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History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving Hardcover – Feb 1 2005

2.4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (Feb. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060593768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060593766
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 662 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,181,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In a much-publicized case, David Irving, the author of numerous books about WWII, sued Emory University historian Lipstadt and her British publisher, Penguin, for libel. Lipstadt had called Irving a Holocaust denier in a book about the Holocaust denial movement, and Britain's libel laws put the burden of proof on her to show that the charge was true. Did that mean proving the Holocaust had happened? Was Lipstadt, as Irving claimed, trying to restrict his freedom of speech, or was he restraining hers? Was the courtroom the proper place to examine historical truth? The press hotly debated these issues, but as Lipstadt relates in this powerful account, she and her adept lawyers felt they simply had to discredit a man who had said that "no documents whatsoever show that a Holocaust had ever happened." In 2000, Judge Charles Gray decided in Lipstadt's favor, finding it "incontrovertible" that Irving was a Holocaust denier. The drama of the book lies in the courtroom confrontations between an evasive and self-contradictory Irving (serving as his own lawyer) and Lipstadt's strategically brilliant barrister, Richard Rampton, and the scholars who testified in her defense. Lipstadt herself is a reluctant heroine, a feisty, outspoken woman forced to remain silent (she did not testify in court) and let her lawyers speak for her. No one who cares about historical truth, freedom of speech or the Holocaust will avoid a sense of triumph from Gray's decision—or a sense of dismay that British libel laws allowed such intimidation by Irving of a historian and a publisher in the first place.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In Denying the Holocaust (Penguin, 1994), Lipstadt called Irving, an English author of books on World War II and the Third Reich, the most dangerous Holocaust denier because his works were reviewed in mainstream journals and he commanded a certain level of respect and influence in the field. Irving later sued her and her publisher, Penguin UK, for libel. Under English law, the burden of proof in a libel case rests with the defendant. The core of the book is the trial itself, combining a page-turning eyewitness account and a close look at the mind-set and dubious research methods of a neo-Nazi. Irving served as his own lawyer and constantly courted press coverage. Among his assertions: Hitler did not order the Kristallnacht violence but attempted to stop it; the Allies were responsible for typhus epidemics in the concentration camps; Anne Frank's diary is a romantic novel; more people died in Ted Kennedy's car at Chappaquidick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Ultimately, Irving's case collapsed under the weight of evidence and expert testimony provided by the defense. In addition to possible use with the curriculum, this book will appeal to teens interested in modern history, historiography, and law.–Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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May 25, 2008
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