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Hitler's American Model:
The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law
James Q. Whitman

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"[This] new history argues convincingly that institutionalized racism and common-law pragmatism in the United States inspired Hitler’s policies. . . . Historians have downplayed the connection between Nazi race law and America because America was mainly interested in denying full citizenship rights to blacks rather than Jews. But Whitman’s adroit scholarly detective work has proved that in the mid-’30s Nazi jurists and politicians turned again and again to the way the United States had deprived African-Americans of the right to vote and to marry whites. They were fascinated by the way the United States had turned millions of people into second-class citizens."--David Mikics, Tablet Magazine

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"Hitler's American Model is a breathtaking excavation of America's shameful contribution to Hitler's genocidal policies. This book is a profound testament to what the past can teach us about the present and is more timely than Whitman could possibly have imagined when he began this remarkable excursion into our nation's original sin and its surprising European legacy. A brilliant page-turner."—Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Law School

"This is a brilliant, erudite, and disturbing book. By looking at the United States through the eyes of Nazi legal theorists in the 1930s, Whitman contributes to our understanding of this darkest chapter of German legal history. Moreover, he shines a light through this unlikely lens on the worst sins of our own country's past."—Lawrence M. Friedman, author of A History of American Law

"In Hitler's American Model, Whitman tells the deeply troubling story of how Nazi lawyers drew inspiration from the American legal system. He offers a detailed and careful reading of how U.S. immigration laws and antimiscegenation legislation gave the Nazi legal establishment the sense of remaining within the boundaries of respectable jurisprudence. Filled with novel insights, this is a particularly timely book given today's political climate."--Jan T. Gross, author of Neighbors

"This is a critical book for our difficult times. Whitman forces us to see America through Nazi eyes and to realize how profoundly white supremacy has shaped this country. Chilling in its details, the unsettling insights of Hitler's American Model jump from every page. A must-read!"--Eddie S. Glaude, author of Democracy in Black

"This is one of the most engrossing and disturbing pieces of legal history I've read in a long time. Whitman offers a sustained, systematic, and thoughtful look at how Nazi legal theorists and conservative German lawyers drew on American examples when crafting the Nuremberg laws—Germany's contribution to racial madness in the twentieth century. Whitman's book stands apart from, indeed above, everything I've read regarding America's influence on the making of the Nazi state."—Lawrence Powell, Tulane University

"This spellbinding and haunting book shatters claims that American laws related to race and segregation had little to no impact on the shaping of Nazi policies. Whitman's readings of the Nuremberg laws and Nazi legal scholarship are astonishing—nimble, sophisticated, and nuanced. Speaking volumes, this book will change the way we think about Jim Crow, Nazis, and America's role in the world."—Daniel J. Sharfstein, author of The Invisible Line: A Secret History of Race in America

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File created: 3/23/2017

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