Worse than War
– Groundbreaking Documentary on Worldwide Phenomenon of Genocide Airs During National Holocaust Remembrance Week –
With his first book, the international best-seller Hitler’s Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997), Daniel Jonah Goldhagen — then a professor of political science at Harvard University — forced the world to re-think some of its most deeply held beliefs about the Holocaust. Hitler’s Willing Executioners inspired an unprecedented worldwide discussion and debate about the role ordinary Germans played in the annihilation of Europe’s Jews.
A decade later — and more than half a century after the end of World War II — Goldhagen is convinced that the overall phenomenon of genocide is as poorly understood as the Holocaust had once been. How and why do genocides start? Why do the perpetrators kill? Why has intervention rarely occurred in a timely manner? WORSE THAN WAR, airing Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS during National Holocaust Remembrance Week, explores these and other thought-provoking questions.
Based on Goldhagen’s book of the same title, which has been called “magisterial” by The New York Times, “convincing” and “wholly original” by Kirkus, “pathbreaking” by Die Presse and “masterful” by the Daily Telegraph, WORSE THAN WAR is the first documentary to step back and focus on the general phenomenon of genocide — offering viewers profound insights into its dimensions, patterns and causes and tragic role in politics and human affairs.
“By the most fundamental measure — the number of people killed — the perpetrators of mass murder since the beginning of the 20th century have taken the lives of more people than have died in military conflict. So genocide is worse than war,” iterates Goldhagen. “This is a little-known fact that should be a central focus of international politics, because once you know it, the world, international politics and what we need to do all begin to look substantially different from how they are typically conceived.”
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