A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

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9780007172993: A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2003A shattering history of the last hundred years of genocidal war that itemises in authoritative, persuasive manner exactly what the West knew and when, and what it chose to do, and what not to do, with that knowledge.Winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award`The United States has never in its history intervened to stop genocide and has in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred.'In this convincing and definitive interrogation of the last century of American history and foreign policy, Samantha Power draws upon declassified documents, private papers, unprecedented interviews and her own reporting from the modern killing fields to tell the story of American indifference and American courage in the face of man's inhumanity to man.Tackling the argument that successive US leaders were unaware of genocidal horrors as they were occurring - against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Kurds, Rwandans, Bosnians - Samantha Power seeks to establish precisely how much was known and when, and claims that much human misery and tragedy could readily have been averted. It is clear that the failure to intervene was usually caused not by ignorance or impotence, but by considered political inaction. Several heroic figures did work to oppose and expose ethnic cleansing as it took place, but the majority of American politicians chose always to do nothing, as did the American public: Power notes that `no US president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on.' This riveting book makes a powerful case for why America, as both sole superpower and global citizen, must make such indifference a thing of the past.

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Review:

During the three years (1993-1996) Samantha Power spent covering the grisly events in Bosnia and Srebrenica, she became increasingly frustrated with how little the United States was willing to do to counteract the genocide occurring there. After much research, she discovered a pattern: "The United States had never in its history intervened to stop genocide and had in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred," she writes in this impressive book. Debunking the notion that U.S. leaders were unaware of the horrors as they were occurring against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Iraqi Kurds, Rwandan Tutsis, and Bosnians during the past century, Power discusses how much was known and when, and argues that much human suffering could have been alleviated through a greater effort by the U.S. She does not claim that the U.S. alone could have prevented such horrors, but does make a convincing case that even a modest effort would have had significant impact. Based on declassified information, private papers, and interviews with more than 300 American policymakers, Power makes it clear that a lack of political will was the most significant factor for this failure to intervene. Some courageous U.S. leaders did work to combat and call attention to ethnic cleansing as it occurred, but the vast majority of politicians and diplomats ignored the issue, as did the American public, leading Power to note that "no U.S. president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on." This powerful book is a call to make such indifference a thing of the past. --Shawn Carkonen

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.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2003 A shattering history of the last hundred years of genocidal war that itemises in authoritative, persuasive manner exactly what the West knew and when, and what it chose to do, and what not to do, with that knowledge. Winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award The United States has never in its history intervened to stop genocide and has in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred. In this convincing and definitive interrogation of the last century of American history and foreign policy, Samantha Power draws upon declassified documents, private papers, unprecedented interviews and her own reporting from the modern killing fields to tell the story of American indifference and American courage in the face of man s inhumanity to man. Tackling the argument that successive US leaders were unaware of genocidal horrors as they were occurring - against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Kurds, Rwandans, Bosnians - Samantha Power seeks to establish precisely how much was known and when, and claims that much human misery and tragedy could readily have been averted.It is clear that the failure to intervene was usually caused not by ignorance or impotence, but by considered political inaction. Several heroic figures did work to oppose and expose ethnic cleansing as it took place, but the majority of American politicians chose always to do nothing, as did the American public: Power notes that no US president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on. This riveting book makes a powerful case for why America, as both sole superpower and global citizen, must make such indifference a thing of the past. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007172993

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2003A shattering history of the last hundred years of genocidal war that itemises in authoritative, persuasive manner exactly what the West knew and when, and what it chose to do, and what not to do, with that knowledge.Winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award`The United States has never in its history intervened to stop genocide and has in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred. In this convincing and definitive interrogation of the last century of American history and foreign policy, Samantha Power draws upon declassified documents, private papers, unprecedented interviews and her own reporting from the modern killing fields to tell the story of American indifference and American courage in the face of man s inhumanity to man.Tackling the argument that successive US leaders were unaware of genocidal horrors as they were occurring - against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Kurds, Rwandans, Bosnians - Samantha Power seeks to establish precisely how much was known and when, and claims that much human misery and tragedy could readily have been averted. It is clear that the failure to intervene was usually caused not by ignorance or impotence, but by considered political inaction. Several heroic figures did work to oppose and expose ethnic cleansing as it took place, but the majority of American politicians chose always to do nothing, as did the American public: Power notes that `no US president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on. This riveting book makes a powerful case for why America, as both sole superpower and global citizen, must make such indifference a thing of the past. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007172993

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2003 A shattering history of the last hundred years of genocidal war that itemises in authoritative, persuasive manner exactly what the West knew and when, and what it chose to do, and what not to do, with that knowledge. Winner of the US National Book Critics Circle Award 'The United States has never in its history intervened to stop genocide and has in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred.' In this convincing and definitive interrogation of the last century of American history and foreign policy, Samantha Power draws upon declassified documents, private papers, unprecedented interviews and her own reporting from the modern killing fields to tell the story of American indifference and American courage in the face of man's inhumanity to man. Tackling the argument that successive US leaders were unaware of genocidal horrors as they were occurring - against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Kurds, Rwandans, Bosnians - Samantha Power seeks to establish precisely how much was known and when, and claims that much human misery and tragedy could readily have been averted. It is clear that the failure to intervene was usually caused not by ignorance or impotence, but by considered political inaction. Several heroic figures did work to oppose and expose ethnic cleansing as it took place, but the majority of American politicians chose always to do nothing, as did the American public: Power notes that 'no US president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on.' This riveting book makes a powerful case for why America, as both sole superpower and global citizen, must make such indifference a thing of the past. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007172993

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