Death By Government / Edition 1

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This is R. J. Rummel's fourth book in a series devoted to genocide and government mass murder, or what he calls democide. He presents the primary results, in tables and figures, as well as a historical sketch of the major cases of democide, those in which one million or more people were killed by a regime. In Death by Government, Rummel does not aim to describe democide itself, but to determine its nature and scope in order to test the theory that democracies are inherently nonviolent.

Rummel discusses genocide in China, Nazi Germany, Japan, Cambodia, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Poland, the Soviet Union, and Pakistan. He also writes about areas of suspected genocide: North Korea, Mexico, and feudal Russia. His results clearly and decisively show that democracies commit less democide than other regimes. The underlying principle is that the less freedom people have, the greater the violence; the more freedom, the less the violence. Thus, as Rummel says, “The problem is power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.” Death by Government is a compelling look at the horrors that occur in modern societies. It depicts how democide has been very much a part of human history. Among other examples, the book includes the massacre of Europeans during the Thirty Years' War, the relatively unknown genocide of the French Revolution, and the slaughtering of American Indians by colonists in the New World. This riveting account is an essential tool for historians, political scientists, and scholars interested in the study of genocide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* Named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice! "[Death by Government] is a compelling study of what the author calls democide—the intentional killing by governments through genocide, politicide, massacre, and terror. . . . A product of eight years of research by a distinguished political scientist, this is an unrivaled magnum opus with dozens of tables, figures, copious notes, and a massive bibliography. Essential reading for historians, political scientists, and readers interested in genocide." —R. H. Dekmejian, ChoiceDeath by Government should be read in history classes not just across America, but around the world. The problem of power, as Rummel terms it, remains with us today. . . . Only if we learn from the past can we ever hope to end state-sanctioned murder. The case for human liberty and limited government has never been made more effectively than by this fearsome book.” —Doug Bandow, Cato Institute “Death by Government is a good introduction to the general phenomena of state-sponsored mass murder or democide (Rummel’s concept). The numerous case studies are a mizture of carefully wrought description of the horrendous suffering of peoples under maily authoritarian political systems, with just the right dose of personal horror stories to make the book a memorable study of human deprivation and misery. For this effort, Rummel ought to be applauded.” —Barbara Harff, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History “With this volume, Rummel has completed his magnum opus on genocide and government mass murder, in short what Rummel calls ‘democide’. . . . Rummel’s methodology is based on averaging figures from a large number of sources, rather than historical source criticism or demographic estimates. This is a controversial method, yet it is clearly documented and well argued. . . . This work if a major achievement and will provide a reference point which no future systematic work on democide can ignore.” —Nils Petter Gleditsch, Journal of Peace Research “Governments have murdered about 169 million people in the twentieth century, according to Rummel’s estimate. . . . Yet mass murder by governments has been largely ignored by political science. Rummel argues that, to rectify this omission, a reconceptualization of government and politics is required. To this end he proposes the concept of ‘democide’ , which he defines as the intentional killing by a government of unarmed people. . . . Rummerl draws our attention to facts that are often ignored and should not be.” —Michael Freeman, the Slavonic and East European Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560009276
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/15/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 524
  • Sales rank: 701,881
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

R. J. Rummel was professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He is the author of over one hundred scholarly articles and two dozen books, including Power Kills, China’s Bloody Century, and The Miracle That Is Freedom. In addition, he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association and the International Association of Genocide Scholars’ Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Genocide and Democide Studies and Prevention.

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
1 169,198,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusion 1
I Background
2 The New Concept of Democide 31
3 Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth-Century Democide 45
II 128,168,000 Victims: The Dekamegamurderers
4 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State 79
5 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Anthill 91
6 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State 111
7 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime 123
III 19,178,000 Victims: The Lesser Megamurderers
8 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan's Savage Military 143
9 2,035,000 Murdered: The Hell State: Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge 159
10 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey's Genocidal Purges 209
11 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State 241
12 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland's Ethnic Cleansing 297
13 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State 315
14 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito's Slaughterhouse 339
IV 4,145,000 Victims: The Suspected Megamurderers
15 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea 365
16 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico 381
17 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia 397
References 405
Index 479
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    TEN Totalitarian Governments Kill Total of 142,000,000!

    Death by Government examines democides (definition below) of one million or more in the 20th century and before. The author, R. J. Rummel, shows that totalitarian regimes commit most of the democides. The underlying principle is that the less freedom people have, the greater the violence; the more freedom, the less violence. Rummel says, "The problem is power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom." DEMOCIDE: the intentional government killing of an unarmed person or people, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. The rest of this review will identify the ten worst democides in the 20th century. We all know the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews. Most American do NOT know that the ten worst totalitarian governments murdered more than 136 million OTHER people during the 20th century. The following is a list of the ten governments responsible for all those deaths. 1.- Soviet Gulag (1917-87): 61,911,000. 2.- Communist Chinese State (1949-87): 35,236,000. 3.- Nazi State (1933-45): 20,946,000. 4.- Chinese Nationalist (1928-49): 10,214,000. 5.- Japan's military (1936-45): 5,964,000. 6.- Khmer Rouge (1975-79): 2,035,000. 7.- Turkey's Young Turks (1909-18): 1,883,000. 8.- N. Vietnamese (1945-1987): 1,670,000. 9.- Poland killed ethnic Germans: 1,585,000. 10.- West Pakistan (1958-87): 1,503,000. TOTAL # Murdered by top ten totalitarian governments = 142,000,000+.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2002

    Why write a review? You don't post it!

    Why write a review? You don't post it! I would appreciate hearing why you didn't post it.

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