The contributors to the book review many troubled aspects of human history. Some of these are very recent indeed. Take the case of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. One chapter looks at the Belgium responsibility for some of this, and also for its earlier actions when the Congo was the Belgian Congo. Commission were established in Belgium to ascertain Belgium's accountability.
Another recent occurrence concerned Japan's attitude towards its colonial past in east Asia, up to and including World War 2. A chapters looks at how people in several Asian countries suspect that Japan never fully took responsibility for its actions, despite the now avowedly pacifist nature of that country. The actions include the use of "comfort women" [ie. sex slaves] from China, Korea and elsewhere. The chapter also discusses psychological interpretations of Japanese attitudes towards Asian and non-Asian countries.
There are also some relatively less well known events covered here. Like the German behaviour towards Namibia when it was the German colony of South-West Africa. A bad massacre occurred of locals, by German soldiers. Some say it presaged the Holocaust, while others compare it more to other instances of European treatments of their colonies.
One country does come across relatively well in the book. Contemporary Germany, which has squarely faced what it did in the Holocaust.
The book has a curious omission. No mention of the Armenian genocide, which is now widely considered the first genocide of the 20th century. No mention even of Turkish denials that attempted genocide occurred.