Most books on genocide consider it primarily as a twentieth-century phenomenon. In "The Rise of the West and the Coming of Genocide", Levene argues that this approach fails to grasp its true origins. Genocide developed out of modernity and the striving for the nation-state, both essentially Western experiences. It was European expansion into all hemispheres between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries that provided the main stimulus to its pre-1914 manifestations. One critical outcome, on the cusp of modernity, was the French revolutionary destruction of the Vendee. Levene finishes this volume at the 1914 watershed with the destabilising effects of the 'rise of the West' on older Ottoman, Chinese, Russian and Austrian empires.
Mark Levene is Reader in Comparative History at the University of Southampton, and in the Parkes Centre for Jewish:non-Jewish relations. His works include War, Jews and the New Europe (1992) which was awarded the annual Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History, and with Penny Roberts ed., The Massacre in History (1999). He is also a peace and environmental activist, and co-founder of the Crisis Forum, for the Study of Crisis in the 21st century.
Introduction to Volume II Part One: To the Frontiers 1 European Conquerors and Sundry `Savages' 2 Anglo Consolidation in the Americas and Antipodes Part Two: Enter the Nation-State 3 The Vendee - A Paradigm Shift? 4 The French Model, its Discontents and Contenders Part Three: Empires in Advance: Empires in Retreat 5 Ascendant Imperialisms 6 Declining Powers Notes Select Bibliography Index