A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide Paperback – 26 Feb 2010
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‘Fascinating. An important book, a superb piece of reporting which cumulatively grows into a major political work, part polemic, part moral philosophy.’ Observer
‘Deeply researched and trenchantly argued. A devastating indictment not just of the American foreign policy establishment but of the country’s entire political class, the media and even the wider public.’ Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times
‘Power is part of an inspiring generation of political thinkers who are academically brilliant but who also know how to write.’ David Hare, Books of the Year, Observer
About the Author
SAMANTHA POWER founded the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, and is now a faculty affiliate. From 1993 to 1996 she covered the wars in Yugoslavia as a reporter for US News and the Economist. A native of Ireland, she moved to the US in 1979 at the age of nine, and graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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'.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book, a definite must-read for anyone interested in these topics!Published 9 months ago by J
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... Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2014 by John Bush
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 morePublished on 13 May 2010 by William Podmore