Purify and Destroy : The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide, Paperback / softback Book

Purify and Destroy : The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide Paperback / softback


How can we comprehend the socio-political processes that give rise to extreme violence, ethnic cleansing or genocide?

A major breakthrough in comparative analysis, Purify and Destroy demonstrates that it is indeed possible to compare the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Hercegovina while respecting the specificities of each.

Based on the essential distinction between massacre and genocide, Purify and Destroy identifies the main steps of a general process of destruction, rational and irrational, born of what Semelin terms 'delusional rationality', responding to fears, resentments and utopias, and re-modelling the social body by eliminating 'the enemy'.

The main stages that can lead to a genocidal process, with ordinary people becoming perpetrators, are also identified.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Genocide & ethnic cleansing
  • ISBN: 9781849043939

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops