Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanityby Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
"Until now, the world's peoples and governments have done little to prevent or stop mass murdering. Today, the world is not markedly better prepared to end this greatest scourge of humanity. The evidence of this failure is overwhelming. It is to be found in Tibet, North Korea, the former Yugoslavia, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Rwanda, southern Sudan, Democratic Republic
"Until now, the world's peoples and governments have done little to prevent or stop mass murdering. Today, the world is not markedly better prepared to end this greatest scourge of humanity. The evidence of this failure is overwhelming. It is to be found in Tibet, North Korea, the former Yugoslavia, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Rwanda, southern Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Darfur.
Individuals, institutions, and governments, in every region of the world—we all have a choice:
We can persist in our malign neglect that consists of three parts: failing to face the problem squarely and to understand the real nature of genocide; failing to recognize we can far more effectively protect hundreds of millions of people and radically reduce mass murder's incidence; and failing to choose to act on this knowledge.
Or we can focus onthis scourge; understand its causes, its nature and complexity, and its scope and systemic quality; and, building upon that understanding, craft institutions and policies that will save countless lives and also lift the lethal threat under which so many people live.
How can we not choose the second?"
The New York Times
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Meet the Author
Until devoting himself full time to writing, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen taught political science for many years at Harvard University. He is the prize-winning author of the international number-one bestseller Hitler's Willing Executioners and A Moral Reckoning and contributes to major newspapers and magazines around the world.
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This book goes way beyond talking about numbers. It looks deep down into the heart of darkness. There have been many genocides. Goldhagen explains that they all share common elements. I read this book and came to a deeper understanding of the planet and the people on it. Ultimately this book is about the human condition. What's in people's hearts. What's it like to mobilize others to kill, what's it like to be a killer, to be a victim, to be a bystander. The book is breathtaking in its scope. Panoramic. It opened my eyes. This book makes the incomprehensible understandable -- that more people have died in genocides than in all military combat combined is breathtaking to think about, and is just the start. That huge, abstract number frames the book. To kill large numbers of people means large numbers of other people are mobilized to do the job. Goldhagen looks into the hands, the hearts and the minds of those who are pulling the triggers and holding the machetes. He examines the local and global conditions at the moment a man, a woman, or a child is felled. He makes it very real, very personal. At the very core of genocide is hate. The perpetrators hate their victims for reasons simple and complex, and the spark of killing is ignited time and again by a political decision, a political calculus, usually by a tyrant in one place or another to mobilize local hatreds for his own political purposes. The killing usually stops when all or substantially all of the victims are gone. The world watches. Time and again, it does nothing or not enough. This is a hugely important book. Because by reading it, you realize, it's not the world that's watching anymore. It's us. It is each one of us looking, knowing, understanding that somewhere not just one child is being killed, but ultimately millions. Goldhagen points out that if a child were killed on a suburban street in the United States or in England or in France there would be outrage, and a call for action. Good people do not want killing like this to happen. Yet no action is taken when it is half a world away. Nearly ALL the children, the men and the women of the targeted group die. This book is what happens in places far from our everyday lives. The sanctity of life. Of human suffering. Of the hate in people's hearts. Of the failure of good people and their institutions to protect the weak. After reading it, you can no longer say that you don't know, or don't understand. This book is a very important work that makes sense of the world. It looks evil in the eye and it makes you think.
I heard this book covers a lot of ground, when it comes to genocide. It does, for sure. I was surprised, but I shouldn't have been, that thematically, it's bigger than that. It goes deep into the human psyche and the way nations behave towards its citizens and each other.I've read a bit on the subject, and am something of an activist, and indeed there are many fine books out there. In general, they are very specific in the attention they give. Be it Bosnia, Cambodia, Armenia, or any of the other places or peoples that genocide has affected. It's quite remarkable that in this one volume, Goldhagen has connected all the dots. He looks at genocide as a phenomenon. Played out in one venue or another, they share common characteristics. Most important of all for all of us to remember that genocide is a hate crime. The UN calls it a crime against humanity. That it is. But on a personal level, it is brought about because one group of people hate another group of people so much -- that mass murder seems to the perpetrators logical and just. Lest not forget the governments that spur neighbor to kill neighbor and allow this to go on. The book looks at all of it. The beauty of this book is it's arranged thematically. An A to Z of genocide. Killers are examined, victim groups, the world at the moment killing is occurring, how all genocides come to end, the future. Even though I have read many books on the subject, this book helped me fill in the blanks, and make sense of it all. Because it's organized thematically, I didn't even have to read it in order. I read it one theme at a time, and the ones I wanted to cogitate on I re-read. This is a really great book.
Excellent and valuable work - Thank YOU!.. QUESTION: Based on what you learned during this experience, in your opinion, would the outcome have been different IF these people had "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" (i.e., as in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the States united in America)?