The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1996, Volume 42, Number 3
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

Book Notes

Clare V. McKanna Jr., Book Review Editor

Indigenous Peoples, Ethnic Groups, and the State.   By David Maybury-Lewis. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997. Maps. Bibliography. 168 pages.

This is a brief discussion of the recent treatment of indigenous peoples and ethnic groups. It provides working definitions for both ethnocide and genocide and provides examples of how states have applied these concepts in such regions as Mexico, Brazil, Burma, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and other regions. Although genocide is a commonly used term, ethnocide has only recently gained acceptance and is used to explain attempts to modify and sometimes destroy the culture of a specific ethnic group. By comparing the Yanomami in Brazil with indigenous populations in Chiapas, Mexico and ethnic groups in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, Maybury-Lewis reveals that ethnocide is nothing new and has been with us since the beginning of recorded history. It reminds us that state power can often be misguided and destructive.