Aly addresses one of the most troubling and enduring questions of the 20th century: How could the German nation kill 6 million Jews? Aly’s explanation points more toward class and ethnic resentment than religious difference. Jews took much better advantage than gentiles did of the economic opportunities provided by the Industrial Revolution.
Thompson is trying to update Wilbur Joseph Cash’s classic 1941 work The Mind of the South. One can’t understand the South without dealing with the two Rs, race and religion, and Thompson covers those quite astutely, along with family life, farming, rural culture, and politics.