Book Review- Fear

I found a Book Review within the JSTOR database on the book by Jan T. Gross called Fear. It was reviewed in 2007 by Padraic Kenney and published in the Slavic Review Journal. The review was particularly relevant because it is one of the main sources for my research topic on the Kielce Pogrom of 1946. The review starts with a general background of Gross’s argument within the book and the topic of Poles being able to commit horribly antisemitic pogroms in the aftermath of WWII. The reviewer gives credit the the book and author for raising important questions and bringing the events of that era into popular knowledge, but draws some points of disagreement. One such point is that in Gross’s book he claims the actions were perpetrated by Poles that had been engrained with a killing mentality as a result of the war, which influenced their ability to kill the Jews. However, Kenney recognizes that such events as perpetrated by the younger Boy Scouts may have been influenced by the war, he argues that the adults would have had a prewar understanding of life that would have trumped the killing mentality of the war. Kenny does admit though at the end of the review that Gross is extremely persuasive and does substantial research to prove his claims.

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