Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize
Final Solution is an intelligent and thought-provoking short history of the Holocaust, by historian David Cesarani.
Not only does David Cesarani draw together and engage with the latest scholarly research, making extensive use of previously untapped resources such as diaries and letters from within the ghettos and camps (many of them in Polish or Yiddish and therefore previously largely inaccessible to Anglo-American scholars) but by adopting a rigorously Judeocentric approach the whole narrative of the march to genocide and its aftermath, the book presents a subtly different timeline which casts afresh the horror of the period and engenders a significant re-evaluation of the how and why.
Eschewing some of the more fevered theses about the guilt of the perpetrators (and indeed recasting how wide that net should be spread), David Cesarani's measured and skilful negotiation of a crowded field is, as a result, all the more devastating.
A brilliant synthesis and interpretation of the greatest crime of the modern era . . . There is so much of value in this harrowing and extraordinary book that it's hard to encompass in a review . . . There are stories here I didn't know and could scarcely have imagined . . . A book that demands to be read and deserves every historical award going.
Oliver Kamm, The Times
This is an elegantly written, honest and plausible account and it deserves to be widely read and reflected upon in a continent where racial and religious prejudice is not as far below the surface as we would like to think. Final Solution is a fitting monument to a fine historian and a fine human being.
Richard Overy, Literary Review
Masterly . . . Final Solution will take its place among the most authoritative surveys of the persecution and murder of European Jewry in the Second World War