Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written an original and important study of genocide that reconceives its very nature. He does so not by examining a series of genocides but by exploring the nature of mass killing itself. Our failure to clearly describe, explain, and understand the mechanisms of genocide has made it difficult to prevent, and this book will change that. Through exhaustive research, he brilliantly lays out the roots and motivations of mass slaughter, exploring such questions as: Why do genocides occur? What makes people willing to slaughter others? How do cultural beliefs justify genocide among groups of people? Why has the world been so ineffective in reducing the incidence of genocide? Based on his thoroughgoing reconceptualization of genocide, Goldhagen proposes novel, sensible, and effective measures to put an end to this scourge of humanity, which is worse, even, than war. With the unflinching moral and analytical clarity that he is internationally known for, Goldhagen leaves no stone unturned in this groundbreaking book that will not only transform our understanding of genocide, but every person and political leader who reads it.
Until deciding to devote himself full-time to writing, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen taught political science for many years at Harvard University. He is also the the prize-winning author of Hitler's Willing Executioners and A Moral Reckoning and contributes to major newspapers and magazines around the world