"A Problem From Hell:" America and the Age of Genocide Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Samantha Power
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 129 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Preface

• In the preface, Power explains why she wrote A Problem from Hell. She wrote the book after working as a journalist in Bosnia and witnessing the Serbs' takeover of Sarajevo.

• Power's experience in Bosnia caused her to research other twentieth-century genocides and, specifically, America's response to genocide.

• She found that the most common argument for the United States' failure to react, in general, to genocide is that the United States didn't know what was happening in countries in which genocide was occurring.
• After examining several instances of genocide, however, Power has come to the conclusion that in each instance U.S. policymakers knew what was happening and chose not to intervene, despite its leadership in discussions on human rights and its commitment to preventing another Holocaust.

• There are several reasons Power hypothesizes for this: Americans are too trusting in rational actors and diplomacy; they allow domestic politics...

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