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Blood and soil : a world history of genocide and extermination from Sparta to Darfur / Ben Kiernan.

Kiernan, Ben
  • Books

About this work


This book, the first global history of genocide and extermination from ancient times, examines outbreaks of mass violence from the classical era to the present, focusing on worldwide colonial exterminations and twentieth-century case studies including the Armenian genocide, the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin's mass murders, and the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides. Connections, patterns, and features are identified that in nearly every case gave early warning of the catastrophe to come. Racism or religious prejudice, territorial expansionism, and cults of antiquity and agrarianism are ideologies that have motivated perpetrators of mass killings in the past, and persist even in our new century. The author urges that we heed the rich historical evidence with its telltale signs for predicting and preventing future genocides.


New Haven : Yale University Press, [2007]

Physical description

x, 724 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


List of maps -- Introduction -- part 1. Early imperial expansion -- 1. Classical genocide and early modern memory -- 2. The Spanish conquest of the new world, 1492-1600 -- 3. Guns and genocide in East Asia, 1400-1600 -- 4. Genocidal massacres in early modern Southeast Asia -- part 2. Settler colonialism -- Introductory note -- 5. The English conquest of Ireland, 1565-1603 -- 6. Colonial North America, 1600-1776 -- 7. Genocidal violence in nineteenth-century Australia -- 8. Genocide in the United States -- 9. Settler genocides in Africa, 1830-1910 -- part 3. Twentieth-century genocides -- Introductory note -- 10. The Armenian genocide : national chauvinism in the waning Ottoman empire -- 11. Blut und Boden : Germany and nazi genocide -- 12. Rice, race, and empire : Japan and East Asia -- 13. Soviet terror and agriculture -- 14. Maoism in China : a rural model of revolutionary violence -- 15. From the Mekong to the Nile : genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda -- Epilogue : racial and religious slaughter from Bangladesh to Baghdad -- Notes -- Acknowledgments -- Index.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 607-697) and index.


  • English

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  • 9780300100983
  • 0300100981

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