores the changing nature yet strange persistence of alternate histories of the Nazi past, showing the ways in which Hitler and the Third Reich have occupied Western popular culture long after the regime's demise. In so doing Rosenfeld does more than simply advance a persuasive case for why such mass market myth-making and counterfactual history deserve to be taken more seriously as revealing expressions of popular memory; The World That Hitler Never Made goes a long way towards furnishing a cultural history of some of the most powerful fears and fantasies haunting the Western social imagination from the end of the Second World War to the present." Paul Betts, University of Sussex
"The World Hitler Never Made is an important, well-researched book."
Ronald Hilton