Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0300144253.
Ben Kiernan is the founder and director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University and the pre-eminent historian of the Cambodian genocide. In this ambitious, stimulating, and learned new book, he takes on the entire history of genocide, from the ancient Greeks to Al-Qaeda, although his major focus is on the period from 1400 to the mid-1990s (Bosnia and Rwanda). The volume has an encyclopedic quality to it as Kiernan ranges deftly back and forth from the modern and contemporary period into ancient and early modern history. Unlike the vast majority of recent authors of books on comparative genocide, Kiernan thinks that the phenomenon was widespread before the twentieth century. Kiernan also takes a global approach to genocide, including cases equally from the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.