Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood And Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur” as Want to Read:
Blood And Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood And Soil, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blood And Soil

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Liam Tondeur
rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2013
Court Hansen
rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2013
Chris Renneker
rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 08, 2015
nicole price
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2016
Kaitlin Preusser
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2018
Taohid Nishan
rated it it was ok
Feb 20, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2012
Alyssa Grzesh
rated it really liked it
May 11, 2016
rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2010
Stefan Reyes
rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2017
Harry Moncelle
rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2011
Linda Jones
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2016
Phil Roark
rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda
  • The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
  • Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe
  • Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda
  • Conspiracy to Murder: The Rwanda Genocide and the International Community
  • The Politics of Genocide
  • When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution
  • Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
  • Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction
  • Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey
  • Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts
  • The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda
  • Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
  • The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response
  • The Order Of Genocide: Race, Power, And War In Rwanda
  • War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
  • Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity

Nonfiction Deals

  • The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Life Lessons from Matthew
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace
    $9.99 $2.99
  • My Mother Was Nuts
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Final Vows
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Chosen by a Horse: a memoir
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made
    $17.99 $1.99
  • John Quincy Adams
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Easy Soups from Scratch with Quick Breads to Match: 70 Recipes to Pair and Share
    $15.99 $2.99
  • By Myself and Then Some
    $11.74 $1.99
  • The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery (A Toltec Wisdom Book)
    $9.99 $2.49
  • Shakespeare Never Did This
    $6.99 $1.99
  • No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Wish You Happy Forever: What China's Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains
    $14.74 $1.99
  • The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
    $12.74 $1.99
  • People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful
    $13.49 $0.99
  • The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Supreme Gift
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered One Mom's Small Prayer in a Big Way
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It's Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner
    $18.50 $3.99
  • The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Life Lessons from Ephesians
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Marriage in Dog Years
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Trusting God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotions
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Founding Mothers
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (Kindle Edition)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs—A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Ida: A Sword Among Lions
    $8.24 $2.99
  • Unsinkable: A Memoir
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
    $7.95 $2.49
  • Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On Becoming a Novelist
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe
    $17.99 $1.99
    $9.32 $3.49
  • The Devil Soldier: The American Soldier of Fortune Who Became a God in China
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate
    $9.99 $2.99