Genocide in the age of the nation state, vol. 2: the rise of the west and the coming of genocide,
London, UK, I.B. Tauris, 480pp.
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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.
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