According to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, the threat of genocide is a clear and present danger. He calculates that over 100 million people around the world are at imminent risk of slaughter. Instead of preventing mass violence, though, the international community, and the UN in particular, actually facilitates and justifies it. He wants to stop this unfolding catastrophe and he believes he can by explaining why mass murder occurs, why the perpetrators act, and why it ends. This is a man with a mission and the stakes for a book could not be higher.
In his customarily robust style Goldhagen briskly dismisses scholarly and legal definitions of genocide. He wants a concept of ‘eliminationism’ that is sufficiently capacious to embrace the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, mass murder, systematic large-scale rape,