A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation by Eric D. Weitz

By Eric D. Weitz

Why did the 20 th century witness extraordinary equipped genocide? will we study why genocide is perpetrated by means of evaluating varied instances of genocide? Is the Holocaust specified, or does it percentage factors and contours with different circumstances of state-sponsored mass homicide? Can genocide be prevented?Blending gripping narrative with trenchant research, Eric Weitz investigates 4 of the 20th century's significant eruptions of genocide: the Soviet Union below Stalin, Nazi Germany, Cambodia below the Khmer Rouge, and the previous Yugoslavia. Drawing on old resources in addition to trial files, memoirs, novels, and poems, Weitz explains the superiority of genocide within the 20th century--and indicates how and why it turned so systematic and deadly.Weitz depicts the searing brutality of every genocide and lines its origins again to these strongest different types of the trendy international: race and kingdom. He demonstrates how, in all of the instances, a robust nation pursuing utopia promoted a specific mixture of severe nationwide and racial ideologies. In moments of excessive situation, those states unique convinced nationwide and racial teams, believing that simply the annihilation of those "enemies" might let the dominant team to flourish. And in each one example, huge segments of the inhabitants have been enticed to affix within the frequently ritualistic activities that destroyed their neighbors.This e-book deals essentially the most soaking up bills ever written of the inhabitants purges endlessly linked to the names Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Milosevic. A arguable and richly textured comparability of those 4 glossy circumstances, it identifies the social and political forces that produce genocide.

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The categories race and nation are not, in fact, self-evident; they are not natural, timeless ways of understanding human difference and of organizing political and social systems. 4 “Nation,” rooted in the Latin natio, is a word with a much longer but also very diverse lineage. Like the Greek ethnos and genos, it simply meant a group of people, and writers from the ancient to the early modern world used it to describe all sorts of collectives: a kinship group, people with similar customs, the subjects of a particular state, or those with a common social function like students or even bonded laborers.

But before we explore the historical emergence of race and nation, some definitions are in order. Brought to you by | Duke University Authenticated Download Date | 12/12/15 4:43 AM r ac e a n d n at i o n ■ 21 RACE, NATION, ETHNICITY Race and nation represent ways of classifying difference. The two categories have never been hermetically sealed off from one another; rather, the lines between them are fluid and permeable. ” The members of an ethnic group typically share a sense of commonality based on a myth of common origins (descent from Abraham in the case of the Israelites, from Hellen in later Greek accounts), a common language, and common customs.

There I felt that my lack of knowledge of African histories and cultures was too great, that its story should be left to those with much more substantial expertise. Moreover, while Rwanda was certainly shaped by Western colonialism, it lies outside the realm of Nazi and Soviet influence, a key factor that influenced my decision to explore the histories of Yugoslavia and Cambodia. Of all the cases with which I deal, the literature on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is the most voluminous. Histories, sociological studies, memoirs, philosophical ruminations—the literature is so vast that it is now beyond the grasp of any individual.

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