2nd\NE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bass, associate professor of international affairs at Princeton (Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals), makes the case with delightful wit, insight and scholarship that humanitarian military intervention arose not with genocide in Bosnia or Rwanda, but in Victorian times in parallel with democracy and the mass media. When Greeks rebelled against the Ottoman Empire, Turkish troops committed atrocities viewed by reporters and letter writers whose accounts produced a torrent of outrage. Reluctantly, British leaders began pressuring the sultan, but the failure of this effort led to Britain's great naval victory at Navarino that assured Greek independence. Bass moves on to two other half-forgotten but ghastly crises: the 1860s Syrian upheaval in which Maronite Christians and Druze slaughtered each other, and the 1870s mass murders of Bulgarians by the Ottomans. Bass ends with the Armenian genocide during WWI. Readers may squirm at the slowness with which nations acted to oppose gruesome cruelties, but they will relish Bass's gripping account of bloodthirsty characters, bitter political infighting and cynical leaders, forced by public opinion into moral actions that did not serve their own national interest. (Aug. 20) ""
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“An absorbing, well-researched, and frequently amusing book .... Bass provides a trove of fresh material, as well as fresh insight, concerning this exciting period .... Bass has a considerable gift of phrase .... He also has a jaunty flair for recognizing . . . cynicism in others."
–Christopher Hitchens, Foreign Affairs