From the years leading up to the First World War to the aftermath of the Second, Europe experienced an era of genocide. As well as the Holocaust, this period also witnessed the Armenian genocide in 1915, mass killings in Bolshevik and Stalinist Russia, and a host of further ethnic cleansings in Anatolia, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. Crisis of Genocide seeks to integrate these genocidal events into a single, coherent history.
Over two volumes, Mark Levene demonstrates how the relationship between geography, nation, and power came to play a key role in the emergence of genocide in a collapsed or collapsing European imperial zone - the Rimlands - and how the continuing geopolitical contest for control of these Eastern European or near-European regions destabilised relationships between diverse and multifaceted ethnic communities who traditionally had lived side by side. An emergent pattern of toxicity can also be seen
in the struggles for regional dominance as pursued by post-imperial states, nation-states, and would-be states.
Volume II: Annihilation covers the period from 1939 to 1953, particularly focussing on the Second World War, and its aftermath, the Holocaust and its lasting impact, and the latter part of the Stalinist regime. Levene demonstrates that while the attempted Nazi mass murder of the entirety of European Jewry represents the most thoroughgoing and extreme consequence of efforts aimed at political and social reformulation of the Rimlands' arena in particular, the accumulation and
concentration of genocidal violence against many 'minority' groups would suggest that anti-Semitism or racism alone is insufficient to provide a comprehensive explanation for genocide.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 554
Weight: 830 g
Dimensions: 232 x 157 x 30 mm
The book's breadth of vision, attention to detail, and awareness of synchronicity across these very different regions are remarkable ... [The Crisis of the Genocide is] a remarkable, rich and suggestive history of national projects of elimination in Europe's murderous first half of the twentieth century. * Mark Roseman, Times Literary Supplement *
On the whole Mark Levene's impressive study is an extremely readable, informative, and timely book. It should become compulsory reading for Europe's youth in order to make sure that the events that have uprooted Europe in the first half of the 20th century will never happen again. * Peter Hilpold, European Journal of International Law *
A renewed purpose for historians of genocide ... a masterclass in the genesis of genocide ... a great accomplishment. Levene's emphasis on the modern political system as the causative element in genocides has opened up fruitful lines of thinking and has advanced the field in major ways ... These volumes dramatically expand our definition of genocide. * Cathie Carmichael, Robert Gerwarth, Eric D. Weitz, Vladimir Solinari, Forum in the Journal of Genocide Research *
Few scholars match his [Levene's] panoptic erudition, synthetic ability, cosmopolitan sensitivity, and attention to detail ... a very well-written, thoroughly researched, convincingly argued, and informative book that can be recommended for a broad audience including upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. * Holocaust and Genocide Studies *
This extremely ambitious work provides a very knowledgeable and enormously broad survey of violence in large parts of Europe and southwest Asia from the 1910s to the early 1950s. * Christian Gerlach, American Historical Review *