Oblivion, Denial, and Memory
René Lemarchand, Editor
200 pages | 6 x 9 | 4 illus.
Cloth 2011 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4335-2 | $49.95s | £32.50 | Add to cart
Paper 2013 | ISBN 978-0-8122-2263-0 | $24.95s | £16.50 | Add to cart
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series
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"Lemarchand's Forgotten Genocides is an excellent contemporary compilation of significant authors contributing to the growing academic consciousness on genocide. This is achieved by focusing their intellectual arts on less known acts of mass violence. . . . This book is certainly a must-read in any such research path a scholar may take within this area."—Human Rights Quarterly
"Thanks to [Lemarchand's] painstaking effort, readers now have more knowledge of the scope of genocides in history. Moreover, they can better analyze, from a global and comparative perspective, the universality and particularity of these incidents. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice
"Required reading for students of human rights and the general public alike. By utilizing a common analytical framework and emphasizing similar mechanisms that account for these 'forgotten genocides,' this volume stands out as an important and cohesive body of work."—Historical Justice and Memory Research Network
Unlike the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, or Armenia, scant attention has been paid to the human tragedies analyzed in this book. From German Southwest Africa (now Namibia), Burundi, and eastern Congo to Tasmania, Tibet, and Kurdistan, from the mass killings of the Roms by the Nazis to the extermination of the Assyrians in Ottoman Turkey, the mind reels when confronted with the inhuman acts that have been consigned to oblivion.
Forgotten Genocides: Oblivion, Denial, and Memory gathers eight essays about genocidal conflicts that are unremembered and, as a consequence, understudied. The contributors, scholars in political science, anthropology, history, and other fields, seek to restore these mass killings to the place they deserve in the public consciousness. Remembrance of long forgotten crimes is not the volume's only purpose—equally significant are the rich quarry of empirical data offered in each chapter, the theoretical insights provided, and the comparative perspectives suggested for the analysis of genocidal phenomena. While each genocide is unique in its circumstances and motives, the essays in this volume explain that deliberate concealment and manipulation of the facts by the perpetrators are more often the rule than the exception, and that memory often tends to distort the past and blame the victims while exonerating the killers.
Although the cases discussed here are but a sample of a litany going back to biblical times, Forgotten Genocides offers an important examination of the diversity of contexts out of which repeatedly emerge the same hideous realities.
René Lemarchand is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is the author of several books, including The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.