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A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation

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Why did the twentieth century witness unprecedented organized genocide? Can we learn why genocide is perpetrated by comparing different cases of genocide? Is the Holocaust unique, or does it share causes and features with other cases of state-sponsored mass murder? Can genocide be prevented? Blending gripping narrative with trenchant analysis, Eric Weitz investigates four o Why did the twentieth century witness unprecedented organized genocide? Can we learn why genocide is perpetrated by comparing different cases of genocide? Is the Holocaust unique, or does it share causes and features with other cases of state-sponsored mass murder? Can genocide be prevented? Blending gripping narrative with trenchant analysis, Eric Weitz investigates four of the twentieth century's major eruptions of genocide: the Soviet Union under Stalin, Nazi Germany, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and the former Yugoslavia. Drawing on historical sources as well as trial records, memoirs, novels, and poems, Weitz explains the prevalence of genocide in the twentieth century--and shows how and why it became so systematic and deadly. Weitz depicts the searing brutality of each genocide and traces its origins back to those most powerful categories of the modern world: race and nation. He demonstrates how, in each of the cases, a strong state pursuing utopia promoted a particular mix of extreme national and racial ideologies. In moments of intense crisis, these states targeted certain national and racial groups, believing that only the annihilation of these enemies would enable the dominant group to flourish. And in each instance, large segments of the population were enticed to join in the often ritualistic actions that destroyed their neighbors. This book offers some of the most absorbing accounts ever written of the population purges forever associated with the names Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Milosevic. A controversial and richly textured comparison of these four modern cases, it identifies the social and political forces that produce genocide.


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Why did the twentieth century witness unprecedented organized genocide? Can we learn why genocide is perpetrated by comparing different cases of genocide? Is the Holocaust unique, or does it share causes and features with other cases of state-sponsored mass murder? Can genocide be prevented? Blending gripping narrative with trenchant analysis, Eric Weitz investigates four o Why did the twentieth century witness unprecedented organized genocide? Can we learn why genocide is perpetrated by comparing different cases of genocide? Is the Holocaust unique, or does it share causes and features with other cases of state-sponsored mass murder? Can genocide be prevented? Blending gripping narrative with trenchant analysis, Eric Weitz investigates four of the twentieth century's major eruptions of genocide: the Soviet Union under Stalin, Nazi Germany, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and the former Yugoslavia. Drawing on historical sources as well as trial records, memoirs, novels, and poems, Weitz explains the prevalence of genocide in the twentieth century--and shows how and why it became so systematic and deadly. Weitz depicts the searing brutality of each genocide and traces its origins back to those most powerful categories of the modern world: race and nation. He demonstrates how, in each of the cases, a strong state pursuing utopia promoted a particular mix of extreme national and racial ideologies. In moments of intense crisis, these states targeted certain national and racial groups, believing that only the annihilation of these enemies would enable the dominant group to flourish. And in each instance, large segments of the population were enticed to join in the often ritualistic actions that destroyed their neighbors. This book offers some of the most absorbing accounts ever written of the population purges forever associated with the names Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Milosevic. A controversial and richly textured comparison of these four modern cases, it identifies the social and political forces that produce genocide.

30 review for A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee Ding

    Read for a history class on modern genocide and other crimes against humanity. This book covers the mass killings from the Soviet Union in the 1920s-30s, the Holocaust, the genocide by the Khmer Rouge, and the Yugoslav Wars of Secession. Each chapter followed a similar structure and the arguments were clearly organized; in that sense, the book is not hard to read. However, the content of this book is pretty brutal and horrifying, given that it is about genocide. Still, it is an insightful look i Read for a history class on modern genocide and other crimes against humanity. This book covers the mass killings from the Soviet Union in the 1920s-30s, the Holocaust, the genocide by the Khmer Rouge, and the Yugoslav Wars of Secession. Each chapter followed a similar structure and the arguments were clearly organized; in that sense, the book is not hard to read. However, the content of this book is pretty brutal and horrifying, given that it is about genocide. Still, it is an insightful look into how genocides are perpetrated.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ming Terk

    An overview of a few cases of the world's most famous genocides. There were other cases, but these 4 cases were discussed in detail. Generally well written, well researched, fairly engaging to the average reader, but sometimes rather dry and overly long. An overview of a few cases of the world's most famous genocides. There were other cases, but these 4 cases were discussed in detail. Generally well written, well researched, fairly engaging to the average reader, but sometimes rather dry and overly long.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Eric Weitz attempts to put together a comprehensive view of the Genocides in the 20th century by looking at the twin foci of racial utopia and nationalism when conceptualizing genocide. This is a shorter book for the subject that was undertaken and given the length does an excellent job of looking at each genocide and tying them together. It starts off with the Armenian Genocide as the future blueprint for the 20th century and then moves onto Russia (under Lenin and Stalin), Nazi Germany, Khemer Eric Weitz attempts to put together a comprehensive view of the Genocides in the 20th century by looking at the twin foci of racial utopia and nationalism when conceptualizing genocide. This is a shorter book for the subject that was undertaken and given the length does an excellent job of looking at each genocide and tying them together. It starts off with the Armenian Genocide as the future blueprint for the 20th century and then moves onto Russia (under Lenin and Stalin), Nazi Germany, Khemer Rouge in Cambodia and Serbia in the 1990's. Each genocide is given a description without getting caught up in every horrid detail but still showing what was unique and common to each genocide. His main theoretical lens centers on the idea that those committing the genocide were focused on establishing a racial utopia via religion, ideological belief or gender. These races were narrowly defined and built upon the 20th century push of nationalism which is the other lens used to articulate the ways in which this racial utopia was to be achieved. For those looking for a basic overview of 20th century genocide this is a very good place to start.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ

    Excellent. I am so glad I read this. It makes you rethink 20th century European history in ways that make you so uncomfortable, you wish that half of what Weitz said wasn't true. Winston Churchill said the following concerning races and ethnicities that were not of Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian descent: “The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes Excellent. I am so glad I read this. It makes you rethink 20th century European history in ways that make you so uncomfortable, you wish that half of what Weitz said wasn't true. Winston Churchill said the following concerning races and ethnicities that were not of Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian descent: “The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate… I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.” THINK ABOUT IT... (before we point the finger)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Court

  6. 5 out of 5

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  7. 5 out of 5

    Colm Fox

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma Hull

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amar Desai

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Kelleher

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ian Barker

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa van den Boogaard

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Norton

  16. 5 out of 5

    K.H. Vaughan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Orializ

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

  19. 5 out of 5

    Craig Smith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ximena VA

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate Anthony

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lukas

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brenden

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna O'Connor

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robertas

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eluned Tucker

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mariya

  30. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Córdova

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