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The American West and the Nazi East: A…

The American West and the Nazi East: A Comparative and Interpretive…

by Carroll P. Kakel

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Having read my share of accounts of the Final Solution and the course of empire in North America I approached this monograph with a good bit of interest. Sadly, this interest seems to have been misplaced. The main concern of the author would appear to be to sell the reader on the value of "genocide studies" as a source of insight and then to offer an one-hand-than-the-other account of the dispossession of the First Nations compared with the development of a new German drive to the east, in the wake of the failure to carve out an empire in Africa and the Far East. While there do appear to be tidbits of information on the influence of the American experience on the Germans (what I was mostly looking for), Kakel's writing style is sufficiently prolix that I didn't feel like working that hard to tease those insights out; particularly since his final conclusions, that settler colonialism tends to go hand in hand with ethnic cleansing or even out-and-out genocide, did not impress me as being especially novel. At best this is interlibrary-loan fodder that one reads because your professor made you. ( )
  Shrike58 | Oct 1, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 023027515X, Hardcover)

The American West and the Nazi East is a unique exploration of the conceptual and historical relations between the Early American and Nazi-German national projects of territorial expansion, racial cleansing, and settler colonization in their respective 'western' and 'eastern' empires, along with their associated campaigns of extreme political violence against 'native' indigenous peoples.
Kakel locates the Early American national project in 'the West' as a central part of the histories of imperialism, colonialism, and genocide, and offers a unique window on to the colonial origins, content, and context of the Nazi national project in 'the East', including the Holocaust. By asking new questions of supposedly familiar historical events and periods, this book brings to light the unexpected and unsettling connections between the 'American West' and the 'Nazi East', and links histories previously thought of as totally unrelated.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:21 -0400)

By employing new 'optics' and a comparative approach, this book helps us recognize the unexpected and unsettling connections between America's 'western' empire and Nazi Germany's 'eastern' empire, linking histories previously thought of as totally unrelated and leading readers towards a deep revisioning of the 'American West' and the 'Nazi East'.… (more)

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