World Without Genocide recommends the following books to increase your understanding of the politics of genocide in the world. The first step in genocide prevention is to learn about genocides, past and present. We recommend books from many genres – history, memoir, fiction, journalists’ accounts, diaries, essays and historical fiction.


General Genocide:

A Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts, Samul Totten, William S. Parsons, and Israel Charny (history)

A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power (journalists’ account/history; winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur, Ben Kiernan (history)

Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, Adam Jones (history)

Governments, Citizens, and Genocide: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approach, Alex Alvarez (history)

Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder, Daniel Chirot and Clark McCauley (history)



A Shameful Act; The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, Taner Akcam (history; Winner of the Minnesota Book Award)

Like Water on Stone, Dana Walrath (historical fiction, 2015 Notable Book for a Global Society Award Winner)

The Sandcastle Girls, Chris Bohjalian (historical fiction, New York Times bestseller)



The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia, Michael A. Sells

The Cellist of Sarajevo, Steven Galloway (historical fiction)

Time for Truth: Review of the Work of the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005-2010

The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman’s Fight for Justice, Kathryn Bolkovac and Cari Lynn



After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide, Craig Etcheson (history)

Beyond the Killing Fields: Voices of Nine Cambodian Survivors in America, Usha Welaratna (memoir)

The Disappeared, Kim Echlin (memoir)

From Genocide to Freedom: A Life Experience Story, Pan So and Savan Prum (memoir)

Genocide by Proxy: Cambodian Pawn on a Superpower Chessboard, Michael Haas (history)

Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79, Ben Kiernan (history)

Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot’s Secret Prison, David Chandler (history)

When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the  Khmer Rouge, Chanrithy Him (memoir)


Darfur and Sudan:

Darfur: A Short History of a Long War, Julie Flint and Alex de Waal (history)

Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival, Jen Marlowe with Adam Shapiro and Aisha Bain (compilation of memoirs)

Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide, Gerard Prunier (history)

Emma’s War: A True Story, Deborah Scroggins (winner of the Ridenhour Book Prize and a New York Times Notable Book); the civil war in southern Sudan

Genocide in Darfur: Investigating the Atrocities in the Sudan, ed. Samuel Totten and Eric Markusen (history)

Not on our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, Don Cheadle and John Prendergast (history)

Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror, Mahmood Mamdani (history)

Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur, Halima Bashir and Damien Lewis (memoir)

The Translator: A Memoir, Daoud Hari (memoir)


Democratic Republic of the Congo:

All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo, Bryan Mealer (journalists’ account)

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo, Michela Wrong (journalists’ account)

King Leopold’s Ghost, Adam Hochschild (history)

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (historical fiction)



Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala, Victoria Sanford

Guatemala: Memory of Silence: Report of the Commission for Historical Clarifications, Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH)

I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala, Rigoberta Menchu

Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of Courage, Terror, and Hope, Beatrice Manz

Searching for Everardo, Jennifer Harbury

Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala, Daniel Wilkinson

Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village, Victor Montejo

War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala, Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson


The Herero:

A bibliography is available here.


The Holocaust:

Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, Francine Prose (history)

The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition, Anne Frank (diary)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows (New York Times bestseller; historical fiction)

Sarah’s Key, Tatiana de Lorsnay (historical fiction)

For an excellent and very complete bibliography on the Holocaust, please see references prepared by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.



A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, Gil Courtemanche (historical fiction)

Justice on the Grass: Three Rwandan Journalists, Their Trial for War Crimes, and a Nation’s Quest for Redemption, Dina Temple-Raston (history)

Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak, Jean Hatzfield (compilation of memoirs)

The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda, Scott Straus (history)

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, Romeo Dallaire (memoir/history)

We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda, Philip Gourevitch (memoir; winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction)


Syria and Iraq:

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, Joby Warrick


Other Places, Other Cultures:

The Late Homecomer, Kao Kalia Yang (memoir)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman (memoir)

The House of Spirits, Isabel Allende (autobiographical novel)

A Single Numberless Death, Nora Strejilevich (fictional memoir)

Cochabamba: Water War in Bolivia, Oscar Olivera (nonfiction)

Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule, Christina Fink (nonfiction)

Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder (fiction)

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, Barbara Demick (nonfiction)

The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson (2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction)


Recipients of the Lempkin Book Award

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