The World Hitler Never Made

The World Hitler Never Made

Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism

Book - 2005
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Book News
Rather than dismiss alternative histories of the Nazi era as idle speculation, Rosenfeld (history, Fairfield U.) insists on the importance of these counterfactual works for what they reveal about how we remember history in the present. His broadly comparative study analyzes "What if?" narratives across a wide range of cultural forms and analyzes how alternate histories validate or criticize the present; the national, generational, and political identity of authors as windows into the motives of the works; the reception of alternative histories by critics and the general public, and what that reveals; and the evolution of Western views of the Third Reich. He has structured his narrative in terms of themes he identifies in alternative histories of the Third Reich: Nazi victory in World War II; the survival of Hitler past the war; the removal of Hitler from the historical stage before or shortly after coming to power; and the completion, avenging, or undoing of the Holocaust. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Cambridge Univ Pr
A fascinating study of the place of alternate histories of Nazism within Western popular culture.
What if the Nazis had triumphed in the Second World War? What if Adolf Hitler had escaped Berlin for the jungles of Latin America in 1945? Gavriel Rosenfeld's pioneering study explores why such counterfactual questions on the subject of Nazism have proliferated in recent years within Western popular culture. Examining a wide range of novels, short stories, films, television programmes, plays, comic books, and scholarly essays that have appeared in Great Britain, the United States, and Germany since 1945, Rosenfeld shows how the portrayal of historical events that never happened reflects the evolving memory of the Third Reich's real historical legacy. He concludes that the shifting representation of Nazism in works of alternate history, as well as the popular reactions to them, highlights their subversive role in promoting the normalization of the Nazi past in Western memory.

Publisher: Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2005
ISBN: 9780521847063
Branch Call Number: 943.086 ROS
Characteristics: xii, 524 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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