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A review of A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

by Samantha Power

A haunting journey back over the last century's atrocities.

Reviewed by: Helen Harvey
About Helen Harvey

A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide History can often be presented in such glorified terms, that it is difficult to accept the true and grim reality. Drawing on recently declassified information, and copious interiews, this book considers genocide during the 20th century, and America's failure to intervene adequately.

Particularly, at this point in history, when America's intervention in Iraq has been widely debated, it raises countless questions as to how we as a nation cherry pick the battles we will fight.

In a clear, explorative investigation of the facts, Power presents a true picture of the U.S. government's oimplacency in events from the Turkish genocide of Armenians in 1915 to events in our living history, including Bosnia and Rwanda.

Following the atrocities of World War II, the world vowed such horrific events would never happen again. It is, therefore, discomfiting to acknowledge that genocide has happened again and again, as the world has stood idly by. It is shameful that as a nation we have been apathetic, and in personal terms, perhaps, we might all contemplate how we could have been pro-active in raising awareness and demanding action from our government.

Recounting the shocking stories of victims and survivors, and honoring those that risked their lives and careers in demanding affirmative action against the perpetrators, this book faces contemporary history with truth and honesty. It makes for painful and shocking reading, but we must accept that the truth is often unpleasant to face, but face it we must.

I would like to see this book become standard educational reading in history curriculum's worldwide, in the hope that the next generation may learn from the mistakes of past generations.

Click here to buy this book, or read more about it at A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

Copyright © by Helen Harvey, 2003

Reviewed by Helen Harvey:
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