Tolerance Discourse and Young Adult Holocaust Literature: Engaging Difference and Identity

1st Edition

Rachel Dean-Ruzicka

Routledge
Published May 21, 2019
Reference - 198 Pages - 4 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367346249 - CAT# K441241

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Summary

What, exactly, does one mean when idealizing tolerance as a solution to cultural conflict? This book examines a wide range of young adult texts, both fiction and memoir, representing the experiences of young adults during WWII and the Holocaust. Author Rachel Dean-Ruzicka argues for a progressive reading of this literature. Tolerance Discourse and Young Adult Holocaust Literature contests the modern discourse of tolerance, encouraging educators and readers to more deeply engage with difference and identity when studying Holocaust texts. Young adult Holocaust literature is an important nexus for examining issues of identity and difference because it directly confronts systems of power, privilege, and personhood. The text delves into the wealth of material available and examines over forty books written for young readers on the Holocaust and, in the last chapter, neo-Nazism. The book also looks at representations of non-Jewish victims, such as the Romani, the disabled, and homosexuals. In addition to critical analysis of the texts, each chapter reads the discourses of tolerance and cosmopolitanism against present-day cultural contexts: ongoing debates regarding multicultural education, gay and lesbian rights, and neo-Nazi activities. The book addresses essential questions of tolerance and toleration that have not been otherwise considered in Holocaust studies or cultural studies of children’s literature.

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