Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth-Century World (Google eBook)

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 14, 2010 - History - 489 pages
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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.
  

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
Part I Participatory violence
15
Part II The crisis of society
121
Part III General observations
253
Notes
290
Index
483
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About the author (2010)

Christian Gerlach is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bern. His award-winning titles in German include Calculated Murder: The German Economic and Extermination Policy in Byelorussia (third edition, 2001), War, Food, Genocide: German Extermination Policies in the Second World War (second edition, 2001), and The Last Chapter: The Murder of Hungarian Jews, 1944–45 (with Götz Aly, second edition, 2004).

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