The Scourge of Genocide
Essays and Reflections
Being an academic is usually a forward-looking career. You are generally focused on the next book or the next project (or perhaps the next class period). Certainly, there may be times when you rethink an old judgment or return to a subject you’ve ignored for years. But this re-engagement is usually limited. Even a festschrift (a volume of essays published in honor or in memory of a well-known researcher) is written by other people and usually offers new insights rather than reflections.
So Adam Jones‘ self-described mid-career retrospective is pretty unusual. And valuable. Jones, as many of the readers know, has contributed enormously to the study of genocide in the past decade. The Scourge of Genocide: Essays and Reflections (Routledge, 2013) is a combination of reprints of previously published articles and reviews and original writing. The original writing is fascinating. And the essays reprinted here complement each other in ways they almost certainly didn’t when scattered in a variety of publications. The result is to give us a much fuller sense of Jones’ ideas and opinions. In particular, Jones’ reflection on the choices he made when writing and revising his widely used textbook (Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction) should inspire all textbook authors to undertake a similar project.
The book is well worth reading. I hope the interview gives you the flavor of the book and Jones’ ideas and persuades you to read more deeply in his work.