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A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The legal history of genocide is first reviewed, concentrating on the work of Raphael Lemkin, the lawyer who defined the word. Implicit throughout that which follows is Lemkin's principle that the United States (or any other capable nation) has not only the right but the responsibility to interfere when genocide occurs. Power argues that in every historical instance, the US government did in fact recognize genocide (even if it didn't admit as much) and refused to react adequately, if at all. However, her reliance on international treaties and easy moral outrage makes for a rather weak case, for two reasons.
First, the strongly interventionist position is advocated without any serious consideration of the costs. Although she asserts that diplomatic and economic pressures might be effective, it is conceded that most cases would require military force and the deployment of ground troops. At the very least this would lead to American deaths, and in some cases carries that danger of a wider war. Such concerns are generally dismissed as a "realist" stance which needn't be a concern in the face of genocide, although it is acknowledged that NATO intervention in Kosovo has had "mixed" results.
The book's second and greater weakness is to place the blame for immoral inaction on top State Department officials and, ultimately, presidential administrations without addressing the public opinions by which they are constrained.Read more ›
As for the charges of a liberal bias, absolutely none exists. And I wonder if anyone who alleges it has actually read the book. One reviewer actually calls Power a communist sympathizer for not reporting on Chinese and Russian atrocities. This absence is understandable when one looks at the fact that American legislators never missed an opportunity to wave moral superiority over Russian and Chinese communists. We almost always criticized them for that sort of the thing. Hell, one of the main reasons for the passage of the Helsinki convention was to be able to criticize the communists for failing to live up to its ratification. There is no liberal bias in this book. Power lauds Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole for making the Balkan genocides a campaign issue, even going so far as to buck the many dissenters in his party. Indeed, even Jesse Helms receives a paean for calling on the Clinton administration to apprehend war criminals. Clinton himself receives a hearty dose of criticism for his languid responses to genocide in Rwanda and the Balkans.
This book is brilliant. Anyone curious about the heroes and villains of twentieth century genocide will be satisfied after reading this.
What disturbs me more than the topic of Ms. Power's book, however, is the lengthy and jumbled review below entitled "Scholarship from Hell." The reviewer is engaging in sophistry designed to discredit Ms. Power and mislead. Beginning with the phrase "Armenian Relocation" the reviewer spirals into ten, inarticulate, horribly written and confusing paragraphs whose sole intent is to misdirect and mislead. Notice the use of the phrase "Ottoman-Armenian Conflict" giving the impression of moral equivalence and balance. In paragraph three, he then attempts to discredit Ms. Power - and subsequently her book - by claiming she did not utilize "objective sources" and as having "...a lack of sufficient grounding in history to tackle a subject as sensitive and controversial as the Ottoman-Armenian conflict." There is nothing controversial or sensitive about the Armenian Genocide, and the careful construction of this babble, undermines Ms Power and devalues the awesome bulwark of research she has undertaken and produced, and is intended to mislead the reader by throwing as much junk at the wall as possible and hoping that some of it sticks. Despite the fact that Ms. Power's work is almost seven hundred pages long (with a bibliography as long as a short novel), the reviewer claims that she fails to refer to "objective scholars" in reference to the Armenian Genocide.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliantly written, it moves readers to tears and...exasperation with an unjust and profoundly cruel, senseless world. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Claude Forthomme (Nougat)
This is a really comprehensive account of genocide--almost like a textbook. Not a good book club read. However, the author did a phenomenal job!Published 20 days ago by rj
Absolutely interesting and informative. As a non-English native speaker, this is so easy to read, so smooth, like a story except unfortunately its history and really happened.Published 27 days ago by Natalie G.
I am not planning to go into the lengthy details of this very hefty book. Suffice it to say that Mrs. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chemical Brother
Excellent account of us position on genicide throughout the decades. Valuable lessons for every country in every timePublished 3 months ago by Federico W.
Sad about the way the USA ignores genocides until it is too late. Then, the wailing and gnashing of teeth while saying, " We didn't know."Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer