A Rhetorical Crime

Genocide in the Geopolitical Discourse of the Cold War
by Anton Weiss-Wendt
rrp $54.18

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

Series: Genocide, Political Violence, Human Righ

Publication Date: May 10, 2018

ISBN: 9780813594675

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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The Genocide Convention was drafted by the United Nations in the late 1940s, as a response to the horrors of the Second World War. But was the Genocide Convention truly effective at achieving its humanitarian aims, or did it merely exacerbate the divisive rhetoric of Cold War geopolitics?

A Rhetorical Crime shows how genocide morphed from a legal concept into a political discourse used in propaganda battles between the United States and the Soviet Union. Over the course of the Cold War era, nearly eighty countries were accused of genocide, and yet there were few real-time interventions to stop the atrocities committed by genocidal regimes like the Cambodian Khmer Rouge. 

Renowned genocide scholar Anton Weiss-Wendt employs a unique comparative approach, analyzing the statements of Soviet and American politicians, historians, and legal scholars in order to deduce why their moral posturing far exceeded their humanitarian action.