Publishers

Princeton University Press
(February 2017)

Genres

Non-Fiction
History/Politics/Current Affairs

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HITLER'S AMERICAN MODEL

James Q. Whitman

The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws--the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.

James Q. Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School. His books include Harsh Justice, The Origins of Reasonable Doubt, and The Verdict of Battle.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Christian Dittus
Fritz AG
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS

Comments

8. November 2016, Quote
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, so

Blurb

8. November 2016, Quote
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 craf

Blurb

8. November 2016, Quote
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

Blurb

8. November 2016, Quote
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 i

Blurb

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