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Journal Article

Review: BETWEEN GENOCIDE AND "GENOCIDE": The Historiographic Perversion by Marc Nichanian

Reviewed Works: The Historiographic Perversion by Marc Nichanian; Genocide: A Normative Account by Larry May
Review by: Berel Lang
History and Theory
Vol. 50, No. 2 (May 2011), pp. 285-294
Published by: Wiley for Wesleyan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41300085
Page Count: 10
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BETWEEN GENOCIDE AND "GENOCIDE"
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Abstract

The two books discussed here join a current pushback against the concept (thus also against claims for the historical occurrence) of genocide. Nichanian focuses on the Armenian "Aghed" ("Catastrophe"), inferring from his view of that event's undeniability that "genocide is not a fact" (since all facts are deniable). May's critique assumes that groups don't really—"objectively"— exist, as (by contrast) individuals do; thus, genocide—group murder—also has an "as if" quality so far as concerns the group victimized. On the one hand, then, uniqueness and sacralization; on the other hand, reductionism and diffusion. Alas, the historical and moral claims in "defense" of both genocide and "genocide" survive.

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