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Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction Paperback – 31 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (31 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041548619X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415486194
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Based on immense scholarship, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction is much more than an indispensable text for students of this seemingly intractable phenomenon. With its global and interdisciplinary perspectives, it consistently advances our understanding of genocidal events on many fronts. Provocative yet balanced, Adam Jones’s second edition at once summarizes and defines this burgeoning field."

A. Dirk Moses, University of Sydney and the European University Institute, Florence

Already the most wide-ranging, accessible and clear-sighted introduction to the subject, the significantly expanded 2nd edition unflinchingly extends the range of its discussion to include contentious issues such as 'cultural' genocide, whether post 9/11 terrorism falls under the rubric, and the wider scope of Ottoman violence against Christian 'minorities' in 1915. Compassionate, searching, up-to-the minute and sometimes even electrifying in its prose this is the book I will be particularly recommending to my university students of genocide.

Mark Levene, University of Southampton, UK

Reviews for 1st edition:

With its interdisciplinary approach and bevy of case studies, 'Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction' will surely become the seminal text for students of genocide. Written in an engaging and conversational style, the book not only explores existing frameworks, but expands the boundaries of genocide studies with attention to issues such as gender and the future of genocide. Perhaps best of all, Jones educates and inspires the reader to become an active and responsible global citizen.

Nicholas A. Robins, Duke University, USA

This is the best introductory text available to students of genocide studies. Written in clear, elegant prose and supported by a wealth of authoritative sources, GENOCIDE: A COMPREHENSIVE INTRODUCTION is likely to become the gold standard by which all subsequent introductions to this enormously important subject will be measured

Kenneth J. Campbell, Professor of Political Science, University of Delaware, USA

This wide-ranging inquest into the dynamics of genocidal violence stands as a major contribution to the dismal science of 'massacrology.' More than a collection of case studies, it offers a depth of critical insight and a richness of data seldom matched in comparative studies of genocide. Informed by a formidable erudition, and a deep personal sensitivity to the horrors that he describes, Adam Jones's splendid book is a milestone in the literature on mass crimes and genocide.

Rene Lemarchand, Department of Political Science, University of Florida, USA

The subtitle says it all: unique in the literature, this book provides a thorough, comprehensive introduction to the subject of genocide. Jones, a Yale political scientist and genocide scholar, delivers a very readable, intellectually stimulating text. The overall perspective is interdisciplinary.  Relevant research and insights from psychology, sociology, and anthropology are included; maps and illustrations complement many of the examples and case studies. A Web site supplements the book.  The historical coverage ranges from discussions of genocide in the Hebrew Bible to contemporary abominations in Sudan's Darfur region. Commendably, there are thoughtful chapters on the significance of gender, memory and denial, and postgenocide tribunals. The book concludes with strategies to anticipate future genocides and intervene when necessary. Readers are encouraged as responsible citizens to consider their reactions to genocide. Summing Up: Essential. All readership levels.

P. G. Conway, SUNY College at Oneonta, Choice - Reviews Online

About the Author

Adam Jones, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, Canada. His recent books include Gender Inclusive: Essays on Violence, Men, and Feminist International Relations (Routledge, 2009) and Crimes Against Humanity: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld, 2008). He is co-founder and executive director of Gendercide Watch (

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam Daum on 19 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I met the author by chance when traveling in West Africa. We had such interesting discussions that I decided to read his magnum opus, and I'm so glad I did. This book should be essential reading for anyone interested in understanding genocide. It has been written both for academic students of genocide and as an introduction for the general reader. It achieves that rare goal of being both extremely readable and academically rigorous: it does full justice to the multi-dimensional nature of genocide without seeming overwhelmingly complex. This may sound like a cliché, but the book really is an outstanding piece of scholarship. Genocide studies is a very young social science, and this book provides the core text, supplemented by internet-based resources, documenting and defining the current state of the discipline.

Of course, a fundamental problem with writing about genocide is how to deal with the almost unremitting horror of describing the most evil acts humankind has committed. This book attempts to mitigate that horror by including some success stories - examples of multi-ethnic communities that have developed strategies for avoiding internal conflict, and countries that have built peaceful, post-genocidal societies. Even more important in avoiding despair is Adam Jones' consistent tone of optimism that genocide can be understood and, eventually, prevented. He also makes clear that this is not something that should just be left to UN peace-keepers. There is a role for every one of us - as individuals, as citizen journalists, as members of advocacy groups, or as supporters of charities and NGOs - in eradicating this appalling blight.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
What is with this binding? 7 May 2014
By Caitlyn Hanafin - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is great but the publisher must have planned to bind the book in the worst way possible to make pages fall out simply by turning them so that used copies are useless and those planning to read it or needing to buy it for class must always purchase brand new books
Great Overview of a Dark Subject 26 Jun. 2015
By Kevin Pallister - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a major achievement. It provides a thorough introduction to the subject of genocide, and the author displays an impressively broad familiarity with the literatures on specific cases of genocide. The case study chapters provide appropriate depth while remaining concise, and the thematic chapters provide interesting analysis of genocide from different perspectives.

One crucial issue that any book on genocide must grapple with is how to define genocide, and Jones discusses various definitions at some length. Readers may dispute Jones’ preferred definition of genocide, and even more so his inclusion of certain cases as episodes of genocide (he even considers the 9/11 attacks as potentially genocidal). But while the inclusion of some historical episodes under the framework of genocide is debatable, Jones’ discussion of those cases no doubt provides good fodder for discussion in classes that assign this text.

I did have one stylistic quibble with the book: the author’s excessive direct quoting of sources. This is something I teach my own writing students to avoid, and the book would benefit from cutting back on direct quotes. Otherwise the book is well written, and even enjoyable to read despite the grim subject matter. The suggested further readings at the end of each chapter are also especially helpful.

[This review is for the book's 2006 edition, but I thought it would be more useful here under the more recent edition.]
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Helpful overview of the subject 12 May 2014
By Robert Bates - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Proved quite helpful in teaching the Genocide projects in the high school Anthropology class I teach. It broke down well the individual history of each major genocide of the last century, although arguably a bit weak as to the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans, Aborigines, and other indigenous colonized peoples. This book does address well the attempts to define and combat genocide since World War II and leaves us with some ideas, if not complete solutions, on how best to stop this dark side of human history from repeating itself.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Necessary Volume! 17 Mar. 2014
By John W. Matthews - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a necessary volume for anyone interested in the topic of genocide. Jones offers clear and concise information on the major genocides of the past centuries and points to most of the relevant resources needed for further study.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive. 26 Mar. 2013
By Claire - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We teach the book Night in English 2. This is helping me to see the big picture and make me more knowledgeable so I can share how genecide is still occuring today.
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