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Why Is the Twentieth Century the Century of Genocide?

Why Is the Twentieth Century the Century of Genocide? mark levene University of Warwick has become almost a platitude, a at that: 187 million the figure, the now accepted wisdom for the number I tishuman beings killedmorea or lessstatistical oneviolence--Zbigniew of as result of political Brzezinski uses the unlovely term megadeaths--in this, our bloody century.1 More killing than at any other time in history. And yet at the end of the twentieth century its relentlessness, as it passes across the television screens of those of us seemingly blessed with immunity from its catastrophic reality and consequences, continues to daze and bewilder. For the historian, him or herself inured to centuries if not millennia of mass atrocity, this picture of a special era of death and destruction invites, indeed demands further probing and analysis. Is "the Twentieth Century Book of the Dead" really so very different in scope or scale from previous ones? 2 It has been argued that the effects of the Taiping and other rebellions in China reduced its population from 410 million in 1850 to 350 million in 1873.3 In southern Africa a couple of decades earlier, the emergence of Shaka's Zulu nation and the ensuing Mfecane or "great crushing" produced equally horrendous results relative http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

Why Is the Twentieth Century the Century of Genocide?

Journal of World History , Volume 11 (2) – Oct 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-8050
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Abstract

mark levene University of Warwick has become almost a platitude, a at that: 187 million the figure, the now accepted wisdom for the number I tishuman beings killedmorea or lessstatistical oneviolence--Zbigniew of as result of political Brzezinski uses the unlovely term megadeaths--in this, our bloody century.1 More killing than at any other time in history. And yet at the end of the twentieth century its relentlessness, as it passes across the television screens of those of us seemingly blessed with immunity from its catastrophic reality and consequences, continues to daze and bewilder. For the historian, him or herself inured to centuries if not millennia of mass atrocity, this picture of a special era of death and destruction invites, indeed demands further probing and analysis. Is "the Twentieth Century Book of the Dead" really so very different in scope or scale from previous ones? 2 It has been argued that the effects of the Taiping and other rebellions in China reduced its population from 410 million in 1850 to 350 million in 1873.3 In southern Africa a couple of decades earlier, the emergence of Shaka's Zulu nation and the ensuing Mfecane or "great crushing" produced equally horrendous results relative

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 1, 2000

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