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Blood And Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur
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Blood And Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  165 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
For thirty years Ben Kiernan has been deeply involved in the study of genocide and crimes against humanity. He has played a key role in unearthing confidential documentation of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. His writings have transformed our understanding not only of twentieth-century Cambodia but also of the historical phenomenon of genocide. This new book—t ...more
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Colleen Browne
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book gives a decent, if incomplete review of genocide from the earliest history into the 21st Century. That is a massive task for anyone and I applaud his ambition. There was a good deal of information and this book seems like a good place to start a study of genocide. From Sparta and Carthage, to Al Queda, there is plenty to learn. That said, Kiernans coverage of genocidal episodes was uneven and toward the end of the book it felt like he lost his commitment to the subject and just wanted ...more
Lauren Ferguson
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with other readers' sentiments that the topics are covered disproportionately, however, I assume this has more to do with complex political barriers as well as limited access to the full extent of information. Ultimately, reading about genocide and massacre will always and should always be difficult, but still absolutely necessary. We must never forget the horrors of the past lest they continue to be repeated.
Andre
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I would not agree with everything this book says (e.g. it states that next to the Islamic world all of early modern Europe saw the "black African Ham as the archetypical slave" but e.g. in the German speaking area that only came in the 18th century, prior to that they had the image of the "Moor" which is more ambivalent and also includes prestige and wealth next to exoticism) but most of it seems to be accurate.

This book was an interesting and very comprehensive study (and yes it is a study, the
...more
anna
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Even though this was a really dry and at times laborious read, it was a great introduction to the history of some countries that were relatively unfamiliar to me, although the ones that were familiar like the chapters on Nazi Germany, Stalinist Ussr, and Mao's China didn't contribute anything new. The chapters on classical and modern Japan were fascinating, and of course the chapters on Rwanda, Cambodia and late 20th and 21st century should make up a whole other volume.
Colonial North America ch
...more
sdw
Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it
What a depressing book! I read the introduction and several relevant chapters. I am sure I would know more about world history if I had read the whole book but the depressing topic and the inability to see this book directly affecting my dissertation lead me to skip whole chapters on horrible atrocities. I am really glad there are historians out there with the emotional distance or fortitude to write such books. Such histories need to be recorded and I can’t imagine being the one to write them. ...more
Garrett Werner
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeremy
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur, the title says it all. Ben Kiernan’s book is a dense examination of the causes and outcomes of genocide throughout the world. It’s awfully depressing to read how some of these conflicts started so small, and grew to people trying to erase certain groups of people from existence.

Groups hating others because of what land they own, what god they worship and what political party they follow are all some of the reaso
...more
Piet Boels
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Started reading this book after a reference in Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature (978-0141034645). I even postponed finishing the latter read for this book. It is a well researhed book written in an easy readible English but it suffers, very curiously, from an inverted perspective where genocides in early historical times are given much more attention compared to those that occured (are occurring) in the rpesent times. Lumping Pol Pot's crimes together with those of the Sudanese re ...more
Joshua Deaver
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is difficult to read. The writing is great, the topic is heartbreaking. Genocide from the begining of penned history to the modern day is ground breaking in its own right. Detaching yourself from the topic is hard but the read is worth the pain!
Aleksei
Какой-то аналитике, к сожалению, нашлось место только во вступительной главе. Всю остальная книжка — просто сборник летописей геноцида; причём, чем ближе к современности, тем летописи бессвязней и дальше от сути.
Matthew
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
A bloody book, as you might imagine; it can get kind of numbing after a while. Number one insight: Nazis used the American genocide of Indians as a model, and justification, for the Holocaust.
Johann Manstein
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent book, theory makes a great deal of sense. Examples are well developed though it takes a while to get through all of it.
Kelly
Jun 12, 2008 is currently reading it
So far this book is absolutely amazing in the wealth of information it holds. A definite must-read for any/all interested in history.
Brandy
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
A fantastic history but lumped everything since the 1970s together instead of drawing on trends = post WW2 coverage was disappointing
Michaeld
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
A very difficult read... In the sense that the content is extremely sad and the speed that the information flies out at.
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Jun 10, 2013
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