David Irving's Libel Lawsuit
|David Irving is currently jointly suing Deborah Lipstadt and Viking/Penguin (her publishers) for libel, the alleged libels being contained in two paragraphs of a book by Lipstadt. Penguin seem rather carelessly to have published the identical book in Britain as in the US, where libel laws are different. They are represented by Mischon de Reya, whose triumphs include defending Lady Porter in the Westminster gerrymandering affair a few years ago. The proceedings have already taken many months - I think at least a year. Irving, with incredible energy, having more or less mastered Mac and HTML, puts details of the case on his website himself, when it's legal to do so, scanning in documents and adding his own scathing remarks. Possibly the technology will permit (as in the McDonalds libel case) transcriptions of daily events to be put onto Internet on a same-day basis - I haven't made any attempt to find out. If you're interested, David Irving's site is http://www.fpp.co.uk/online.html. Another part of his site exclusively on the legal battle http://www.fpp.co.uk/Legal/Battle.html is in preparation. Warning: it's a huge site! (NB: FPP means Focal Point Press, the publishing company he was forced to set up.)|
My notes on the trial. Currently including trial transcripts in full.
Advertisement for two of David Irving's books
|David Irving's documentary approach to history - drawing from political archives, personal diaries, official and departmental documents, military sources, personal interviews, official histories - gives his books an unusually down-to-earth feeling, less reliant on the theoretical frameworks commonly and almost unconsciously presupposed by ordinary 'historians'.|
His book on Goebbels was based on Goebbels' own diaries, which had been microfilmed onto glass plates and lain ignored in archives for several decades until Irving located them. Having taught himself to read Goebbels' difficult handwriting, Irving composed his book, something like twelve years' work. For reasons not entirely clear to me - for example, it may be that the simple act of trying rationally to understand Goebbels was in itself regarded as dangerous - the book had a difficult publishing history. I'm told a potential New York publisher, St Martins Press - which by the way was involved with the non-publication of Ellison and Duesberg's AIDS book about five years ago - was deluged with threats, including death threats; that the book was withdrawn even after being fully prepared for printing; that a literary agent never worked again as an agent after attempting to take it on; that printers in England were approached and persuaded it would not be in their best interests to print the book; bookshop-window smashing campaigns were organised.
You may be interested to know that despite all this, the book is available, as are others of Irving's.
|• Click here for information (no obligation) on 'Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich'|
My attitude to David Irving?
|In case anyone's interested, I ought to state that I think Irving's work is of first-rate importance as regards the Second World War. But, and he makes no secret of this, he has not investigated other historical events in anything like as much detail. For example, on such issues as the Balfour Declaration, or whether the First World War was a disaster, or whether Khazaria had a special connection with Jews, or whether Christianity is a good thing, or whether Jesus ever existed, or whether Pinochet was a jolly fellow, his views sometimes looks suspiciously like the opinions of a major British newspaper. But not always - for example, on Iraq. He told me he hated the business of legal involvement - "if I'd known, I would have done something else - the Zulu Wars."|
This is rather standard for thoroughgoing investigators: in my experience, the ones I've met simply haven't had the time to poke around outside their field, and in any case were wary of being stereotyped as cranks. The net effect is that critics in different subjects are constantly exasperated by the lack of attention given to their work, whilst themselves giving no attention to other peoples', so that revisionists have much less influence than they should have.
Finally, I hereby present to the world what I hope is a reasonably good limerick on Irving:-
The World War Two author, Dave IrvingReturn to 'Free Speech, the Internet, and Holocaust Revisionism'
|First upload 98-11-21. This version 99-02-01. Trial link added 20 Jan 2000 |
Rae West's site is http://www2.prestel.co.uk/littleton
|Return to main index of Rae West's site||• Comments? Click here to email|