In Memoriam: Raul Hilberg
He was a controversial figure, but a heroic and provocative one to me. I have yet to finish reading this book - it's a painful thesis and an emotionally draining book, in the manner that The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, or The Gulag Archipelago, by Solzhenitsyn, are. I never finished those two, either, although I intend to - reading those books taught me that there is a step beyond desensitization, that being, traumatization. For my own emotional well being I had to put the books down for a while.
(I have not yet attempted to read the book Psychiatric Terror, by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway, but someday I'll have the guts. This book has the distinction of catching the eye of people on the bus when I carried it home, people who begged me for the title and author, and wrote them down. Anyone who knows me knows that I was never an apologist for the Soviet Union.)
If you are interested in Holocaust studies, then I highly recomment Lawrence Langer's Admitting the Holocaust. This book is not about Holocaust denial in the classic sense, but pricks the conscience of the average person who knows that the Holocaust happened but seeks out comforting stories, tales of individual heroism, accounts of people dying with dignity, etc., instead of confronting the fact that millions of frightened people were tortured to death and they should not serve as the backdrop for heartwarming dramas about the few who survived.