“Genocide” provides a useful optic with which to understand and examine purposeful purges of Mesopotamian, Alexandrine, Visogothic, Norman, Mongol, and Spanish (during the Inquisition) people, and those of more modern times. Raphaël Lemkin’s cross-disciplinary arguments, developed in the crucible of an unfolding Holocaust and trimmed and refined at the United Nations, offer new insights into the actions of rulers and ruling classes, into the elimination or forcible assimilation of all manner of groups, and into the kinds of decisions that dominant populations made throughout recorded time to brand, and then discriminate against and persecute, weaker or minority groups.

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