• Why?

  • Explaining the Holocaust
  • By: Peter Hayes
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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Why?

By: Peter Hayes
Narrated by: Don Hagen
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Publisher's Summary

Featured in the PBS documentary The US and the Holocaust by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein 

A bold new exploration that answers the most commonly asked questions about the Holocaust. 

Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the 20th century still seems elusive even 70 years later. Numerous theories have sprouted in an attempt to console ourselves and to point the blame in emotionally satisfying directions—yet none of them are fully convincing. As witnesses to the Holocaust near the ends of their lives, it becomes that much more important to unravel what happened and to educate a new generation about the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews and non-Jews alike. 

Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic—yet vexing—questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn't more Jews fight back more often? Why didn't they receive more help? While responding to the questions he has been most frequently asked by students over the decades, world-renowned Holocaust historian and professor Peter Hayes brings a wealth of scholarly research and experience to bear on conventional, popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations. He argues that there is no single theory that "explains" the Holocaust; the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time led to catastrophe. 

In clear prose informed by an encyclopedic knowledge of Holocaust literature in English and German, Hayes weaves together stories and statistics to heart-stopping effect. Why? is an authoritative, groundbreaking exploration of the origins of one of the most tragic events in human history.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Peter Hayes (P)2017 Gildan Media LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Why?

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Modulated narration of illuminating book

Don Hagen gives a well modulated narration of Peter Hayes’s WHY? EXPLAINING THE HOLOCAUST. Hayes, a long-time professor at Northwestern University on the subject has written a clear and illuminating book that I would recommend as the primary one to read on the topic if it is the only book you read or if you plan on reading other books on the topic or related to it.

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Outstanding book! A must read

Let this awesome intensive recollection of humankind's most tragic, violent and atrocious capacities serve as a reminder and lesson for all in the future that hate and racism will ultimately bring us all to the brink of destruction. Truly a masterpiece! Narration was great too

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

Wow! Thorough, evenhanded, insightful, precise and oh so very important. Not just “what” but “how” and of course “why.”

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OK But Got Off From Answering "Why?"

Dry writing, sometimes too academic. Delivery by narrator was too fast. Had to slow down speed. Sometimes it seemed as if the author felt compelled to debunk other scholarly works on the Shoah.
Do not recommend as an audiobook; more suitable as written material.

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Information Contained In The Holocaust

struggled through thr history. it brought out so many other countries and religion church involved.

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The most comprehensive

This I'd the most comprehensive study of the Holocaust I've ever read. And I've read more than books on this topic. Unbiased , uncorrupted, unique study and research out there. Wonderful work

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Best book I"ve read on the holocaust

The book traces all the factors leading up to the Holocaust and all the various parts of it. It goes into details I rarely heard before.

I am now in my thirs reading of this book and plan to read it many more times.

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  • Sue
  • 08-10-19

Excellent

This is the original “Never judge a book by its cover”. The whole book is excellent. Insightful, incisive in its detail and beautifully read. Can’t recommend it highly enough to those interested in WWII and particularly in the Holocaust.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-25-22

A must-read!

The best and most authoritative book on the Holocaust. It was a very tragic event, and this book will show you just how evil humans can get!

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  • Tamas Lorincz
  • 10-26-22

Fantastic content

It has never happened to me that I could hardly wait to finish a book just so that I can listen to it again. And that’s despite the narration. While I did not expect a dramatic reading, the tone and delivery of the narration was a challenge to get used to. The book on the other hand is absolutely brilliant. Thoroughly researched, does not shy away from raising controversial points, challenging fossilized beliefs and anecdotal common places. I’ve learnt a lot from this book and I think anyone with an open mind would.