BOOK on GENOCIDE

The University Press of America (UPA) in Lanham, Maryland, (www.univpress.com) published an edited volume of 17 articles that have appeared in the pages of BRIDGES. Entitled The Genocidal Temptation: Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Rwanda, and Beyond, this work provides an integrated focus on the similarities, ramifications, and potential responses to the Nazi killing programs, the American atomic bombings in Japan, and the Tutsi massacres in Rwanda. The book is a compendium of recent Genocide Studies scholarship. Please contact the University Press of America at 1.800.462.6420 to place your order for this important work.

That Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Rwanda cast ominous shadows forward into the future compels us to confront these horrific results of the human head, heart, and hand. This is the first time that--in one volume--compelling, integrated focus has been directed toward the Nazi killing programs, American atomic bombings in Japan, Tutsi massacres in Rwanda, Soviet genocide in Lithuania, and other mass killing and repression programs.

While there are significant differences between these horrific historical events, there are also basic similarities. For example, there are very close links between modern warfare and genocide, as well as the reality that under determinate conditions, even mature democracies can succumb to the genocidal temptation. And Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Rwanda represent a total religious and ethical inversion of meaning. One key lesson to be learned by reflecting on Auschwitz and Hiroshima is the power of techno-bureaucratic rationality to undermine our capacity for ethical reflection and action, opening up the possibility of mass murder as a "rational act."

Bureaucratically and rationally planned industrial killing, the utilization of modern science and technology in the production of corpses, the transformation of mass murder into a "job," the reduction of human beings to objects to be administered or disposed of by the state, and indeed, the very principle of reason as purely instrumental and calculative are explored. Importantly, appropriate albeit tentative responses and bases of hope in light of mass human suffering and destruction are offered for consideration.

Fifteen scholars, many with world-class credentials in genocide and Holocaust studies, contributed meaningful and current insights from the domains of philosophy, theology, applied ethics, history, and personal experience. This is the first time that compelling, integrated focus has been directed toward the Nazi killing programs, the American atomic bombings in Japan, and the Tutsi massacres in Rwanda literally at the hands of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

Advanced Praise for The Genocidal Temptation

Robert Frey makes a significant contribution by compiling the reflections of key scholars who have thought long and hard about the Holocaust and other genocides. While warning that the temptations of genocide have not diminished with the twenty-first century's arrival, they also help to show how those temptations may best be resisted. In these provocative pages, anguish and hope mix and mingle urgently.
John K. Roth
Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College

Far more than just another collection of "lest we forget" essays, this volume of original, current perspectives on the Holocaust and other genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries breaks important new ground by focusing on "genocidal temptations" of the present and future as well as the past.

By including the work of established scholars in philosophy and theology along with history and psychology, the editor has successfully organized an innovative, comprehensive analysis of the seductive rationalizations leading to massive outbreaks of human destruction. It could well be an essential life preserver as we face the threatening uncertainties of the new millennium.
Dr. Leon Rappoport
Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Kansas State University and co-author with George M. Kren of The Holocaust and the Crisis of Human Behavior


By drawing on diverse disciplines and theories, Robert Frey's collection of essays makes an important contribution to Holocaust and Genocide history. Scholars will find particularly interesting the contributions on neutralizing genocidal tendencies and those dealing with trauma and memory in the wake of the Holocaust. The essays on Hiroshima, too, will spark a needed discussion about what constitutes genocide and the dangers of "comparative victimization."
Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D.
Director, Holocaust and Genocide Education Center
West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania

This unique collection of essays by renowned scholars from many disciplines offers current reflections upon major incidents of genocides that have plagued us in the 20th century. One of the disturbing theses of this volume is the prediction that the “genocidal temptation” might increase in the future in proportion to our ever-expanding technological and bureaucratic power unless we find ways and means to control this terrifying menace.
Dr. Viktoria Hertling, Professor & Director
Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Peace Studies
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, Nevada


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