Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others

Sold by St. Martin's Press
4
Free sample

Winner of the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction

A revelatory look at why we dehumanize each other, with stunning examples from world history as well as today's headlines

"Brute." "Cockroach." "Lice." "Vermin." "Dog." "Beast." These and other monikers are constantly in use to refer to other humans—for political, religious, ethnic, or sexist reasons. Human beings have a tendency to regard members of their own kind as less than human. This tendency has made atrocities like the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, and the slave trade possible, and yet we still find it in phenomena such as xenophobia, homophobia, military propaganda, and racism. Less Than Human draws on a rich mix of history, psychology, biology, anthropology and philosophy to document the pervasiveness of dehumanization, describe its forms, and explain why we so often resort to it.

David Livingstone Smith posits that this behavior is rooted in human nature, but gives us hope in also stating that biological traits are malleable, showing us that change is possible. Less Than Human is a chilling indictment of our nature, and is as timely as it is relevant.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Dr. David Livingstone Smith is the author of Why We Lie and The Most Dangerous Animal. He is professor of philosophy and cofounder and director of the Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Studies at the University of New England. He and his wife live in Portland, Maine.

Read more
Collapse
4.0
4 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Mar 1, 2011
Read more
Collapse
Pages
336
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781429968560
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Political Science / Genocide & War Crimes
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Entomology
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
If the reader will excuse a brief anecdote from my own intellectual history, I would like to use it as an introduction to this book. In 1957, I was a sophomore at an undergraduate liberal arts college major ing in medieval history. This was the year that we were receiving our first introduction to courses in philosophy, and I took to this study with a passion. In pursuing philosophy, I discovered the area called "philosophical psychology," which was a Thomistic category of inquiry. For me, "philosophical psychology" meant a more intimate study of the soul (psyche), and I immediately concluded that psychology as a discipline must be about this pursuit. This philosophical interest led me to enroll in my first introductory psychology course. Our text for this course was the first edition of Ernest Hilgaard's Introduction to Psychology. My reasons for entering this course were anticipated in the introductory chapter of Hilgaard's book, where the discipline and its boundaries were discussed, and this introduction was to disabuse me of my original intention for enrolling in the course. I was to learn that, in the 20th century, people who called themselves psychologists were no longer interested in perennial philosophical questions about the human psyche or person. In fact, these philosophical questions were considered to be obscurantist and passe. Psychology was now the "scientific" study of human behavior. This definition of psychology by Hilgaard was by no means idiosyncratic to this introductory textbook.
“[Halima Bashir’s] mesmerizing tale of against-all-odds endurance is a piercing lament—and a clear-eyed call to action.”—Vogue
 
“This memoir helps keep the Darfur tragedy open as a wound not yet healed.”—Elie Wiesel, author of Night
 
Born into the Zaghawa tribe in the Sudanese desert, Halima Bashir received a good education away from her rural surroundings (thanks to her doting, politically astute father) and at twenty-four became her village’s first formal doctor. Yet not even Bashir’s degree could protect her from the encroaching conflict that would consume her homeland. Janjaweed Arab militias savagely assaulted the Zaghawa, often with the backing of the Sudanese military. Then, in early 2004, the Janjaweed attacked Bashir’s village and surrounding areas, raping forty-two schoolgirls and their teachers. Bashir, who treated the traumatized victims, some as young as eight years old, could no longer remain quiet. But breaking her silence ignited a horrifying turn of events. 
 
Raw and riveting, Tears of the Desert is the first memoir ever written by a woman caught up in the war in Darfur. It is a survivor’s tale of a conflicted country, a resilient people, and an uncompromising spirit.
 
Praise for Tears of the Desert
 
“This is a brave book. And a valuable one. Halima’s story of the atrocities and immeasurable losses she has endured must be told.”—Mia Farrow, actor and advocate 
 
“Vivid, poignant and brutally candid . . . Tears of the Desert is that rarest of literary endeavors, not just a book you read but a book you experience.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“An extraordinary memoir . . . Halima Bashir’s bravery contrasts with the world’s fecklessness and failures.”—Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times
 
“Searing . . . Tears of the Desert gives voice to the unspeakable.”—USA Today

“Powerful, harrowing and brave.”—The Economist

“A luminous tale of growing up in rural Darfur . . . a wonderful and moving African memoir.”—The New York Review of Books
An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.

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.

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.