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A Problem from Hell
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Power, a former journalist for U.S. News and World Report and the Economist and now the executive director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights, offers an uncompromising and disturbing examination of 20th-century acts of genocide and U.S responses to them. In clean, unadorned prose, Power revisits the Turkish genocide directed at Armenians in 1915-1916, the Holocaust, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, Iraqi attacks on Kurdish populations, Rwanda, and Bosnian "ethnic cleansing," and in doing so, argues that U.S. intervention has been shamefully inadequate. The emotional force of Power's argument is carried by moving, sometimes almost unbearable stories of the victims and survivors of such brutality. Her analysis of U.S. politics what she casts as the State Department's unwritten rule that nonaction is better than action with a PR backlash; the Pentagon's unwillingness to see a moral imperative; an isolationist right; a suspicious left and a population unconcerned with distant nations aims to show how ingrained inertia is, even as she argues that the U.S. must reevaluate the principles it applies to foreign policy choices. In the face of firsthand accounts of genocide, invocations of geopolitical considerations and studied and repeated refusals to accept the reality of genocidal campaigns simply fail to convince, she insists. But Power also sees signs that the fight against genocide has made progress. Prominent among those who made a difference are Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew who invented the word genocide and who lobbied the U.N. to make genocide the subject of an international treaty, and Senator William Proxmire, who for 19 years spoke every day on the floor of the U.S. Senate to urge the U.S. to ratify the U.N. treaty inspired by Lemkin's work. This is a well-researched and powerful study that is both a history and a call to action. Photos. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Compelling.Power leads her readers on a long and often gut-wrenching journey.. Power's book raises vital questions." -- Reason "Forceful. Power tells this long, sorry history with great clarity and vividness." -- Washington Post "Agonizingly persuasive." -- New York Review of Books "Magisterial." -- The New Yorker "Disturbing...engaging and well written.will likely become the standard text on genocide prevention." -- Foreign Affairs Samantha Power has written one of those rare books that is truly as important as its subject. --Philip Gourevitch, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda A history of our country that has never before been told... it should change the way we see America.. --Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II Brilliantly conceived, superbly researched, mixing passion and erudition--it must be placed in the must read category. --Denver Post [Power] is one of the most striking talents to emerge in the human rights field in a long time. --Aryeh Neier, founder of Human Rights Watch Compelling Power leads her readers on a long and often gut-wrenching journey . Power s book raises vital questions. --Reason The emotional force of Power s argument is carried by moving, sometimes almost unbearable stories of the victims and survivors. --Publishers Weekly (starred review) One of those rare books that can change one s thinking...very painful reading, but it has to be read. --Former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke Magisterial. --The New Yorker A superb analysis of the US government s evident unwillingness to intervene in ethnic slaughter --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) This is a moving account of how millions of lives were lost. --Former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) Agonizingly persuasive. --New York Review of Books Power writes with an admirable mix of erudition and passion... focuses fiercely on the human costs of indifference and passivity.... --Stanley Hoffmann, Buttenwieser University Professor, Harvard University Groundbreaking... Power elegantly makes her case. --Newark Star Ledger Disturbing...engaging and well written will likely become the standard text on genocide prevention. --Foreign Affairs Forceful Power tells this long, sorry history with great clarity and vividness. --Washington Post Avoids partisan finger-pointing [and] is a clarion call for America to remain an engaged moral power. --Weekly Standard A damning indictment of American passivity in the face of some of history s worse crimes.--Newsweek International A serious and compelling work... should be read by policy makers everywhere. --Paul M. Kennedy, Dilworth Professor of History and Director, International Security Studies, Yale University Bracing...Power [is] the new conscience of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment. --Time magazine [A Problem From Hell] challenges our conscience and should influence what we do in the future. --Lawrence H. Summers, President, Harvard University An angry, brilliant, fiercely useful, absolutely essential book. --The New Republic "[Power] is one of the most striking talents to emerge in the human rights field in a long time."--Aryeh Neier, founder of Human Rights Watch "Disturbing...engaging and well written...will likely become the standard text on genocide prevention."--Foreign Affairs "Groundbreaking... Power elegantly makes her case."--Newark Star Ledger "The emotional force of Power's argument is carried by moving, sometimes almost unbearable stories of the victims and survivors."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Compelling...Power leads her readers on a long and often gut-wrenching journey.... Power's book raises vital questions."--Reason "Avoids partisan finger-pointing [and] is a clarion call for America to remain an engaged moral power."--Weekly Standard "Agonizingly persuasive."--New York Review of Books "Magisterial."--The New Yorker "One of those rare books that can change one's thinking...very painful reading, but it has to be read.''--Former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke "Forceful... Power tells this long, sorry history with great clarity and vividness."--Washington Post "A serious and compelling work... should be read by policy makers everywhere."--Paul M. Kennedy, Dilworth Professor of History and Director, International Security Studies, Yale University "A damning indictment of American passivity in the face of some of history's worse crimes.--Newsweek International "A superb analysis of the US government's evident unwillingness to intervene in ethnic slaughter..."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "[A Problem From Hell] challenges our conscience and should influence what we do in the future.''--Lawrence H. Summers, President, Harvard University "Power writes with an admirable mix of erudition and passion... focuses fiercely on the human costs of indifference and passivity...."--Stanley Hoffmann, Buttenwieser University Professor, Harvard University "Bracing...Power [is] the new conscience of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment."--Time magazine "Samantha Power has written one of those rare books that is truly as important as its subject."--Philip Gourevitch, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda "An angry, brilliant, fiercely useful, absolutely essential book."--The New Republic "A history of our country that has never before been told... it should change the way we see America.."--Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II "Brilliantly conceived, superbly researched, mixing passion and erudition--it must be placed in the 'must read' category."--Denver Post "This is a moving account of how millions of lives were lost."--Former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine)

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