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Worse Than War: Genocide, eliminationism and the ongoing assault on humanity Hardcover – 14 Jan 2010
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'What no one can deny him is the range and depth of his knowledge or the courage involved in many of his judgements . . . his book is masterful' Anthony Howard, Daily Telegraph --Anthony Howard, Daily Telegraph
'Impressive, scholarly and thoroughly unsettling' --GQ
'This book examines different aspects of eliminationist assaults around the globe: how they begin, are implemented and how they stop, the ideologies that drive them and, most fascinating of all, the motivations of the perpetrators'
--Christopher Silvester, Daily Express
About the Author
Until deciding to devote himself full-time to writing, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen taught political science for many years at Harvard University. He is also the the prize-winning author of Hitler's Willing Executioners and A Moral Reckoning and contributes to major newspapers and magazines around the world
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Goldhagen demonstrates, as he did in his previous book 'Hitler's Willing Executioners', his ability to write a fearless, highly provocative analysis of a murderous human activity. Clearly written it offers a model for genocide that has been lacking for far too long. The author uses an interdisciplinary perspective to examine how and why millions have been murdered by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and numerous lesser-known monsters. He offers recommendations for remedial action while admitting that these are very hard to implement given the vagaries of international law.
Goldhagen has many strongly held beliefs that inevitably invite equally opposite ones. Many of his views are sound and can be supported by a great deal of evidence. However, he occasionally strays. On page 6 of this long book he states that the use of atomic bombs against Japan in 1945 ranks with the crimes of tyrants like those mentioned above. This is absurd, and like many others he provides no serious evidence to support his argument. The evidence now available shows there were many sound military reasons why Truman decided, after much discussion, to end the war by using the nuclear weapon. He did so to end a terrible war against a fanatical enemy. Monsters like Hitler and Stalin deliberately murdered millions for ideological reasons and personal gratification.
New threats of genocide in Africa and the Middle East are emerging. This book is a very welcome attempt to focus our attention on a hideous and barbarous human activity.
1. There IS enough information on the doings in Israel/Palestine for anybody who is interested, and if Prof. Goldhagen decided not to state, or understate, his opinion on the subject in this book, that is most certainly his right as an author.
2. An acclaimed American author who starts his book with pointing out that the atomic bombing of Japan was, in fact, mass murder/genocide for no military reason, with the popularly elected US President gloating over it, deserves applause.
Bravo, Prof. Goldhagen!
There I had all my suspicions confirmed. Despite setting out in his opening pages a case for complete objectivity, Goldhagen immediately begins to demonstrate his own subjectivity as a Jew and apologist for Israel. So, he talks about "Apartheid - a legal system of domination, political disenfranchisement, economic exploitation, and physical separation of a subordinate group" with reference to the historical cases of South Africa and segregation in the southern states of America but neglects to mention the present case of Israel's repression of the Palestinians.
Then he talks about expulsion, where he admits that "...in 1948 the Jews partly created the Palestinian diaspora by expelling the Palestinians from their homeland" although he does not explain his use of the word `partly'. But even then he thinks he may have gone too far, so attempts balance with "This coincided with many Arab countries expelling Jews beginning 1948", which was of course not a coincidence at all but a consequence.
Next he feels the need, in a footnote, to tell us that there is a difference between `actual resettlement' rather than expulsion. "Resettling Israelis from settlements in Gaza to Israel proper" was because of "geostrategic necessities", presumably for those now so confused by Zionist propaganda that they think Israel was somehow ethnically cleansing Gaza of Jews.
At this point I turned to the index. No mention of Palestinians nor Arabs but two references to Arab countries -`annihilationist assaults in' and `failure to condemn mass murder'. Jews on the other hand have the best part of a column in the index and every reference is to their victimhood. We are asked to `see also Antisemitism; German perpetrators; Holocaust'. Political Islam gets lots of references but Zionism only one, `as a target of Political Islam.'
All this from an author who insists that we need to separate definition, explanation and moral evaluation.
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