Friday, March 26, 2010

Serbian edition of "Genocide, War Crimes & the West"

The only book of mine ever to have secured a foreign translation (in German) now has a second. I've just learned that Genocide, War Crimes & the West: History and Complicity will be published in Serbian translation by the Serbian State Company for Textbooks. I'm not quite sure how to read that. On one hand, I'm sure the emphasis on western perpetration of atrocities fits into the "victim" narrative in Serbia that David B. MacDonald has so well described in his book, Balkan Holocausts. On the other hand, it is none other than Dr. MacDonald who authors the chapter on Kosovo in 1999 for my own edited volume! David's is one of the most even-handed and nuanced treatments of western war crimes in Kosovo, and he generally lets NATO off the hook on the most serious charges (as I do). So that's interesting. My Facebook friends Peter Prontzos (on structural violence), Thomas Turner (on Congo), Steven Jacobs (on Kissinger), S. Brian Willson (on Indochina), and Peter Dale Scott (on "Indian wars" and Central America) can know that their excellent chapters will now appear in still another foreign tongue! And my persecuted pal Ward Churchill, who contributed the longest and probably most intense chapter in the book (on Indian residential schools in Canada), will reach a whole new audience. Overall, I'm glad to see that Genocide, War Crimes & the West has established itself in the literature -- how centrally is for others to decide.

Incidentally, in Googling around on a book I haven't paid much attention to in recent years, I found that my proposed neologism of democrisy has begun to be cited. (I define it as "the stain of hypocrisy that attaches to regimes that are avowedly democratic in character, that allow comparative freedom and immunity from naked state violence domestically, but that initiate or participate in atrocious actions beyond their borders.") I always thought it was a bit of an unsung contribution! - AJ

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be constructive in your comments. - AJ