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John Banville: Olympic-Standard Depravity

18 February 1999
Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 646 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 434 11305 0
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... comfortable if emotionally suffocating world of the Austro-Hungarian Jewish bourgeoisie, he saw the world of his childhood destroyed, and was never again able to find a place in which to belong. As DavidCesarani puts it in the closing lines of this monumental (it is the only word) biography, for Koestler ‘home represented the secure bourgeois domesticity swept away by the Great War; home was a ...

Four pfennige per track km

Thomas Laqueur: Adolf Eichmann and Holocaust photography

4 November 2004
Eichmann: His Life and Crimes 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 458 pp., £20, August 2004, 0 434 01056 1
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Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the Evidence 
by Janina Struk.
Tauris, 251 pp., £15.95, December 2003, 1 86064 546 1
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... which, Gerald Reitlinger’s The Final Solution, can’t have given them, or a would-be biographer, much heart.Reitlinger devotes a substantial number of pages to Eichmann and concludes, in a phrase DavidCesarani quotes, that Eichmann’s ‘career was that of a German civil servant, absorbed in his work and getting no glory for it’. Reitlinger didn’t fail to recognise his significance in the ...

On Trying to Be Portugal

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Zionist Terrorism

6 August 2009
‘A Senseless, Squalid War’: Voices from Palestine 1945-48 
by Norman Rose.
Bodley Head, 278 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 224 07938 9
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Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism 1945-48 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 434 01844 4
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... was, and that an answer to present woes may be found in the history of Zionism, including the period just before the birth of the state described in Norman Rose’s ‘A Senseless, Squalid War’ and DavidCesarani’s Major Farran’s Hat. Both books deal with the last years of the Mandate, when the rightist nationalists of the Irgun and the Stern Gang waged a fierce campaign against British forces ...

Effing the Ineffable

Glen Newey: Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century by Jonathan Glover

25 November 1999
Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century 
by Jonathan Glover.
Cape, 469 pp., £18.99, October 1999, 0 224 05240 3
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... the market becomes. One explanation not of Glover’s book, but the Holocaust industry in general, can be accepted at the outset. Anyone – to be more specific, mountebanks like Daniel Goldhagen and DavidCesarani – with not a lot to say, but with a will to dilate about atrocity, can extort a hearing for themselves. Others, with more to say, seem to have a clause in their contracts demanding that ...

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