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Problem from Hell: America and the Age/Power, Samanth/Paper/0007172990/S047-B1
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2003.
"The United States has never in its history intervened to stop genocide and has in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred."
In this convincing and painstaking interrogation of the last century of American history and foreign policy, Samantha power draws upon declassified documents, private papers, unprecedented interviews and her own reporting from the modern killing fields to tell the story of American indifference and American courage in the face of man's inhumanity to man.
Tackling the argument that successive US leaders from Wilson to Bush were unaware of genocidal horrors as they were occurring - against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Kurds, Rwandans, Bosnians - during the past century, Samantha Power seeks to establish precisely how much was known and when, and proposes that much human misery and tragedy could readily have been averted. It becomes clear that the failure to intervene was usually caused not by ignorance or impotence, but by considered political inaction. Several heroic figures did work to oppose and expose ethnic cleansing as it took place, but the quiet majority of American politicians chose always to do nothing, as did the American public: Power notes that 'no US president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on.' This riveting book makes a powerful case for why America, as both sole superpower and global citizen, must make such indifference a thing of the past.