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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Never again' should mean something...
If there was ever a book I would make required reading for all heads of state and government leaders, this would be that book. Despite making much-vaunted claims of 'never again' when speaking of the Holocaust, Power shows that America and the West has indeed allowed genocide to occur, over and over again - in Iraq, in Bosnia, in Cambodia, in Rwanda. Only once has the...
Published on 5 Feb. 2011 by C. Ball

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10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A warmongering tract, calling for wars across the world
Powers' book is a call for intervention wherever the US state unilaterally decides that it wants to interfere in other countries on spurious 'humanitarian' grounds.
Read instead David N. Gibbs' First do no harm, which argues for a new, noninterventionist model for U.S. foreign policy, one that deploys non-military methods for addressing ethnic violence.

He...
Published on 13 May 2010 by William Podmore


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Never again' should mean something..., 5 Feb. 2011
By 
C. Ball (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
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If there was ever a book I would make required reading for all heads of state and government leaders, this would be that book. Despite making much-vaunted claims of 'never again' when speaking of the Holocaust, Power shows that America and the West has indeed allowed genocide to occur, over and over again - in Iraq, in Bosnia, in Cambodia, in Rwanda. Only once has the West intervened to prevent genocide from occuring, in Kosovo, and then only largely because the world had already seen Milosevic commit genocide against the Muslims in Bosnia.

She argues that America repeatedly refuses to intervene unless the situation becomes politically untenable in not doing so. If American interests are not threatened, America is not interested - despite its moral repugnance at the acts occuring. America repeats ducks its responsibilities by arguing that there is no consensus to act, no movement from its European allies, no pressure on the home front - but should a government with the power to prevent a genocide from taking place wait until its hand is forced by outside intervention?

Power doesn't solely attribute blame to the U.S., but she is quite adamant that when a country positions itself as the leader of the free world, it is expected to, well, lead. And it's hard to argue with her, when this powerful, angry book shows time and again that American governmental officials have sat back and allowed genocide to happen. So much for 'never again'.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly informative, 16 Dec. 2004
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Mr. K. Papas "kleopapas" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Samantha Power won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for her book and after reading it, you'll understand why. She must have put years of research into this book, in fact tome is more accurate. It is near obsessively thorough and she explains how the term genocide was created and where and by whom it was perpetrated from 1915 up to 2001. I consider myself pretty well versed in 20th century history but I confess to feeling dumbstruck at the scale and scope of the last century's attrocities. It is a thought provoking and enormously valuable guide to those of you who want to find what lies behind the "spin", lies and disinformation propagated by most governments. Highly recommended.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Genocide Is Repetitive, 29 Oct. 2002
By 
taking a rest - See all my reviews
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It should be the easiest subject to have universal agreement on; Genocide is reprehensible and cannot be defended. The reality is of course much different for our species is the only one that kills, tortures, and maims its members without cause. Differences in religion, the desire to control land, natural resources, or hunger for power are not reasons to kill entire groups. The title of the book is, "A Problem From Hell", and it is an outstanding work by Samantha Power. She is not only a competent historian she spent years in the midst of one of the more recent examples of what could also be called, a problem of human nature. This Nation's Congress took 40 years to ratify the treaty on Genocide. It seems some Southern Congressmen were worried about culpability from Jim Crow that was still alive and well, others for the millions of Native Americans slaughtered because they were in our way.
She specifically covers the massacre of Armenians by Turkey, Hitler's murder of the Jews, Pol Pot's slaughter of Cambodians, Saddam Hussein gassing minorities in Iraq, the 1994 murder of 800,000 people in Rwanda, and most recently the Serb Nationalist's bid to join the roster of those who kill almost for sport. The mass killing is not sport however the individual conduct of the sadists who enjoy inventive killing is hard to read.
In 1915 The United States was not in a position to impose on Turkey. It is now 2002 and The United States deems Turkey an ally, a country that has refused to admit any Genocide took place. The United States has a congress that killed a vote condemning the Turkish Government because hours before the vote President Clinton, a lame duck President asked them too. It is a sad commentary that our congress lacks the moral fiber of men like Henry Morgenthau our Ambassador to Turkey while they were killing, a man who was denouncing what he called, "Race Murder", while trying to gain the attention of his government.
The Holocaust is well documented and some of the participants were punished, but it and Armenia are events that are 50 and 100 years old, and blurred by time. They are still better remembered than millions of Native Americans slaughtered, and millions, who were bought, sold, enslaved, and murdered because they were black.
In the 1970's 2,000,000 were killed in Cambodia, the 1980's brought Saddam Hussein and his slaughter of The Kurds, and then in 1994, the world watched Rwanda, 800,00 dead, and then the former Yugoslavia, they are still counting the missing. In 2001 on September 11th on a comparably small scale we experienced the murder of our citizens only because they were Americans.
Largely because of what was Yugoslavia a new international treaty was created to establish a body to constantly deal with the crimes discussed. The treaty requires 60 nations ratify the document for it to become reality. When this book was written 43 had signed, about 10 days ago 66 was reached. The United States is not a party to this effort.
When I started this book it was easy to deal with U.S. conduct simplistically. At the end of the book the same issues became very gray. As the world stands today any intervention will require The United States. This has nothing to do with misplaced national pride it's reality. We had Special Forces in Afghanistan 48 hours after The World Trade Center was hit. We can monitor any piece of ground on the planet with either satellites, manned or unmanned aircraft capable of real time intelligence gathering within hours of deciding to deploy them. Our military is without peer in both individual capability and technological superiority. So what should we do?
The Rwandan Genocide took place in approximately 100 days, 8,000 murdered per day. The only effective response would have been a unilateral move by The United States into Rwanda. The United Nations would take 100 days to agree on the shape of the table to meet at. What would be our reason for violating another sovereign nation? Genocide seems to be a very good reason. But now back to reality. How many confirmed deaths justify military intervention, what threshold needs to be met for our country to commit forces and lose lives of our soldiers? And it may be unpopular to state but there needs to be more than philosophical outrage to act. What is Rwanda to The U.S.? The reality is virtually nothing. Iraq threatened our economy intervention was an easy call. A U.N. sanctioned operation; it took 5 months to start, had severe limitations, and left Iraq a viable threat.
The conclusion I came to after reading and thinking about the book is that the closest one can get to a stated policy would be something like what follows. The United States decides that we are going to be the world's police force. No other country can do it, so we will. Economic sanctions will be forced upon the offending country to pay the bill, because the citizenry of this nation will not. This will necessitate our not being involved in any treaty that exposes us to any liability or sanction other than those we place on ourselves. The other extreme is we act only when it is in the interest of our country to do so The Rwandas of the world are ignored, and we protect our interests or punish those responsible for September 11th like attacks.
I enjoyed this book, and I share the author's anger and frustration. There is no record on effective international cooperation, and there is no way The United States will become a police force. It is true a Serb official killed himself 2 weeks ago to avoid being deported and tried, and the Dutch Government resigned last week over their inaction during Srebrenica. Neither action saved a single life.
Genocide will stop when humans evolve further, not before.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic History, 17 Dec. 2003
This passionately and eloquently argued book is an essential work of 20th century history. It is compelling from first page to last, written with academic precision in brilliant prose, and it well deserves the praise it has been awarded. Chronicling and scrutinising U.S. involvement in the genocides of the last century, Power paints a startling and damning picture of countless administrations and government officials in their employ. It is a vast, chilling, and important account of an aspect of our world that won't go away until we choose to do something about it. It is also a book about the many, many individuals who have worked assiduously to try and prevent genocides; here there is hope. With bravery and persistence people can make a difference, and intervention - whether NATO bombing or a simple phone-call - can, and frequently has, saved lives. Very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly outstanding and important work, 31 May 2012
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This is an outstanding book that, despite the heavy and somewhat depressing content, keeps you reading and never fails to shock.

Tracing the history of 'genocide' through a number of case studies, Power elucidates both the unique cause of each incident, as well as linking them to Western (read: American) (non)intervention. Overall, she offers a damning indictment of a failing international system.

A particularly interesting and engaging element is her appreciation of the work of Raphael Lemkin, who was the man behind the word 'genocide', and largely responsible for having it put on the global agenda. Her attention given to fairly representing what this man gave in the name of protecting the rights of those persecuted is appropriate, moving, and fairly unique amongst books of this genre. Ultimately, Power shows Lemkin's efforts to become a farce of international (in)action: reluctance to use the word when it suits, cynical use when it suits.

A comprehensive and thoroughly eye-opening read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic History, 11 Dec. 2003
This passionately and eloquently argued book is an essential work of 20th century history. It is compelling from first page to last, written with academic precision in brilliant prose, and it well deserves the praise it has been awarded. Chronicling and scrutinising U.S. involvement in the genocides of the last century, Power paints a startling and damning picture of countless administrations and government officials in their employ. It is a vast, chilling, and important account of an aspect of our world that won't go away until we choose to do something about it. It is also a book about the many, many individuals who have worked assiduously to try and prevent genocides; here there is hope. With bravery and persistence people can make a difference, and intervention - whether NATO bombing or a simple phone-call - can, and frequently has, saved lives. Very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars observations of a problem in hell, 8 Jan. 2014
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a very hard but informative book well written. an eye opener to the american lassitude to genocide with facts based on a serious study of events and out comings that cannot leave you indifferent.
Only 1 remark- the text of the book is too small for those who have difficulty to read .
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10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A warmongering tract, calling for wars across the world, 13 May 2010
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Powers' book is a call for intervention wherever the US state unilaterally decides that it wants to interfere in other countries on spurious 'humanitarian' grounds.
Read instead David N. Gibbs' First do no harm, which argues for a new, noninterventionist model for U.S. foreign policy, one that deploys non-military methods for addressing ethnic violence.

He asserts, "in most instances, the legacy of military intervention has been appalling." And, "alleged humanitarian interventions in the Balkans helped establish a new rationale - however spurious - for militarism. The Yugoslav case served to define US intervention as a benevolent and even altruistic activity, and this image has proven useful as a justification for virtually all overseas action."

As he writes, "external intervention was one of the principal causes of the conflict. Interventions helped to trigger the breakup of Yugoslavia and the various wars that followed the breakup; later intervention served to intensify the war, and to spread the fighting." And, "US officials deliberately undercut a potential diplomatic solution to the Kosovo war."

NATO "was nominally a military alliance to guard against external military threats. But its real function was to maintain US predominance in Europe." As the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance document, by Wolfowitz and Cheney, said, "we must seek to prevent the emergence of Europe-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, 9 Sept. 2014
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Very Good. The great problem: politics against genocide
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A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
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