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The Splendid Blond Beast

Mon­ey, Law, and Geno­cide in the Twen­ti­eth Cen­tu­ry

by Christo­pher Simp­son
1992, Grove Press
ISBN 0802113621
399 pages

From Pub­lish­ers Week­ly
Cit­ing new­ly uncov­ered archival sources, Simp­son (Blow­back: Amer­i­ca’s Recruit­ment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War) first argues that Hitler emu­lat­ed the Turk­ish gov­ern­men­t’s 1915–1918 pol­i­cy regard­ing the mas­sacre of Arme­ni­ans by offer­ing eco­nom­ic incen­tives and oth­er rewards to cit­i­zens will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the exter­mi­na­tion of the Jews. He then exam­ines the U.S. gov­ern­men­t’s response to both geno­ci­dal cam­paigns. Of utmost inter­est here is the evi­dence he presents that Pres­i­dent Eisen­how­er’s sec­re­tary of State, John Fos­ter Dulles, and Dulles’s broth­er Allen, direc­tor of the CIA, delib­er­ate­ly stymied efforts to bring to jus­tice many Ger­man bankers and indus­tri­al­ists involved in the Nazis’ exter­mi­na­tion-through-labor pro­grams. The study leaves lit­tle doubt that many mem­bers of Ger­many’s cor­po­rate elite not only were aware of the geno­ci­dal pro­grams dur­ing the war but spon­sored innu­mer­able sup­ple­men­tary negel­ganger , or “side camps,” staffed by com­pa­ny employ­ees. Simp­son argues that while geno­cide is still wide­ly prac­ticed today, it is usu­al­ly tol­er­at­ed by those who ben­e­fit from it through the theft of land and nat­ur­al resources. The cycle of geno­cide can be bro­ken, he main­tains, through rel­a­tive­ly straight­for­ward (though polit­i­cal­ly dif­fi­cult) reforms of the inter­na­tion­al legal sys­tem.

From Library Jour­nal
In this intrigu­ing com­bi­na­tion of revi­sion­ist his­to­ry and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that should inter­est many stu­dents of the Cold War, Simp­son (Blow­back, Grove, 1988) asserts that geno­cide has been a com­mon fac­tor in the devel­op­ment of many West­ern nations, includ­ing the Unit­ed States. He argues that geno­cide has recurred due to the will­ing­ness of monied class­es to sup­port amoral gov­ern­ments that work to fur­ther their com­mer­cial inter­ests. By way of exam­ple, he cites both the Turk­ish slaugh­ter of the Arme­ni­ans dur­ing World War I and the Jew­ish Holo­caust. He faults U.S. diplo­mats for their role in both tragedies, espe­cial­ly those who aid­ed the escape of Nazi war crim­i­nals after World War II. Though well writ­ten, Simp­son’s work suf­fers from a lack of objec­tiv­i­ty and a con­stant tone of accu­sa­tion. Some con­clu­sions regard­ing the ori­gins of the Cold War are high­ly spec­u­la­tive and are like­ly to come under seri­ous crit­i­cism by many his­to­ri­ans. Rec­om­mend­ed for libraries with large Euro­pean his­to­ry col­lec­tions. Joseph W. Con­stance Jr., St. Anselm Coll. Lib., Man­ches­ter, N.H.

THIS BOOK IS IN PRINT. Avail­able com­mer­cial­ly. Learn more about Christo­pher Simp­son.


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