I have previously mentioned Saul Friedmander's latest book The Years of Extermination. It appeared in English last May [it appeared in a German edition late in 2006]. I have recently returned to it in anticipation of a class I will be teaching. Looking at it again convinces me that I should say more about it.
It is overpowering. It is an all encompassing work of history that is not afraid of touching the reader. It is never overstated. In fact its strength comes from its understatement.
Friedlander also demonstrates how synthesis, in the hands of a brilliant historian, can be art. He cites the work of numerous other historians but does so in a way that gives added insight and depth to their works. On occasion, simply by adding a sentence of his own, he gives important context to what they have already done.
His use of memoirs, letters, and personal stories is also masterful.
For Prof. Dan Diner's fine review of this work click here.