Gecide is commonly understood to be a terrible aberration in human behaviour, performed by evil, murderous regimes such as the Nazis and dictators like Suharto and Pichet. John Docker argues that the roots of gecide go far deeper into human nature than most people realise. Gecide features widely in the Bible, the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, and debates about the Enlightenment. These texts are studied in depth to trace the origins of violence through time and across civilisations. Developing the groundbreaking work of Raphael Lemkin, who invented the term 'gecide', Docker guides us from the dawn of agricultural society, through classical civilisation to the present, showing that violence between groups has been integral to all periods of history. This revealing book will be of great interest to those wishing to understand the roots of gecide and why it persists in the modern age.
John Docker is Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University. He is the author of 1492: The Poetics of Diaspora (2001), Postmodernism and Popular Culture (1994) and (with Ann Curthoys) Is History Fiction? (2005).