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Overview

With a wide-ranging scope, this anthology is a brief, chronological introduction to the geographic, ideological, cultural breadth, and frequency of genocide in the twentieth century. It contains provocative questions and several case studies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131100848
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 393
  • Product dimensions: 6.92 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

William Hewitt, professor of history at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1984. Professor Hewitt helped conceive and institutionalize West Chester University's new graduate Holocaust/Genocide Studies program. He has taught courses on genocide for several years. His research specialties include genocide, Native American history, the American West, race, and sexuality. He has published numerous journal articles, written four documentary videos under the direction of Gary Nash, and most recently a historical novel for young adults.

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Read an Excerpt

Horrific Crimes

Genocide is the most horrific crime inflicted on one group of people by another. Destroying or conspiring to destroy a classification of people because of their national, ethnic, or religious identity constitutes the crime of genocide. Yet since the Polish legal scholar Raphael Lemkin coined the word to describe Nazi Germany's attempted annihilation of the Jewish people and the Romani, the definition and application of the word proved problematic.

Part of the problem lies in the broadness of Lemkin's definition, and the consequent all-too-frequent application of the term. The Introduction to this study provides more than one definition of the term, and parses their meanings.

The first chapter looks at America's history with Native Americans and debates the use of terms such as Holocaust and genocide in characterizing that history. Chapter Two looks at early twentieth century imperialism and the attempt to eliminate the Hereros and other African peoples. The Armenian genocide, presented in Chapter Three, arguably often called the first genocide of the twentieth century, also remained for various reasons relatively obscure until recently. The Ukrainian man-made famine ranks as genocide counted in the millions. Possibly the most familiar genocidal event of the twentieth century is the Holocaust, discussed in Chapter Five. In 1997, Iris Chang focused attention on the Japanese during the 1930s in her book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, the subject of Chapter Six. In the next chapter, the editor offers a controversial and provocative examination of the American conduct of World War II.

Social scientists chronicle at least sixteen genocides perpetrated or attempted by nations after Raphael Lemkin coined the term at the end of World War II. In an eerie parallel to the Soviet Ukrainian famine, the Chinese communists under Mao Tse-tung engineered a famine that claimed thirty million people. Chapter Nine selectively looks at Rwanda, Sudan, and Angola, but one could also include Biafra, Chad, Ethiopia, and many others. Similarly in Latin America, Argentina and Guatemala could be augmented by Paraguay, Brazil, and others.

Some analysts of genocide put Cambodia in a special category all its own, since the slaughter killed a larger proportion of the population—approximately one half—than any other mass murder. Chapter Twelve, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and the following chapter on Bosnia, offer additional case studies of counties ripped apart by genocide.

The chapter on the Middle East will undoubtedly anger some readers. America's bifurcated relations with the parties involved, added to the high voltage of religion and politics, produces intensely emotional reactions to allegations and perpetration of genocide. Less controversial, but also politically charged by George W. Bush's characterization of an "Axis of Evil," including Iran and Iraq, is North Korea, another example of man-made famine claiming millions of victims.

The Conclusion asks the reader to reconsider the application of the term genocide, and consider ways to study and prevent it. One thing that is clear after surveying these events is that most Americans only vaguely, if at all, understand the horrific carnage that characterized the history of the twentieth century.

An American sense of mission, superiority, and moral certitude, what Robert N. Bellah termed collectively as Habits of the Heart, grounded in the past and ourselves, resists change. A few critics-including Ward Churchill and Edward Said, among others-offer alternative viewpoints. Like a visiting team trying to shout instructions in a stadium filled with fans for the other team, their voices are not heard.

Limited by space, this book is an attempt to shout signals to Americans, over the din in the arena; to see the twentieth-century world differently. At the same time, there is a limit to the human appetite for human misery—deportation, torture, and murder. Reading a conventional history of the twentieth century, at the same time, will help the reader keep a perspective for these accounts of horror. The disquieting realization is that the horrific intrudes into the other narrative all too frequently, or the author obfuscates or minimizes these events, for one motive or another.

The concept for this book arose from a need for a comprehensive, chronological arrangement of provocative materials for discussion and writing prompts in teaching a course on genocide. My students' interests and discussions steered me to consider a wide range of twentieth-century events in an inquisitive atmosphere of open inquiry. I would like to express my thanks to the following people for their help in preparing this volume: Roger W. Arthur; Jonathan Cohen; Kimberly Fleischer; Mark T. Flores; C. Patrick Mundy; Asaf Romirowsky; Meri Sellers; Steven J. Silva; Wesley Spahr; Kathleen Stank; Jennifer Stewart; and Lotta Stone. Many of these students are pursuing graduate degrees related to Holocaust/genocide studies.

Rodney Vosburgh collaborated on the early research phase of collecting material. The chairperson of my department, Richard Webster, encouraged me at various stages in the preparation of the manuscript, and the assistant chair of the department, Thomas Heston, "kept out of the way," as he put it.

My thanks to the reviewers of this book for their helpful comments: Charles Cross, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; William Cooney, Briarcliff College; and Severin Hochberg, United States Holocaust Museum.

I would also like to thank the staff at Prentice Hall for their patient assistance, and especially Editor Charles Cavaliere for keeping me on track and giving me valuable assistance. I dedicate this volume to my friend and mentor, Roger L. Williams, who will be appalled at the arguments in some of these readings.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Defining the Horrific.

“Genocide,” Diane F. Orentlicher from Roy Gutman and David Rieff, eds., Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999), 153-157. Scott Straus, “Contested Meanings and Conflicting Imperatives: A Conceptual Analysis of Genocide,” Journal of Genocide Research: 3(3), (2001): 349-375. R. J. Rummel, “When and Why to use the Term Democide for Genocide,” “Idea: A Journal of Social Issues,” 6(1). Deborah Harris, “Defining Genocide: Defining History?” “Eras” (2001): 1-16.

1. Close to Home: Native American Genocide.

Steven T. Katz, “The Pequot War Reconsidered,” New England Quarterly: 64(2), (1991): 206-224. Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997), 129-30; 169-74; 218-45.

2. What Is Yours Is Mine: Colonialism.

James O. Gump, The Dust Rose Like Smoke: The Subjugation of the Zulu and the Sioux (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994), 73-93. “King Leopold's 'Heart of Darkness,'” The Bill of Rights in Action 16(2) (2000) 1-4. “The Tribe Germany Wants to Forget New African” (2000) 1-7. Anne Applebaum, “A History of Horror,” The New York Review of Books (October 18, 2001) 40-43.

3. The Almost Forgotten Genocide: Armenia.

Rouben Adalian, “The Armenian Genocide: Context and Legacy,” “Social Education: The Official Journal of the National Council for Social Studies” (February 1991). Richard G. Hovannisian, “The Armenian Genocide and Patterns of Denial,” The Armenian Genocide in Perspective ((Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction, 1987) 111-131. Robert F. Melson, “. . . The United States Training on and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide . . .” Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights (September 14, 2000).

4. Death by Hunger: Ukraine.

James E. Mace, “The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor),” in Olexa Woropay's, The Ninth Circle. (Ukranian Studies Fund, Inc., 1983). Ian Hunter, “A Tale of Truth and Two Journalists: Malcolm Muggeridge and Walter Duranty,” Report Magazine (March 27, 2000). Roman Serbyn, The Last Stand of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, Deniers,” The Ukrainian Canadian (February 1989) 7,10,14.

5. The Holocaust.

Franklin Bialystok, “The Holocaust: An Historical Overview.” Saul Friedman, “Holocaust Historiography.” Ian Hancock, “O Baro Porrajmos The Romani Holocaust,” excerpted from We Are The Romani People: Ame Sam e Rromane Dzene (Cityenough: The University of Hertfordshire, 2002). Erna Paris,Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History” (New York: Bloomsbury, 2002) 333-345.

6. Myths and History: Manchuria.

“The Rape of Nanking,” The Bill of Rights in Action 18(3) (Summer 2002) 5-8. Andrew J. Swanger, “Japanese Scientists Conducted Biological Research Experiments on Human Subjects in the Isolated Region of Manchuria,”World War II 13(2) (July 1998) 62-66.

7. There Are Bombs, and There Are Bombs: Hiroshima.

Howard Zinn, “Hiroshima and Royan,” from The Politics of History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990) 250-74. Tony Capaccio and Uday Mohan, “Missing the Target,” American Journalism Review (July-August 1995).

8. Death by Hunger Reprise: China.

Jean-Louis Margolin, “China: A Long March Into Night,” from Stephane Courtois, et. al., eds.,([Trans. by Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer] The Black Book of Communism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999) 487-96.

9. Rwanda, Sudan, Angola: Case Studies: Post-Colonial Africa.

Mark Haband, “Rwanda The Genocide,” from Roy Gutman and David Rieff, eds. Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999) 312-15. Francis M. Deng, “Sudan—Civil War and Genocide,” The Middle East Quarterly 8(1) (Winter 2001) 13-21.

“Angola Preliminary Report—Determination: Not Genocidal in Nature,” The Center for the Prevention of Genocide (2002).

10. With Friends Like These Case Studies: Argentina and Guatemala.

“Argentina: The Military Juntas and Military Rights—Report of the Trial of the Former Members,” Amnesty International (1987) 2-9. Robert Parry, “Reagan and Guatemala's Death Files,” Alternative Press Review 5(1) (Spring 2000). Mireya Navarro, “Guatemalan Army Waged 'Genocide,' New Report Finds,” The New York Times (February 26, 1999).

11. Cambodian “Autogenocide.”

Sydney Schanberg, “Cambodia,” from Roy Gutman and David Rieff, eds., Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999) 58-65. David Chandler, “Pol Pot,” Time Asia, 154(7/8) (August 1999), 23-30.

12. Case Studies: Indonesia and East Timor, and Bangladesh.

Robert Crobb, “Genocide in Indonesia,” (Journal of Genocide Research, 219-237). Adam Jones, “Case Study: Gendercide in Bangladesh, 1971,” Genocide Watch. Edward S. Herman, “Good and Bad Genocide: Double Standards in Coverage of Suharto and Pol Pot,” Extra (September/October 1998) 15-17.

13. Ethnic Cleansing: Bosnia.

Florence Hartmann, “Bosnia,” from Roy Gutman and David Rieff, eds., Crimes of War: What The Public Should Know (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999), 50-56. Ed Vulliamy, “Middle Managers of Genocide,” The Nation, (June 10, 1996), 11-15. Kathleen Knox, “Bosnia: First Genocide Verdict May Bolster Other Cases,” Radio Free Europe, (1995-2001). Michael Parenti, The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia (2002).

14. A Tough Neighborhood: The Middle East.

Iraq.

Adam Jones, “Case Study: The Anfal Campaign (Iraqi Kurdistan) 1988,” Gendercide Watch (2002). Khaled Salih, “Anfal: The Kurdish Genocide in Iraq,” Digest of Middle East Studies 4(2) (Spring 1995) 24-9. George Bisharat, “Sanctions Against Iraq Are Genocide,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer (May 3, 2002).

Israelis and Palestinians. Edward Said, “Palestinians Under Seige,” London Review of Books (December 14, 2000). Caroline B. Glick, “No Tolerance for Genocide,” The Jerusalem Post (August 2, 2002).

15. Bastard Child of the Cold War: North Korea.

Andrew Natsios, “The Politics of Famine in North Korea,” United States Institute of Peace Special Report” (August 2, 1999). Pierre Rigoulot, “Control of the Population,” from Stephane Courtois, et. al., eds.,[Translated by Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer] The Black Book of Communism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999) 559, 563. Aidan Foster-Carter, “Is North Korea Stalinist?” Asia Times (September 5, 2001).

Epilogue: Commission by Omissior.

Samantha Power, “Never Again: The Worlds Most Unfulfilled Promise,” WGBH/Frontline (1998). Bruce Fine, “Murder Most Foul: For Genocide To Retain Its Unique Legal Standing, We Must Use the Label with Care,” Legal Times (September 16, 2002). Hank Therault, “Universal Social Theory and the Denial of Genocide,” Journal of Genocide Research 3(20) 242-56.

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Preface

Horrific Crimes

Genocide is the most horrific crime inflicted on one group of people by another. Destroying or conspiring to destroy a classification of people because of their national, ethnic, or religious identity constitutes the crime of genocide. Yet since the Polish legal scholar Raphael Lemkin coined the word to describe Nazi Germany's attempted annihilation of the Jewish people and the Romani, the definition and application of the word proved problematic.

Part of the problem lies in the broadness of Lemkin's definition, and the consequent all-too-frequent application of the term. The Introduction to this study provides more than one definition of the term, and parses their meanings.

The first chapter looks at America's history with Native Americans and debates the use of terms such as Holocaust and genocide in characterizing that history. Chapter Two looks at early twentieth century imperialism and the attempt to eliminate the Hereros and other African peoples. The Armenian genocide, presented in Chapter Three, arguably often called the first genocide of the twentieth century, also remained for various reasons relatively obscure until recently. The Ukrainian man-made famine ranks as genocide counted in the millions. Possibly the most familiar genocidal event of the twentieth century is the Holocaust, discussed in Chapter Five. In 1997, Iris Chang focused attention on the Japanese during the 1930s in her book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, the subject of Chapter Six. In the next chapter, the editor offers a controversial and provocative examination of the American conduct of World War II.

Social scientists chronicle at least sixteen genocides perpetrated or attempted by nations after Raphael Lemkin coined the term at the end of World War II. In an eerie parallel to the Soviet Ukrainian famine, the Chinese communists under Mao Tse-tung engineered a famine that claimed thirty million people. Chapter Nine selectively looks at Rwanda, Sudan, and Angola, but one could also include Biafra, Chad, Ethiopia, and many others. Similarly in Latin America, Argentina and Guatemala could be augmented by Paraguay, Brazil, and others.

Some analysts of genocide put Cambodia in a special category all its own, since the slaughter killed a larger proportion of the population—approximately one half—than any other mass murder. Chapter Twelve, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and the following chapter on Bosnia, offer additional case studies of counties ripped apart by genocide.

The chapter on the Middle East will undoubtedly anger some readers. America's bifurcated relations with the parties involved, added to the high voltage of religion and politics, produces intensely emotional reactions to allegations and perpetration of genocide. Less controversial, but also politically charged by George W. Bush's characterization of an "Axis of Evil," including Iran and Iraq, is North Korea, another example of man-made famine claiming millions of victims.

The Conclusion asks the reader to reconsider the application of the term genocide, and consider ways to study and prevent it. One thing that is clear after surveying these events is that most Americans only vaguely, if at all, understand the horrific carnage that characterized the history of the twentieth century.

An American sense of mission, superiority, and moral certitude, what Robert N. Bellah termed collectively as Habits of the Heart, grounded in the past and ourselves, resists change. A few critics-including Ward Churchill and Edward Said, among others-offer alternative viewpoints. Like a visiting team trying to shout instructions in a stadium filled with fans for the other team, their voices are not heard.

Limited by space, this book is an attempt to shout signals to Americans, over the din in the arena; to see the twentieth-century world differently. At the same time, there is a limit to the human appetite for human misery—deportation, torture, and murder. Reading a conventional history of the twentieth century, at the same time, will help the reader keep a perspective for these accounts of horror. The disquieting realization is that the horrific intrudes into the other narrative all too frequently, or the author obfuscates or minimizes these events, for one motive or another.

The concept for this book arose from a need for a comprehensive, chronological arrangement of provocative materials for discussion and writing prompts in teaching a course on genocide. My students' interests and discussions steered me to consider a wide range of twentieth-century events in an inquisitive atmosphere of open inquiry. I would like to express my thanks to the following people for their help in preparing this volume: Roger W. Arthur; Jonathan Cohen; Kimberly Fleischer; Mark T. Flores; C. Patrick Mundy; Asaf Romirowsky; Meri Sellers; Steven J. Silva; Wesley Spahr; Kathleen Stank; Jennifer Stewart; and Lotta Stone. Many of these students are pursuing graduate degrees related to Holocaust/genocide studies.

Rodney Vosburgh collaborated on the early research phase of collecting material. The chairperson of my department, Richard Webster, encouraged me at various stages in the preparation of the manuscript, and the assistant chair of the department, Thomas Heston, "kept out of the way," as he put it.

My thanks to the reviewers of this book for their helpful comments: Charles Cross, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; William Cooney, Briarcliff College; and Severin Hochberg, United States Holocaust Museum.

I would also like to thank the staff at Prentice Hall for their patient assistance, and especially Editor Charles Cavaliere for keeping me on track and giving me valuable assistance. I dedicate this volume to my friend and mentor, Roger L. Williams, who will be appalled at the arguments in some of these readings.

Read More Show Less

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