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The Politics of Genocide Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583672133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583672136
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,357,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power; The Real Terror Network; The Political Economy of Human Rights (with Noam Chomsky); and Manufacturing Consent (with Noam Chomsky).



David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.


More About the Author

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power; The Real Terror Network; The Political Economy of Human Rights (with Noam Chomsky); and Manufacturing Consent (with Noam Chomsky). David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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This book should be mandatory read in all schools.
JC
This book may be pretty much correct on most topics, but it's not a gread source of information (it's a pretty slim book).
Brenden J. Vigus
Too bad that all genocides are not accurately described in the MSM ... but that apparently would be too much to ask.
Constitutional Lawyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are few atrocities greater than genocide, but why does it so often go ignored? "The Politics of Genocide" delves into recent Genocides and why it has been used more often for political gain than anything else. This analysis asks many questions and provides many examples and discussion about various recent genocides from Darfur to Kosovo to even events like those that often happen in Israel's relations with Palestine. "The Politics of Genocide" is a fine addition to any political studies collection.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Edward Herman and David Peterson have written a superb study of the uses of the term `genocide'. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and Peterson is a journalist and researcher.

In 1973 Noam Chomsky and Herman wrote that the USA has "been the most important single instigator, administrator and moral and material sustainer of serious bloodbaths in the years that followed the Second World War." They cited the cases of the Philippines (1898-73), Thailand (1946-73), Palestine (1948-), Vietnam (1954-73), Central America (1954-), Indonesia (1965-69), Cambodia (1965-73), East Pakistan (1971) and Burundi (1972), More recently, Iraq (1990-), Rwanda (1994), the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] (1998-2007) and Afghanistan (2001-) have joined the grim list.

Herman and Peterson examine killings in Sudan, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and the DRC. They also study war crimes committed by US allies Israel, Croatia, the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, Turkey, Indonesia, El Salvador and Guatemala.

They note that the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda all exclude the crime of aggression from their jurisdiction. (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch likewise exclude aggression from their remit.)

When, in 1999, the Yugoslav government asked the International Criminal Court to issue an injunction against the NATO powers bombing it, the US government replied that it had `not consented to the Court's jurisdiction in this case, and absent such consent, the Court has no jurisdiction to proceed'. The Court agreed that it `cannot decide a dispute between States without the consent of those States to its jurisdiction'.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Stamm on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I purchased this book. I am familiar with Chomsky and Herman's work on the Propaganda Model (Manufacturing Consent), with Chomsky's work on the state of liberal academics (Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship), and I've read much the same material cited in this book (particularly the books of Sam Powers, Philip Gourevitch, Alex de Waal). Somehow, though, I hadn't ever pieced it together the way Herman and Peterson do.

Herman and Peterson make the point that the terms genocide, massacre, and ethnic cleansing are applied with zeal towards official US or European enemies, and that they are almost entirely absent in descriptions of genocides, cleansings, and massacres carried out by the US or it's favored states. Parallel to this are the mainstream scholars in Genocide Studies and in various human rights organizations, who tend to accept the prevailing standards of what constitutes genocide (or not) uncritically, or outright collude in the propagation of such biased standards.

I've been wondering for some time whether to subscribe to Monthly Review magazine, which comes with a discount on books they publish. This book has definitely convinced me to do so.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brett A. MccUlly on August 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Applying the "Propoganda Model" (crafted by Herman with Noam Chomsky; see Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media) to the recent history of genocide and bloodbaths, the Herman and Peterson demonstrate how politicized the term of genocide is: reserved for our official enemies, but ignored when the US or its allies carry out the killing.

The authors briefly review major bloodbaths and genocides in the past 30 years, particularly with regard to their depiction in the mainstream Western media. Thus readers should be aware that this book does not go deeply into the events and history surrounding the bloodbath/genocide.

Another question is why Afghanistan wasn't a separate case in the book. Dasht-e-Leili, a massacre of several thousand by the Northern Alliance, is included, but not the country as a whole. Since this treatment is granted to Iraq, it is unclear why it is not similarly given for Afghanistan. Even, for example, the initial bombings in late 2001 may have resulted in as many as 20,000 casualties. [1]

A casualty of the cursory treatment given to each atrocity is that competing narratives of a bloodbath/genocide are not given much space. This is not a problem for most of the cases, as they are generally uncontroversial at to the facts. However, the chapter on Rwanda has received strong backlash from some academics. Herman and Peterson appear to be aware of how controversial their thesis is (which is that it was the Hutus, and not the Tutsis who suffered the majority of casualties from the genocide), and devote the most text to it than for any other atrocity.
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