Vessels of Evil American Slavery and the Holocaust

ISBN-10: 1566391008
ISBN-13: 9781566391009
Edition: N/A
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Description: Two profound atrocities in the history of Western culture form the subject of this moving philosophical exploration: American Slavery and the Holocaust. An African American and a Jew, Laurence Mordekhai Thomas denounces efforts to place the  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.95
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 10/13/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 232
Size: 5.75" wide x 6.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Two profound atrocities in the history of Western culture form the subject of this moving philosophical exploration: American Slavery and the Holocaust. An African American and a Jew, Laurence Mordekhai Thomas denounces efforts to place the suffering of one group above the other. Rather, he pronounces these two defining historical experiences as profoundly evil in radically different ways and points to their logically incompatible aims.The author begins with a discussion of the nature of evil, exploring the fragility of human beings and the phenomena of compartmentalizing, unquestioning obedience to authority, and moral drift. Citing compelling examples from history and contemporary life, he characterizes evil acts in terms of moral agency, magnitude, and intent.With moving testimony, Thomas depicts the moral pain of African Americans and Jews during their ordeals and describes how their past as victims has affected their future. Without invidious comparison, he distinguishes between extermination and domination, death and natal alienation, physical and mental cruelty, and between being viewed as irredeemable evil and as a moral simpleton. Thomas also considers the role of blacks and Jews in the Christian narrative.In Vessels of Evil, Thomas also considers the ways Jews and blacks have gone on to survive. He analyzes the relative flourishing of Jews and the languishing of blacks in this country and examines the implications of their dissimilar tragedies on any future relationship between these two minorities. Author note: Laurence Mordekhai Thomas, Professor of Philosophy and Political Science Affiliate at Syracuse University, is also the author of Living Morally (Temple).

Preface
On Becoming an Evil Self
Two Faces of Evil: An Introduction
The Human Condition
The Moral Community
Characterizing Evil
The Psychology of Doubling
The Institutions
American Slavery and the Holocaust
Murderous Extermination and Natal Alienation
Surviving into the Future
After the Ashes
The Fate of Blacks and Jews
Name Index
Subject Index

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