Review by Choice Review
In six densely written chapters, Stier (religious studies, Florida International Univ.) deconstructs how memory of the Holocaust has been shaped, articulated, and mediated in and by public culture. Demonstrating trenchant analytical grasp of the scholarly literature distinguishing memory from history in framing the approach to his subject, Stier examines in detail the satisfying utility, evocative power, and misguided directions of what he labels four modes of Holocaust memory construction: iconic, video-testimonial, museological, and ritual-ceremonial. With a prose style that is at once robust and lucid, yet often overly abstruse and jargony, he evaluates how "iconic" images and artifacts such as boxcars and even A. Spiegelman's Maus convey and embody the memorial process; unpacks the problematic genre of survivor video testimonies and the impact of the taping process on memory construction; parses the practices of key Holocaust museums using their space and contextualizing messages to carve out specific Holocaust memories; and assesses the experiential "performance memory" of tours and pilgrimages to European killing centers followed immediately by trips to Israel (e.g., March of the Living), which mold collective ideologically charged Holocaust memory. Not for casual readers, this book is richly insightful and thought-provoking for specialists. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students and faculty. B. Kraut CUNY Queens College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.