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Humanity : a moral history of the twentieth century

Author: Jonathan Glover
Publisher: New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, 2000.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The twentieth century was the most brutal in human history, featuring a litany of shameful events that includes the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Stalinist era, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. This important book looks at the politics of our times and the roots of human nature to discover why so many atrocities were perpetuated and how we can create a social environment to prevent their recurrence. Jonathan Glover  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan Glover
ISBN: 0300087004 9780300087000 9780300087154 0300087152
OCLC Number: 44516553
Notes: Originally published: London : J. Cape. 1999.
Description: xii, 464 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Never such innocence again. pt. 1. Ethics without the moral law. 2. Nietzsche's challenge --
3. Self-interest as a restraint --
4. The moral resources: humanity --
5. The moral resources: moral identity --
6. The festival of cruelty --
7. Answering Nietzsche. pt. 2. The moral psychology of waging war. 8. Close combat --
9. The case of My Lai --
10. The shift to killing at a distance --
11. Bombing --
12. Hiroshima --
13. War and the moral resources. pt. 3. Tribalism. 14. Rwanda --
15. The tribal trap --
16. The political containment of tribalism --
17. The roots of tribal conflict --
18. The capacity to unchain ourselves. pt. 4. War as a trap. 19. The trap of the trenches --
20. The home front --
21. The stone has started to roll: 1914 --
22. Sliding out of the trap: 1962 --
23. Ways out. pt. 5. Belief and terror: Stalin and his heirs. 24. In those years --
25. The trap of terror --
26. Belief: ends and means --
27. Stalinism and the moral resources --
28. The working of the belief system --
29. Stalinism, truth and moral identity --
30. Mao's utopian project --
31. Overturning the basket: Cambodia --
32. Utopia and belief. pt. 6. The will to create mankind anew: The Nazi experiment. 33. The core of Nazism --
34. Obedience and conformity --
35. The attack on humanity --
36. The erosion of moral identity --
37. The Nazi moral identity --
38. The willingness to believe --
39. Philosophers --
40. Bystanders --
41. Interpreting the Nazi episode. pt. 7. On the recent moral history of humanity. 42. Some people and not others --
43. Ethics humanized. Epilogue: The past alive in the present.
Responsibility: Jonathan Glover.

Abstract:

The twentieth century was the most brutal in human history, featuring a litany of shameful events that includes the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Stalinist era, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. This important book looks at the politics of our times and the roots of human nature to discover why so many atrocities were perpetuated and how we can create a social environment to prevent their recurrence. Jonathan Glover finds similarities in the psychology of those who perpetuate, collaborate in, and are complicit with atrocities, uncovering some disturbing common elements--tribal hatred, blind adherence to ideology, diminished personal responsibility--as well as characteristics unique to each situation. Acknowledging that human nature has a dark and destructive side, he proposes that we encourage the development of a political and personal moral imagination that will compel us to refrain from and protest all acts of cruelty.

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