Results by Title
33 books about Political persecution
Results by Title
33 books about Political persecution
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press
Why did the Chinese party state collapse so quickly after the onset of the Cultural Revolution? The award-winning author of China Under Mao offers a surprising answer that holds a powerful implicit warning for today’s governments.
By May 1966, just seventeen years after its founding, the People’s Republic of China had become one of the most powerfully centralized states in modern history. But that summer everything changed. Mao Zedong called for students to attack intellectuals and officials who allegedly lacked commitment to revolutionary principles. Rebels responded by toppling local governments across the country, ushering in nearly two years of conflict that in places came close to civil war and resulted in nearly 1.6 million dead.
How and why did the party state collapse so rapidly? Standard accounts depict a revolution instigated from the top down and escalated from the bottom up. In this pathbreaking reconsideration of the origins and trajectory of the Cultural Revolution, Andrew Walder offers a startling new conclusion: party cadres seized power from their superiors, setting off a chain reaction of violence, intensified by a mishandled army intervention. This inside-out dynamic explains how virulent factions formed, why the conflict escalated, and why the repression that ended the disorder was so much worse than the violence it was meant to contain.
Based on over 2,000 local annals chronicling some 34,000 revolutionary episodes across China, Agents of Disorder offers an original interpretation of familiar but complex events and suggests a broader lesson for our times: forces of order that we count on to stanch violence can instead generate devastating bloodshed.
Already famous throughout Europe, this international bestseller plumbs recently opened archives in the former Soviet bloc to reveal the actual, practical accomplishments of Communism around the world: terror, torture, famine, mass deportations, and massacres. Astonishing in the sheer detail it amasses, the book is the first comprehensive attempt to catalogue and analyze the crimes of Communism over seventy years.
"Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit," Ignazio Silone wrote, and this is the standard the authors apply to the Communist experience—in the China of "the Great Helmsman," Kim Il Sung's Korea, Vietnam under "Uncle Ho" and Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah. The authors, all distinguished scholars based in Europe, document Communist crimes against humanity, but also crimes against national and universal culture, from Stalin's destruction of hundreds of churches in Moscow to Ceausescu's leveling of the historic heart of Bucharest to the widescale devastation visited on Chinese culture by Mao's Red Guards.
As the death toll mounts—as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on—the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression. An extraordinary accounting, this book amply documents the unparalleled position and significance of Communism in the hierarchy of violence that is the history of the twentieth century.
WOLA-Duke Book Award Finalist
In Blood and Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, Jasmin Hristov examines the complexities, dynamics, and contradictions of present-day armed conflict in Colombia. She conducts an in-depth inquiry into the restructuring of the state’s coercive apparatus and the phenomenon of paramilitarism by looking at its military, political, and legal dimensions. Hristov demonstrates how various interrelated forms of violence by state forces, paramilitary groups, and organized crime are instrumental to the process of capital accumulation by the local elite as well as the exercise of political power by foreign enterprises. She addresses, as well, issues of forced displacement, proletarianization of peasants, concentration of landownership, growth in urban and rural poverty, and human rights violations in relation to the use of legal means and extralegal armed force by local dominant groups and foreign companies.
Hristov documents the penetration of major state institutions by right-wing armed groups and the persistence of human rights violations against social movements and sectors of the low-income population. Blood and Capital raises crucial questions about the promised dismantling of paramilitarism in Colombia and the validity of the so-called demobilization of paramilitary groups, both of which have been widely considered by North American and some European governments as proof of Colombian president Álvaro Uribe’s advances in the wars on terror and drugs.
Spanning nine time zones from Norway to the Bering Strait, the immense Russian Arctic was mostly unexplored before the twentieth century. This changed rapidly in the 1920s, when the Soviet Union implemented plans for its conquest. The Conquest of the Russian Arctic, a definitive political and environmental history of one of the world's remotest regions, details the ambitious attempts, from Soviet times to the present, to control and reshape the Arctic, and the terrible costs paid along the way.
Paul Josephson describes the effort under Stalin to assimilate the Arctic into the Soviet empire. Extraction of natural resources, construction of settlements, indoctrination of nomadic populations, collectivization of reindeer herding--all was to be accomplished so that the Arctic operated according to socialist principles. The project was in many ways an extension of the Bolshevik revolution, as planners and engineers assumed that policies and plans that worked elsewhere in the empire would apply here. But as they pushed ahead with methods hastily adopted from other climates, the results were political repression, destruction of traditional cultures, and environmental degradation. The effects are still being felt today. At the same time, scientists and explorers led the world in understanding Arctic climes and regularities.
Vladimir Putin has redoubled Russia's efforts to secure the Arctic, seen as key to the nation's economic development and military status. This history brings into focus a little-understood part of the world that remains a locus of military and economic pressures, ongoing environmental damage, and grand ambitions imperfectly realized.
Cultures of Resistance provides new insight on a long-standing question: whether government efforts to repress social movements produce a chilling effect on dissent, or backfire and spur greater mobilization. In recent decades, the U.S. government’s repressive capacity has expanded dramatically, as the legal, technological, and bureaucratic tools wielded by agents of the state have become increasingly powerful. Today, more than ever, it is critical to understand how repression impacts the freedom to dissent and collectively express political grievances. Through analysis of activists’ rich and often deeply moving experiences of repression and resistance, the book uncovers key group processes that shape how individuals understand, experience, and weigh these risks of participating in collective action. Qualitative and quantitative analyses demonstrate that, following experiences of state repression, the achievement or breakdown of these group processes, not the type or severity of repression experienced, best explain why some individuals persist while others disengage. In doing so, the book bridges prevailing theoretical divides in social movement research by illuminating how individual rationality is collectively constructed, mediated, and obscured by protest group culture.
As a member of Salvador Allende’s Personal Guards (GAP), Luz Arce worked with leaders of the Socialist Party during the Popular Unity Government from 1971 to1973. In the months following the coup, Arce served as a militant with others from the Left who opposed the military junta led by Augusto Pinochet, which controlled the country from 1973 to1990. Along with thousands of others in Chile, Arce was detained and tortured by Chile’s military intelligence service, the DINA, in their attempt to eliminate alternative voices and ideologies in the country. Arce’s testimonial offers the harrowing story of the abuse she suffered and witnessed as a survivor of detention camps, such as the infamous Villa Grimaldi.
But when faced with threats made to her family, including her young son, and with the possibility that she could be murdered as thousands of others had been, Arce began to collaborate with the Chilean military in their repression of national resistance groups and outlawed political parties. Her testimonial thus also offers a unique perspective from within the repressive structures as she tells of her work as a DINA agent whose identifications even lead to the capture of some of her former friends and compañeros.
During Chile’s return to democracy in the early 1990s, Arce experienced two fundamental changes in her life that led to the writing of her story. The first was a deep spiritual renewal through her contacts with the Catholic Church whose Vicariate of Solidarity had fought for human rights in the country during the dictatorship. The second was her decision to participate within the legal system to identify and bring to justice those members of the military who were responsible for the crimes committed from 1973 to1990. Luz Arce’s book invites readers to rethink the definition of testimonial narrative in Latin America through the unique perspective of a survivor-witness-confessor.
What does it mean to be instantly transformed into the most hated person in your community? After meeting Fidel Castro at a Havana reception in 1994, Cuban-born Magda Montiel Davis, founder of one of the largest immigration law firms in South Florida, soon found out. The reception—attended by hundreds of other Cuban émigrés—was videotaped for historical archives. In a seconds-long clip, Fidel pecks the traditional protocol kiss on Montiel Davis’s cheek as she thanks him for the social benefits conferred upon the Cuban people. The video, however, was mysteriously sold to U.S. reporters and aired incessantly throughout South Florida. Soon the encounter was an international cause célèbre.
Life as she knew it was over for Montiel Davis and her family, including a father who worked with the CIA to topple Fidel, a nohablo-inglés mother who lived with the family, her five children, and her Jewish Brooklyn-born attorney husband. Kissing Fidel shares the sometimes dismal, sometimes comical realities of an ordinary citizen being thrown into a world of death threats, mob attacks, and terrorism.
La Consentida explores Early Formative period transitions in residential mobility, subsistence, and social organization at the site of La Consentida in coastal Oaxaca, Mexico. Examining how this site transformed during one of the most fundamental moments of socioeconomic change in the ancient Americas, the book provides a new way of thinking about the social dynamics of Mesoamerican communities of the period.
Guy David Hepp summarizes the results of several seasons of fieldwork and laboratory analysis under the aegis of the La Consentida Archaeological Project, drawing on various forms of evidence—ground stone tools, earthen architecture, faunal remains, human dental pathologies, isotopic indicators, ceramics, and more— to reveal how transitions in settlement, subsistence, and social organization at La Consentida were intimately linked. While Mesoamerica is too diverse for research at a single site to lay to rest ongoing debates about the Early Formative period, evidence from La Consentida should inform those debates because of the site’s unique ecological setting, its relative lack of disturbance by later occupations, and because it represents the only well-documented Early Formative period village in a 300-mile stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast.
One of the only studies to closely document multiple lines of evidence of the transition toward a sedentary, agricultural society at an individual settlement in Mesoamerica, La Consentida is a key resource for understanding the transition to settled life and social complexity in Mesoamerican societies.
Identifying varied interest groups such as business tycoons, Christian denominations, and Southern Democrats, Goodall demonstrates how countersubversive politics was far from unified: groups often pursued clashing aims while struggling to balance the competing pulls of loyalty to the nation and liberty of thought, speech, and action. Meanwhile, the federal government pursued its own course, which alternately converged with and diverged from the paths followed by private organizations. By the end of World War II, alliances on the left and right had largely consolidated into the form they would keep during the Cold War. Anticommunists on the right worked to rein in the supposedly dictatorial ambitions of the Roosevelt administration, while New Deal liberals divided into several camps: the Popular Front, civil liberties activists, and embryonic Cold Warriors who struggled with how to respond to communist espionage in Washington and communist influence in politics more broadly.
Rigorous in its scholarship yet accessible to a wide audience, Goodall's masterful study shows how opposition to radicalism became a defining ideological question of American life.
Lina Penna Sattamini describes her son’s tribulations through letters exchanged among family members, including Marcos, during the year that he was imprisoned. Her narrative is enhanced by Marcos’s account of his arrest, imprisonment, and torture. James N. Green’s introduction provides an overview of the political situation in Brazil, and Latin America more broadly, during that tumultuous era. In the 1990s, some Brazilians began to suggest that it would be best to forget the trauma of that era and move on. Lina Penna Sattamini wrote her memoir as a protest against historical amnesia. First published in Brazil in 2000, A Mother’s Cry is testimonial literature at its best. It conveys the experiences of a family united by love and determination during years of political repression.
In this compelling study of the treatment of "enemy" minorities in the Russian Empire during the First World War, Eric Lohr uncovers a dramatic story of mass deportations, purges, expropriations, and popular violence.A campaign initially aimed at restricting foreign citizens rapidly spun out of control. It swept up Russian subjects of German, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds and drove roughly a million civilians from one part of the empire to another, resulting in one of the largest cases of forced migration in history to that time. Because foreigners and diaspora minorities were prominent among entrepreneurial and landowning elites, the campaign against them also became an explosive element in class and national tensions on the eve of the 1917 revolutions.
During the war, the imperial regime dropped its ambivalence about Russian nationalism and embraced unprecedented and radical policies that "nationalized" the economy, the land, and even the population. The core idea of the campaign--that the country needed to free itself from the domination of foreigners, internal enemies, and the exploitative world economic system--later became a central feature of the Soviet revolutionary model.
Based on extensive archival research, much in newly available sources, Nationalizing the Russian Empire is an important contribution to the study of empire and nationalism, the Russian Revolution, and ethnic cleansing.
The economic reform period that followed Mao Zedong’s rule contained a hint as to how the magic spell of political faith and commitment could be broken, but the cost of such disenchantment was considerable. This detailed, empirical tale of Chinese socialist policing is, therefore, more than simply a police story. It is a parable that offers a cogent analysis of Chinese politics generally while radically redrafting our understanding of what politics is all about. Breaking away from the traditional elite modes of political analysis that focus on personalities, factions, and betrayals, and from “rational” accounts of politics and government, Dutton provides a highly original understanding of the far-reaching consequences of acts of faith and commitment in the realm of politics.
In 1932 security forces in El Salvador murdered 25,000 peasants and workers. Between 1978 and 1991 the Salvadoran government killed an additional 50,000 civilians. Death squads maimed and tortured their victims, who included labor organizers, priests, and teachers. By the later months of 1980, government forces were slaughtering 1,000 civilians a month. Most of those killed were poor or worked with the poor. In per capita terms Salvadoran state terror was among the worst in the hemisphere.
States have killed more people than have rebellions, but we know very little about what factors influence this genocide. Why do states kill? In this provocative and chilling book, William Stanley demonstrates that the Salvadoran military state was essentially a protection racket. It offered protection to the elites from civilian uprising and in return received a concession to govern. This protection took the form of wide-scale murder. As Stanley puts it, "State violence was a currency of relations between state and non-state elites."
There are valuable lessons in this book for all those concerned with state-sponsored terror. It indicts the United States for having strengthened the might of the Salvadoran military. It challenges conventional wisdom about governments and repression and shows state-sponsored violence as much more than just a response to opposition.
Brings together leading scholars from political science and sociology
Recent events—from the collapse of Leninist regimes in Eastern Europe to the democratization of South Asian and South American states—have profoundly changed our ways of understanding and studying contentious politics, particularly the relationship between state repression and political mobilization.
With case studies that range from Germany to the Philippines, the United States to Japan, Guatemala to China, the authors take up topics as varied as the dynamic interactions between protesters and policing agents, distinctions between “hard” and “soft” repression, the impact of media on our understanding of political contention, the timing and shape of protest and resistance cycles, and how measurements of social and geographic control influence states’s responses to insurgencies. Together these essays synthesize what we know about repression and mobilization and provide thoughtful insight for the future.
Contributors: Patrick Ball, Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Vince Boudreau, City College of New York; Myra Marx Ferree, U of Wisconsin; Ronald A. Francisco, U of Kansas; Ruud Koopmans, Free U Amsterdam; Mark Lichbach, U of Maryland; John D. McCarthy, Pennsylvania State U; Clark McPhail, U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Patricia Steinhoff, U of Hawaii; Charles Tilly, Columbia U; Gilda Zwerman, SUNY, Old Westbury.
Revolution on My Mind is a stunning revelation of the inner world of Stalin’s Russia. We see into the minds and hearts of Soviet citizens who recorded their lives during an extraordinary period of revolutionary fervor and state terror. Writing a diary, like other creative expression, seems nearly impossible amid the fear and distrust of totalitarian rule; but as Jochen Hellbeck shows, diary-keeping was widespread, as individuals struggled to adjust to Stalin’s regime.
Rather than protect themselves against totalitarianism, many men and women bent their will to its demands, by striving to merge their individual identities with the collective and by battling vestiges of the old self within. We see how Stalin’s subjects, from artists to intellectuals and from students to housewives, absorbed directives while endeavoring to fulfill the mandate of the Soviet revolution—re-creation of the self as a builder of the socialist society. Thanks to a newly discovered trove of diaries, we are brought face to face with individual life stories—gripping and unforgettably poignant.
The diarists’ efforts defy our liberal imaginations and our ideals of autonomy and private fulfillment. These Soviet citizens dreamed differently. They coveted a morally and aesthetically superior form of life, and were eager to inscribe themselves into the unfolding revolution. Revolution on My Mind is a brilliant exploration of the forging of the revolutionary self, a study without precedent that speaks to the evolution of the individual in mass movements of our own time.
Analyzing multiple memories of state violence, Frazier innovatively shapes social and cultural theory to interpret a range of sources, including local and national government archives, personal papers, popular literature and music, interviews, architectural and ceremonial commemorations, and her ethnographic observations of civic associations, women's and environmental groups, and human rights organizations. A masterful integration of extensive empirical research with sophisticated theoretical analysis, Salt in the Sand is a significant contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship on human rights, democratization, state formation, and national trauma and reconciliation.
Translated by Cameron Watson and William A. Douglass. Foreword by William A. Douglass. The Basque people have preserved their ethnic identity and sense of themselves as a separate community despite centuries of repression, diaspora, and economic and social upheaval—one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of the phenomenon we call nationalism. In The Social Roots of Basque Nationalism, sociologist Alfonso Pérez-Agote addresses the social mechanisms that Basques employed to sustain their ethnic identity under the Franco Regime and demonstrates how persecution actually encouraged the extension of Basque nationalist consciousness. He also reveals how state political pressure radicalized one element of the Basque-nationalist movement, resulting in the formation of ETA, an armed terrorist wing that itself became a mechanism for extending nationalist consciousness. Finally, he examines the subsequent changes in Basque nationalism following Franco’s death and the extension of democracy in Spain, which resulted in the institutionalization of the movement into an autonomous political power. This work is based in part on interviews and polls with informants in the Basque Country and abroad, eliciting such data as the role that family, education, social contacts, and religious environment play in the evolution of political attitudes; the place of violence in the Basque world view and contemporary political culture; regional variations in Basque nationalism; and the factors that contributed to the resilience of Basque nationalism in adapting to new historical conditions. The result is a sophisticated discussion of the various ways in which Basque social reality is constituted and how this reality helps to create political culture. Because Pérez-Agote situates his discussion within the broader frameworks of ethnic identity, group dynamics, and the nature of nationalism, the book makes a significant contribution not only to our understanding of the Basques but to the broader study of the evolution of nationalism and the nation-state, political violence, and the complicated transition of any society from dictatorship to democracy.
Winner, A Choice Outstanding Academic Book
From 1964 until 1985, Brazil was ruled by a military regime that sanctioned the systematic use of torture in dealing with its political opponents. The catalog of what went on during that grim period was originally published in Portuguese as Brasil: Nunca Mais (Brazil: Never Again) in 1985.
The volume was based on the official documentation kept by the very military that perpetrated the horrific acts. These extensive documents include military court proceedings of actual trials, secretly photocopied by lawyers associated with the Catholic Church and analyzed by a team of researchers. Their daring project—known as BNM for Brasil: Nunca Mais—compiled more than 2,700 pages of testimony by political prisoners documenting close to three hundred forms of torture.
The BNM project proves conclusively that torture was an essential part of the military justice system and that judicial authorities were clearly aware of the use of torture to extract confessions. Still, it took more than a decade after the publication of Brasil: Nunca Mais for the armed forces to admit publicly that such torture had ever taken place. Torture in Brazil, the English version of the book re-edited here, serves as a timely reminder of the role of Brazil's military in past repression.
After the publication in 1962 of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn began receiving, and would continue to receive throughout his life, testimonies from fellow survivors of the gulag. Originally selected by Solzhenitsyn, the memoirs in this volume are an important addition to the literature of the Soviet gulag. Written by men from a wide variety of occupations and social classes, the writing in Voices from the Gulag lends a voice to the many ordinary people—including a circus performer, a teenage boy, and a Red Army soldier—whom a brutal system attempted to erase from memory.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press