Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids

E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs


Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Oberammergau

Written by James ShapiroAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by James Shapiro

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: June 12, 2001
  • Price: $13.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-70852-7 (0-375-70852-9)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

The Bavarian village of Oberammergau has staged the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ nearly every decade since 1634. Each production of the Passion Play attracts hundreds of thousands, many drawn by the spiritual benefits it promises. Yet Hitler called it a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry, and in 1970 a group of international luminaries boycotted the play for its anti-Semitism. As the production for the year 2000 drew near, James Shapiro was there to document the newest wave of obstacles that faced the determined Bavarian villagers. Erudite and judicious, Oberammergau is a fascinating and important look at the unpredictable and sometimes tragic relationship between art and society, belief and tolerance, religion and politics.

“Compelling....Even-handed....Shapiro exposes the basic human desire to rewrite the past."–San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

"An obsessively readable treatment of this vexed subject. The drama serves as such a perfect metaphor for the anguished and complex problem of Christian and anti-Semitism. Shapiro speaks with scholar's authority, but with none of the obfuscation that such scholarship often entails. He shed the most welcome light on this dark and murky terrain."--Mary Gordon, author of Final Payments