Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and by Rebecca Knuth

By Rebecca Knuth

Whether the fabricated from ardour or of a cool-headed determination to exploit principles to rationalize extra, the decimation of the world's libraries happened in the course of the twentieth century, and there's no result in sight. Cultural destruction is, for this reason, of accelerating concern.

In her prior booklet Libricide, Rebecca Knuth excited by e-book destruction by means of authoritarian regimes: Nazis, Serbs in Bosnia, Iraqis in Kuwait, Maoists in the course of the Cultural Revolution in China, and the chinese language Communists in Tibet. yet authoritarian governments are usually not the single perpetrators. Extremists of all stripes―through terrorism, battle, ethnic detoxing, genocide, and other kinds of mass violence―are additionally answerable for common cultural destruction, as she demonstrates during this new book.

Burning Books and Leveling Libraries is dependent in 3 components. half I is dedicated to struggles by way of extremists over voice and tool on the neighborhood point, the place destruction of books and libraries is hired as a tactic of political or ethnic protest. half II discusses the aftermath of energy struggles in Germany, Afghanistan, and Cambodia, the place the winners have been utopians who purged libraries in efforts to purify their societies and retain strength. half III examines the destiny of libraries whilst there's warfare and a ensuing strength vacuum.

The e-book concludes with a dialogue of the occasions in Iraq in 2003, and the accountability of yank warfare strategists for the common pillaging that ensued after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. this example poignantly demonstrates the convenience with which an oppressed humans, given the cave in of civil restraints, may well declare freedom as license for anarchy, construing it because the correct to be successful, whereas ignoring its implicit mandate of social accountability. utilizing army could to implement beliefs (in this situation democracy and freedom) is futile, Knuth argues, if inadequate attention is given to humanitarian, defense, and cultural concerns.

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