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Montana Tech Professor Henry Gonshak Publishes Hollywood and the Holocaust


2015 marks the 70th anniversary of World War II’s end and the start of the general public’s awareness of Holocaust atrocities. In line with this anniversary, Montana Tech English professor Henry Gonshak has just published Hollywood and the Holocaust with Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Exploring Hollywood’s ongoing representation of the Holocaust, the book is aimed at a general readership not usually addressed by volumes on this subject. The book is a study of the portrayal of the Holocaust in Hollywood films from the World War II era to the present. It includes chapters on thirty films, arranged chronologically, beginning in 1940 with Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and concluding with Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film Inglourious Basterds. Other films discussed include The Diary of Anne Frank, The Pawnbroker, Judgment at Nuremberg, Sophie’s Choice, Cabaret, Schindler’s List and The Reader.

The book’s introduction provides an initial discussion of Hollywood Holocaust movies and their enormous influence on public perceptions of the Shoah; what standards should be adopted to judge such movies; and whether Hollywood, given its commercial focus, in capable of depicting the Holocaust accurately. The book also considers whether comedy can be an effective method of portraying the Holocaust and examines the American public’s ongoing fascination with the Holocaust and related issues. Hollywood and the Holocaust can be purchased through Amazon starting October 26 and is immediately available through the Rowman and Littlefield website.