Although there have been thousands of books written about the destruction of the European Jews, until recently few have been devoted to the problem of genocide per se. At the 1983 convention of the American Political Science Association, a session on genocide featuring papers by a number of leading authorities drew an audience of no more than ten. It is this writer's thesis that the relative silence on the subject of genocide stems from the unwillingness of both the scholars and their audiences to confront the fact that, far from being a relapse into barbarism, genocide has been an intrinsic expression of modern civilization. Put differently, the genocidal destructiveness of our era may very well be an expression of some of its most significant political, moral, religious, and demographic tendencies. If indeed genocide expresses some, though obviously not all, of the dominant trends in contemporary civilization, it would hardly be surprising that few researchers would want to spend much time on the night side of the world we have made for ourselves.