Taking Lives (Fifth Edition): Genocide and State Power / Edition 5

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.55
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $4.55   
  • New (1) from $79.51   
  • Used (2) from $4.55   


Taking Lives is a pivotal effort to reconstruct the social and political contexts of twentieth century, state-inspired mass murder. Irving Louis Horowitz re-examines genocide from a new perspective-viewing this issue as the defining element in the political sociology of our time. The fifth edition includes approximately 30 percent new materials with five new chapters. The work is divided into five parts: "Present as History Past as Prologue," "Future as Memory," "Toward A General Theory of State-Sponsored Crime," "Studying Genocide." The new edition concludes with chapters reviewing the natural history of genocide studies from 1945 to the present, along with a candid self-appraisal of the author's work in this field over four decades.

Taking Lives asserts that genocide is not a sporadic or random event, nor is it necessarily linked to economic development or social progress. Genocide is a special sort of mass destruction conducted with the approval of the state apparatus. Life and death issues are uniquely fundamental, since they alone serve as a precondition for the examination of all other issues. Such concerns move us beyond abstract, formalist frameworks into new ways of viewing the social study of the human condition. Nearly all reviewers of earlier editions have recognized this. Taking Lives is a fundamental work for political scientists, sociologists, and all those concerned with the state's propensity toward evil.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Outstanding Title! Horowitz has significantly expanded and thoroughly revised this fourth edition of his classic study of genocide. Since its first publication (Genocide: State Power and Mass Murder, 1976), Taking Lives has been regarded as a pivotal attempt to analyze the sociopolitical context of mass murder. It asserts that genocide is not a random event or necessarily linked to social conditions… Among the mass killings analyzed are the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Yugoslavia… Imperative for students of genocide, comparative ethnic politics and human rights, and anyone concerned with the most fundamental moral issue of our time.” —R. H. Dekmejian, Choice "Taking Lives leaves no stone unturned in its thorough analysis....[It] is a critical, scholary reference not to be overlooked for political science and social reference shelves, as it shows new ways of viewing the human condition and how easy the state apparatus can be corrupted into a bludgeon of mass murder." —Wisconsin Bookwatch "Horowitz alerts us to a key question concerning sociological death, well within the tradition of Durkheim, Weber, Sorokin, and Mills." George Hillery "Horowitz has located the paramount feature that distinguishes one society from another. No one can evade his challenge to judge a society by the number of people it kills. Taking Lives is written with literary grace by a brilliant scholar and committed moralist." Charles C. Moskos "This book will long be read not in the hackneyed sense of a 'social science classic' but because it will continue to state the case so brilliantly and persuasively for a human and creative democratic society." Anselm L. Strauss
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765800947
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Edition description: 5TH, REVISED
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 477
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Irving Louis Horowitz (1929-2012) was Hannah Arendt Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Political Science at Rutgers University. He was the founder and served as chairman of the board and editorial director of Transaction Publishers. A prolific writer, he authored more than fifty books, as well as hundreds of articles and essays.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fifth Edition
Pt. I Present as History
1 New Beginnings 3
2 Defining Genocide 13
3 Counting Bodies 29
4 Collectivizing Death 49
5 Individualizing Life 67
Pt. II Past as Prologue
6 Democracy, Autocracy, and Terrorism 89
7 Human Rights and Personal Responsibilities 111
8 Bureaucracy and State Power 129
9 Nationalism and Genocidal Systems 153
10 Totalitarianism as a Penal Colony 181
Pt. III Future as Memory
11 Memory as History 211
12 Banality of State Power 229
13 A Natural History of the Holocaust 255
14 Jewish Survival in a Post-Holocaust World 273
Pt. IV Toward a General Theory of State-Sponsored Crime
15 Functional and Existential Visions of Genocide 297
16 Exclusivity and Inclusivity of Collective Death 319
17 Surviving the Genocidal State 341
Pt. V Studying Genocide
18 Life, Death, and Sociology 359
19 Researching Genocide 367
20 Gauging Genocide 389
Notes 407
Index 441
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)