The Killing Compartments

The Mentality of Mass Murder
Author: Abram de Swaan
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300210671
Category: Political Science
Page: 344
View: 8660

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The twentieth century was among the bloodiest in the history of humanity. Untold millions were slaughtered. How people are enrolled in the service of evil is a question that continues to bedevil. In this trenchant book, Abram de Swaan offers a taxonomy of mass violence that focuses on the rank-and-file perpetrators, examining how murderous regimes recruit them and create what De Swaan calls the "killing compartments” that make possible the worst abominations without apparent moral misgiving, without a sense of personal responsibility, and, above all, without pity. De Swaan wonders where extreme violence comes from and where it goes—seemingly without a trace—when the wild and barbaric gore is over. And what about the perpetrators themselves? Are they merely and only the product of external circumstance? Or is there something in their makeup that disposes them to become mass murderers? Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political science, history, and psychology, De Swaan sheds new light on an urgent and intractable pathology that continues to poison peoples all over the world.

Extremely Violent Societies

Mass Violence in the Twentieth-Century World
Author: Christian Gerlach
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139493515
Category: History
Page: N.A
View: 4420

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In this groundbreaking book Christian Gerlach traces the social roots of the extraordinary processes of human destruction involved in mass violence throughout the twentieth century. He argues that terms such as 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' are too narrow to explain the diverse motives and interests that cause violence to spread in varying forms and intensities. From killings and expulsions to enforced hunger, collective rape, strategic bombing, forced labour and imprisonment he explores what happened before, during, and after periods of widespread bloodshed in countries such as Armenia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nazi-occupied Greece and in anti-guerilla wars worldwide in order to highlight the crucial role of socio-economic pressures in the generation of group conflicts. By focussing on why so many different people participated in or supported mass violence, and why different groups were victimized, he offers us a new way of understanding one of the most disturbing phenomena of our times.

The Killing Trap

Genocide in the Twentieth Century
Author: Manus I. Midlarsky
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139445399
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 1124

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The Killing Trap, first published in 2005, offers a comparative analysis of the genocides, politicides and ethnic cleansings of the twentieth century, which are estimated to have cost upwards of forty million lives. The book seeks to understand both the occurrence and magnitude of genocide, based on the conviction that such comparative analysis may contribute towards prevention of genocide in the future. Manus Midlarsky compares socio-economic circumstances and international contexts and includes in his analysis the Jews of Europe, Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Tutsi in Rwanda, black Africans in Darfur, Cambodians, Bosnians, and the victims of conflict in Ireland. The occurrence of genocide is explained by means of a framework that gives equal emphasis to the non-occurrence of genocide, a critical element not found in other comparisons, and victims are given a prominence equal to that of perpetrators in understanding the magnitude of genocide.

Hitler's Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars

Comparing Genocide and Conquest
Author: Edward B. Westermann
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806157135
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 2668

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As he prepared to wage his war of annihilation on the Eastern Front, Adolf Hitler repeatedly drew parallels between the Nazi quest for Lebensraum, or living space, in Eastern Europe and the United States’s westward expansion under the banner of Manifest Destiny. The peoples of Eastern Europe were, he said, his “redskins,” and for his colonial fantasy of a “German East” he claimed a historical precedent in the United States’s displacement and killing of the native population. Edward B. Westermann examines the validity, and value, of this claim in Hitler's Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars. The book takes an empirical approach that highlights areas of similarity and continuity, but also explores key distinctions and differences between these two national projects. The westward march of American empire and the Nazi conquest of the East offer clear parallels, not least that both cases fused a sense of national purpose with racial stereotypes that aided in the exclusion, expropriation, and killing of peoples. Westermann evaluates the philosophies of Manifest Destiny and Lebensraum that justified both conquests, the national and administrative policies that framed Nazi and U.S. governmental involvement in these efforts, the military strategies that supported each nation’s political goals, and the role of massacre and atrocity in both processes. Important differences emerge: a goal of annihilation versus one of assimilation and acculturation; a planned military campaign versus a confused strategy of pacification and punishment; large-scale atrocity as routine versus massacre as exception. Comparative history at its best, Westermann’s assessment of these two national projects provides crucial insights into not only their rhetoric and pronouncements but also the application of policy and ideology “on the ground.” His sophisticated and nuanced revelations of the similarities and dissimilarities between these two cases will inform further study of genocide, as well as our understanding of the Nazi conquest of the East and the American conquest of the West.

Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy


Author: Melvin Konner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 039324654X
Category: Science
Page: 400
View: 6029

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“A sparkling, thought-provoking account of sexual differences. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’ll find his conclusions gripping.”—Jared Diamond There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression. It is called maleness. Melvin Konner traces the arc of evolution to explain the relationships between women and men. With patience and wit he explores the knotty question of whether men are necessary in the biological destiny of the human race. He draws on multiple, colorful examples from the natural world—such as the mating habits of the octopus, black widow, angler fish, and jacana—and argues that maleness in humans is hardly necessary to the survival of the species. In characteristically humorous and engaging prose, Konner sheds light on our biologically different identities, while noting the poignant exceptions that challenge the male/female divide. We meet hunter-gatherers such as those in Botswana, whose culture gave women a prominent place, invented the working mother, and respected women’s voices around the fire. Recent human history has upset this balance, as a dense world of war fostered extreme male dominance. But our species has been recovering over the past two centuries, and an unstoppable move toward equality is afoot. It will not be the end of men, but it will be the end of male supremacy and a better, wiser world for women and men alike.

Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century

A Comparative Survey
Author: Amy E. Randall
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472509803
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 8591

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Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century brings together a collection of some of the finest Genocide Studies scholars in North America and Europe to examine gendered discourses, practices and experiences of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the 20th century. It includes essays focusing on the genocide in Rwanda, the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing and genocide in the former Yugoslavia. The book looks at how historically- and culturally-specific ideas about reproduction, biology, and ethnic, national, racial and religious identity contributed to the possibility for and the unfolding of genocidal sexual violence, including mass rape. The book also considers how these ideas, in conjunction with discourses of femininity and masculinity, and understandings of female and male identities, contributed to perpetrators' tools and strategies for ethnic cleansing and genocide, as well as victims' experiences of these processes. This is an ideal text for any student looking to further understand the crucial topic of gender in genocide studies.

Human Societies

An Introduction
Author: Abram De Swaan
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745666140
Category: Social Science
Page: 176
View: 5693

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This book is a brief introduction to the study of society, which may be read without any previous knowledge of the social sciences. Each chapter addresses a fundamental question about people in their various arrangements. The book begins by asking: what do people need from one another; what do they need to survive and how do these needs make them dependent upon others? Subsequent chapters deal with the ties that bind people, the expectations they entertain of one another, their means of distinguishing themselves from others, the ways they have of moulding and teaching the young, and what they believe, know and invent. De Swaan also explores the ways in which people organize their activities, from foraging bands of only a few dozen members to contemporary societies that can effectively co-ordinate a billion people or more. Human Societies traces this huge increase in the scale of social life which occurred as new forms of human co-ordination emerged: from reciprocal obligation and collective action, to markets, organizations, and states, and finally, the emerging global level of interdependence. This book will be essential reading for anyone who needs a brief and clear introduction to sociology in its broadest sense; it will be especially valuable to those studying the subject for the first time.

The Anatomy of Evil


Author: Michael H. Stone
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615922059
Category: True Crime
Page: N.A
View: 773

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The crimes of Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Dennis Rader, and other high-profile killers are so breathtakingly awful that most people would not hesitate to label them evil. In this groundbreaking book, renowned psychiatrist Michael H. Stone-host of Discovery Channel's former series Most Evil-uses this common emotional reaction to horrifying acts as his starting point to explore the concept and reality of evil from a new perspective. In an in-depth discussion of the personality traits and behavior that constitute evil across a wide spectrum, Dr. Stone takes a clarifying scientific approach to a topic that for centuries has been inadequately explained by religious doctrines.Basing his analysis on the detailed biographies of more than 600 violent criminals, Stone has created a 22-level hierarchy of evil behavior, which loosely reflects the structure of Dante's Inferno. He traces two salient personality traits that run the gamut from those who commit crimes of passion to perpetrators of the worst crimes-sadistic torture and murder. One trait is narcissism, as exhibited in people who are so self-centered that they have little or no ability to care about their victims. The other is aggression, the use of power over another person to inflict humiliation, suffering, and death.Stone then turns to the various factors that, singly or intertwined, contribute to pushing certain people over the edge into committing heinous crimes. They include heredity, adverse environments, violence-prone cultures, mental illness or brain injury, and abuse of mind-altering drugs. All are considered in the search for the root causes of evil behavior.What do psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience tell us about the minds of those whose actions could be described as evil? And what will that mean for the rest of us? Stone discusses how an increased understanding of the causes of evil will affect the justice system. He predicts a day when certain persons can safely be declared salvageable and restored to society and when early signs of violence in children may be corrected before potentially dangerous patterns become entrenched.Michael H. Stone, MD (New York, NY) is professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the author of ten books, most recently Personality Disorders: Treatable and Untreatable, and over two hundred professional articles and book chapters. He is also the host of Discovery Channel's former series Most Evil and has been featured in the New York Times, Psychology Today, the Christian Science Monitor, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, the London Times, the BBAC, and Newsday, among many other media outlets.

The Wretched of the Earth


Author: Frantz Fanon
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802198853
Category: Political Science
Page: 320
View: 5252

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Frantz Fanon was one of the twentieth century’s most important theorists of revolution, colonialism, and racial difference, and this, his masterwork, is a classic alongside Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage of colonized peoples and the role of violence in historical change, the book also incisively attacks postindependence disenfranchisement of the masses by the elite on one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black-consciousness movements around the world. This new translation updates its language for a new generation of readers and its lessons are more vital now than ever.

The Law of Blood

Thinking and Acting as a Nazi
Author: Johann Chapoutot
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674985826
Category: History
Page: 410
View: 6291

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The scale and the depth of Nazi brutality seem to defy understanding. What could drive people to fight, kill, and destroy with such ruthless ambition? Observers and historians have offered countless explanations since the 1930s. According to Johann Chapoutot, we need to understand better how the Nazis explained it themselves. We need a clearer view, in particular, of how they were steeped in and spread the idea that history gave them no choice: it was either kill or die. Chapoutot, one of France’s leading historians, spent years immersing himself in the texts and images that reflected and shaped the mental world of Nazi ideologues, and that the Nazis disseminated to the German public. The party had no official ur-text of ideology, values, and history. But a clear narrative emerges from the myriad works of intellectuals, apparatchiks, journalists, and movie-makers that Chapoutot explores. The story went like this: In the ancient world, the Nordic-German race lived in harmony with the laws of nature. But since Late Antiquity, corrupt foreign norms and values—Jewish values in particular—had alienated Germany from itself and from all that was natural. The time had come, under the Nazis, to return to the fundamental law of blood. Germany must fight, conquer, and procreate, or perish. History did not concern itself with right and wrong, only brute necessity. A remarkable work of scholarship and insight, The Law of Blood recreates the chilling ideas and outlook that would cost millions their lives.

Words of the World

The Global Language System
Author: Abram De Swaan
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 074566346X
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 8781

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This bold and accessible study of human languages and communication explores issues which are at the forefront of today's globalized society. The human species is divided into more than five thousand language groups that do not understand each other. And yet these groups constitute one coherent world language system, connected by multilingual speakers in a surprisingly powerful way. The chances of a language thriving depend on its position in the system. There are thousands of small, peripheral languages, each connected to one of a hundred central languages. The entire system is held together by one global language: English. A language is a ‘hypercollective' good: the more speakers it has, the higher its communication value for each one of them. Thus, when people think that a language is gaining new speakers, that in itself is a reason for them to want to learn it too. That is why, in an age of globalization, only a few languages remain for transnational communication and these often prevail even in national societies. This important book discusses a number of specific constellations in detail: India, Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and the European Union. De Swaan concludes by providing a sober but illuminating view of language policy in multilingual societies. This book will be essential reading for those studying sociology, communication studies and linguistics.

A Fine Balance


Author: Rohinton Mistry
Publisher: New Canadian Library
ISBN: 1551991381
Category: Fiction
Page: 832
View: 3610

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A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry’s stunning internationally acclaimed bestseller, is set in mid-1970s India. It tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a “State of Internal Emergency.” Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates – become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen. Mistry’s prose is alive with enduring images and a cast of unforgettable characters. Written with compassion, humour, and insight, A Fine Balance is a vivid, richly textured, and powerful novel written by one of the most gifted writers of our time. From the Hardcover edition.

Murder Most Rare


Author: Michael D. Kelleher,C. L. Kelleher
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
ISBN: 9780440234739
Category: Social Science
Page: 304
View: 7500

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Describes seven categories of female serial killers--including the black widow, angel of death, and revenge killer--and explains why personality profiling for these cases is almost impossible, making homicide investigations so difficult.

Together

The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation
Author: Richard Sennett
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300116330
Category: Philosophy
Page: 336
View: 7010

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Living with people who differ—racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically—is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today. We tend socially to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves, and modern politics encourages the politics of the tribe rather than of the city. In this thought-provoking book, Richard Sennett discusses why this has happened and what might be done about it. Sennett contends that cooperation is a craft, and the foundations for skillful cooperation lie in learning to listen well and discuss rather than debate. In Together he explores how people can cooperate online, on street corners, in schools, at work, and in local politics. He traces the evolution of cooperative rituals from medieval times to today, and in situations as diverse as slave communities, socialist groups in Paris, and workers on Wall Street. Divided into three parts, the book addresses the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened. The author warns that we must learn the craft of cooperation if we are to make our complex society prosper, yet he reassures us that we can do this, for the capacity for cooperation is embedded in human nature.

Train To Pakistan


Author: Khuswant Singh
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
ISBN: 1786257742
Category: History
Page: 139
View: 3184

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“In the summer of 1947, when the creation of the new state of Pakistan was formally announced, ten million people—Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs—were in flight, By the time the monsoon broke, almost a million of them were dead, and all of northern India was in arms, in terror, or in hiding. The only remaining oases of peace were a scatter of little villages lost in the remote reaches of the frontier. One of these villages was Mano Majra.” It is a place, Khushwant Singh goes on to tell us at the beginning of this classic novel, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of years. Then one day, at the end of the summer, the “ghost train” arrives, a silent, incredible funeral train loaded with the bodies of thousands of refugees, bringing the village its first taste of the horrors of the civil war. Train to Pakistan is the story of this isolated village that is plunged into the abyss of religious hate. It is also the story of a Sikh boy and a Muslim girl whose love endures and transcends the ravages of war.

The American Census

A Social History, Second Edition
Author: Margo J. Anderson
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300216963
Category: History
Page: 344
View: 4915

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This book is the first social history of the census from its origins to the present and has become the standard history of the population census in the United States. The second edition has been updated to trace census developments since 1980, including the undercount controversies, the arrival of the American Community Survey, and innovations of the digital age. Margo J. Anderson’s scholarly text effectively bridges the fields of history and public policy, demonstrating how the census both reflects the country’s extraordinary demographic character and constitutes an influential tool for policy making. Her book is essential reading for all those who use census data, historical or current, in their studies or work.