A cem maiores atrocidades da História

Este quem me enviou foi o amigo Alexandre Rocha. Trata-se da indicação do livro de Mathew White, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things, publicado recentemente nos EUA. Nessa linha, lembrei-me do Livro Negro do Comunismo, editado por Stéphane Courtois, cuja leitura recomendo (de fato, a primeira recomedação que tive do Livro Negro foi de Roberto Campos).

Aproveito para agradecer a todos que têm mandado suas contribuições ao site!

Population Control, Marauder Style

Last week, the United Nations announced that the world’s population had reached seven billion, but there have been times when it headed in the opposite direction, and not in pleasant ways. The savagery of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan may have culled the global population by about 11 percent; two bloody upheavals in China — the An Lushan Rebellion and the collapse of the Xin Dynasty — each may have felled about 6 percent of humanity. Those are but 3 of the 100 worst atrocities in history, as cataloged by Matthew White in “The Great Big Book of Horrible Things,” an amusing (really) account of the murderous ways of despots, slave traders, blundering royals, gladiators and assorted hordes. Estimating the tolls from such horrors is an inexact science, given war’s nature and the mysteries of antiquity. The deadliest “multicides” are more plentiful in recent centuries, given that there were more people to kill and better ways to kill them on a grand scale. Even so, killings as a percentage of all humanity are probably declining. Here is a look at the sweep of human brutality presented in a timeline.