"The History and Sociology of Genocide" by Frank Chalk

The History and Sociology of Genocide Analyses and Case Studies Frank Chalk, Kurt Jonassohn

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
10 Sep 1990
ISBN:
9780300044461
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
480 pages: 235 x 156mm

Genocide is not an invention of the twentieth-century, say Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn in this absorbing book, but has occurred throughout history in all parts of the world. This study—the first comprehensive survey of the history and sociology of genocide—presents over two dozen examples of the one-sided mass slaughter of peoples, spanning the centuries from antiquity to the present.
 
By including political and social groups as potential victims, Chalk and Jonassohn provide a definition of genocide that is considerably broader than that contained in the United Nations Convention on Genocide. They present a typology of genocide according to the motives of the perpetrator: to eliminate a perceived threat; to spread terror among real or potential enemies; to acquire economic wealth; or to implement a belief, theory, or ideology. Chalk and Jonassohn show how the first three motives have played a role in the establishment and maintenance of empires. They note that since empires have almost disappeared, so have these three types of genocides become rare, and that ideological genocides have become the most important type of genocide in the twentieth-century. The second part of the book consists of selected studies. These include Rome’s final war with Carthage, the Mongol Conquests, the Albigensian Crusades, the Great Witch-Hunt, Christians in Japan, Indians in the Americas, Ndwandwe under Shaka Zulu, Hereros in German South West Africa, Armenians in Turkey, the Soviet Union under Stalin, the Holocaust, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Burundi, and Cambodia, among others. The last part of the book presents topical bibliographies to aid the student and researcher.

Frank Chalk is associate professor of history and Kurt Jonassohn is professor of sociology at Concordia University, where they direct the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies.

"The book offers balanced commentary on its remarkably well chosen case studies. It is particularly distinctive in its handling of the early history of genocide, normally left in some obscurity. It should be a boon to teachers."?Leo Kuper


"This is a unique work, presenting a rich array of texts exploring the definition of enemies and aliens and their murder?from antiquity and premodern to contemporary genocides. Chalk and Jonassohn present a lucidly written, probing and original analysis which will tempt scholars, students and ordinary readers to inquire further to explain why such mass murders occurred and whether they need occur again."?Helen Fein, executive director, Institute for the Study of Genocide, John Jay College of Criminal Justice


"The first attempt to carefully examine . . . genocide throughout history. A remarkable achievement."?Gerard Chaliand, president of the Minority Rights Group (France), author of Revolution in the Third World: Myths and Prospects


"Understanding the crime of genocide, its history, the circumstances under which it may occur, and the ways to prevent it is a part of our ongoing quest for a more tolerant, egalitarian, and peaceful world. This study and anthology of relevant readings will certainly help in this endeavor."?George Deukemjian, Governor of California


"Comparative Genocide is a new field. Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn have compiled an invaluable aid to all those who wish to have scarce information about mass killings in various societies on several continents."?Raul Hilberg, Professor of Political Science, University of Vermont; author of The Destruction of European Jews


"The History and Sociology of Genocide offers three well-crafted, precision tools for students of the subject: a conceptual framework, with intelligent and clear-minded discussion of the meaning of the term; a wide-ranging series of case studies, extending from classical antiquity to contemporary manifestations in the Third World; and a bibliographical sections, including citations for twenty-two instances of genocide and genocidal massacres. An admirable text for courses on genocide, Frank Chalk?s and Kurt Jonassohn?s book is also a learned contribution to scholarly debates on a theme only recently emerging from collective denial and neglect."?Michael R. Marrus, Department of History at University of Toronto


"The subject of genocide has never been given such a systematic, comprehensive, and penetrating treatment as in this book. The information is abundant, the interpretations convincing: a most impressive achievement."?Norman Cohn, author of Pursuit of the Millennium


"This is a unique work, presenting a rich array of texts exploring the definition of enemies and aliens and their murder?from antiquity and premodern to contemporary genocides. Chalk and Jonassohn present a lucidly written, probing, and original analysis which will tempt scholars, students and ordinary readers to inquire further to explain why such mass murders occurred and whether they need occur again."?Helen Fein, Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Genocide


"Here is a monumental tour de force on mankind?s most monstrous crime. The analysis of the Holocaust?Hitler?s murder of more than five million European Jews?is superb. At last we have in this remarkable volume a book that can serve as a first-rate text for a new comparative course on genocide in our colleges and universities."?Senator William Proxmire, Chief Sponsor of the U. S. Senate bill ratifying the U. N. Genocide Convention


"This book is perhaps the first genocide textbook with case studies. Written and compiled by both a historian and a sociologist, which is fitting to the subject matter, it will prove useful to teachers at the high school, college, and graduate level. Scholars too in the social sciences will also find it fascinating for its many hypotheses that can be tested and verified. Overall, an important contribution to the teaching and scientific study of the Holocaust and genocide through space and time."?Jack Nusan Porter, Assistant Professor of Social Science, College of Basic Studies, Boston University


"I like this book. I believe we have here the perfect book for sociology courses, the first ?textbook? in genocide. The book consists of three parts: Part I is a conceptual framework. Part II contains the case studies plus readings and book excerpts. Part III is a topically organized bibliography. . . . This is a great ?starter-kit.?"?Jack Nusan Porter, Newsletter of the Institute for the Study of Genocide


"This is the book we?ve all been waiting for?the first ?textbook with cases? of genocide through space and time. It is a fine book that belongs in most libraries and in most scholars? hands. . . . It is not written with a heavy hand. Articles and cases are presented carefully, and the book is very complete. Excellent bibliography."?Jack Nusan Porter, Internet Newsletter on the Holocaust and Genocide


"This valuable book explores the subject in its widest theoretical and historical manifestations. An opening 50-page section clearly establishes some definitional guidelines based on recent scholarship and follows a wonderfully lucid table of contents of topic areas. Part Two ranges quickly but informatively and authoritatively over the entire history of genocide in separate, short (most about 10 pages) case studies, from Melos and Carthage in antiquity to witch hunts, American Indians, the Zulu under Shaka and, of course, Armenia, the USSR, Nazi Germany and Cambodia."?Kliatt


"This volume is an indispensable reader and guide to any comparative study of genocide."?Choice


"Chalk and Jonassohn . . . provide their own working definition [of genocide] and it is a very good one."?Commentary


"This book . . . is . . . to be welcomed in the hope that it will stimulate academics to take this serious subject more seriously. . . . This is a rich source book."?Michael Freeman, Times Higher Education Supplement


"In The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies, Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn provide a useful definition of genocide. . . . [This book is a] timely reminder of what will happen if Pol Pot and his army of teenage fanatics are given a second chance in Cambodia."?Peter Carey, Times Literary Supplement


"This rather comprehensive tract on a most difficult and little explored subject brings to fruition a project that is ambitious in many respects. . . . The volume deserves all the recognition and plaudits due the author-editors. The lucidity and elegance of their language, the succinctness of their style, their gift of combining descriptiveness with cogent analysis, and above all the skill with which they dispassionately explore a highly controversial subject render the study most valuable. It should engage the attention of a broad spectrum of scholars in sociology, history, political science, as well as general audiences with an acute interest in human rights."?Vahakn N. Dadrian, Contemporary Sociology


"A very useful survey."?Michael Freeman, Political Studies


"A survey of the history and sociology of genocide, the authors present over two dozen examples of the one-sided mass slaughter of people, spanning the centuries from antiquity to the present. By including political and social groups as potential victims, they provide a definition of genocide that is broader than that contained in the UN Convention on Genocide."?Human Rights Internet Reporter


"The broadest coverage now in print of the grisly business of mass murder."?Eric D. Kohler, History: Reviews of New Books