Alexander Mikaberidze is assistant professor of history at Louisiana State University, Shreveport, and an award-winning author and editor of over a dozen titles, including ABC-CLIO's Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia.
In order to capture the full scope of mass killing during the twentieth century, Valentino does not limit his analysis to violence directed against ethnic groups, or to the attempt to destroy victim groups as such, as do most previous studies of genocide. Rather, he defines mass killing broadly as the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants, using the criteria of 50,000 or more deaths within five years as a quantitative standard.
Final Solutions focuses on three types of mass killing: communist mass killings like the ones carried out in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia; ethnic genocides as in Armenia, Nazi Germany, and Rwanda; and "counter-guerrilla" campaigns including the brutal civil war in Guatemala and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Valentino closes the book by arguing that attempts to prevent mass killing should focus on disarming and removing from power the leaders and small groups responsible for instigating and organizing the killing.
In 1915, under the cover of a world war, some one million Armenians were killed through starvation, forced marches, forced exile, and mass acts of slaughter. Although Armenians and world opinion have held the Ottoman powers responsible, Turkey has consistently rejected any claim of intentional genocide.
Now, in a pioneering work of excavation, Turkish historian Taner Akçam has made extensive and unprecedented use of Ottoman and other sources to produce a scrupulous charge sheet against the Turkish authorities. The first scholar of any nationality to have mined the significant evidence—in Turkish military and court records, parliamentary minutes, letters, and eyewitness accounts—Akçam follows the chain of events leading up to the killing and then reconstructs its systematic orchestration by coordinated departments of the Ottoman state, the ruling political parties, and the military. He also probes the crucial question of how Turkey succeeded in evading responsibility, pointing to competing international interests in the region, the priorities of Turkish nationalists, and the international community's inadequate attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
As Turkey lobbies to enter the European Union, Akçam's work becomes ever more important and relevant. Beyond its timeliness, A Shameful Act is sure to take its lasting place as a classic and necessary work on the subject.
Following an introduction by Samuel Totten, the essays include: "Australia's Aboriginal Children"; "Hell is for Children"; "Children: The Most Vulnerable Victims of the Armenian Genocide"; "Children and the Holocaust"; "The Fate of Mentally and Physically Disabled Children in Nazi Germany"; "The Plight and Fate of Children vis-a-vis the Guatemalan Genocide"; "The Plight of Children During and Following the 1994 Rwandan Genocide"; "Darfur Genocide"; "Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Children during Genocide"; and, "Child Soldiers." Contributors include: Colin Tatz, Henry C. Theriault, Asya Darbinyan, Rubina Peroomian, Jeffrey Blutinger, Amanda Grzyb, Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Sara Demir, Hannibal Travis, and Samuel Totten.
The editor and several of the contributors have personally investigated and witnessed the aftermath of genocidal campaigns.
Within the handbook, centuries of war crimes and genocides are analyzed and catalogued. At the same time, the author offers a history of the development of the rules of war, enabling readers to grasp the importance of such precedent-setting events as the 1946 Nuremberg Trials, and to see the gradual evolution of the laws intended to punish perpetrators and prevent future barbarism.
Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia provides hundreds of entries on wars, revolutions, sieges, institutions, leaders, armies, weapons, and other aspects of wars and military life, enabling readers to understand the complex role conflict has played in Islamic life throughout history and see how Islamic warfare has evolved over the centuries. This reference work covers not only the traditional Middle Eastern regions and countries but also provides relevant historical information regarding Islam in North Africa, Central Asia, Southeastern Asia, and Oceania.
Confronting Nazi evil is the subject of the latest installment in the mega-bestselling Killing series
As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, including the notorious SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Among those war criminals were Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” who performed hideous medical experiments at Auschwitz; Martin Bormann, Hitler’s brutal personal secretary; Klaus Barbie, the cruel "Butcher of Lyon"; and perhaps the most awful Nazi of all: Adolf Eichmann.
Killing the SS is the epic saga of the espionage and daring waged by self-styled "Nazi hunters." This determined and disparate group included a French husband and wife team, an American lawyer who served in the army on D-Day, a German prosecutor who had signed an oath to the Nazi Party, Israeli Mossad agents, and a death camp survivor. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice, which often meant death.
Written in the fast-paced style of the Killing series, Killing the SS will educate and stun the reader.
The final chapter is truly shocking.
This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.
With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa.
Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity.
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.