Paperback Purify and destroy : the political uses of massacre and genocide / Jacques Semelin.
Publication year: 2014
Publisher: London : Hurst & Company,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9781849043939 (pbk.) :
Translated from the French.
Originally published: 2007.
How can we comprehend the socio-political processes that give rise to extreme violence, ethnic cleansing or genocide? A major breakthrough in comparative analysis, 'Purify and Destroy' demonstrates that it is indeed possible to compare the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Hercegovina while respecting the specificities of each. Based on the essential distinction between massacre and genocide, this book identifies the main steps of a general process of destruction, rational and irrational, born of what Semelin terms 'delusional rationality', responding to fears, resentments and utopias, and re-modelling the social body by eliminating 'the enemy'. The main stages that can lead to a genocidal process, with ordinary people becoming perpetrators, are also identified.
Original title: Purifier et detruire. English