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March 9 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

WRITERS FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION presents Alex Hinton and Peter Balakian


March 9
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Writers for Democratic Action and Democracy Book Club presents…

A Virtual Afternoon with

Alex Hinton

in conversation with

Peter Balakian


It Can Happen Here: White Power and the Rising Threat of Genocide in the US (New York University Press)

Saturday, March 9th, 3 PM (ET) | LIVE via Crowdcast


About the Book:

A renowned expert on genocide argues that there is a real risk of violent atrocities happening in the United States

If many people were shocked by Donald Trump’s 2016 election, many more were stunned when, months later, white supremacists took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us ” Like Trump, the Charlottesville marchers were dismissed as aberrations–crazed extremists who did not represent the real US. It Can Happen Here demonstrates that, rather than being exceptional, such white power extremism and the violent atrocities linked to it are a part of American history. And, alarmingly, they remain a very real threat to the US today.
Alexander Hinton explains how murky politics, structural racism, the promotion of American exceptionalism, and a belief that the US has have achieved a color-blind society have diverted attention from the deep roots of white supremacist violence in the US’s brutal past. Drawing on his years of research and teaching on mass violence, Hinton details the warning signs of impending genocide and atrocity crimes, the tools used by ideologues to fan the flames of hate, the origins of the far-right extremist ideas of white genocide and replacement, and the shocking ways in which “us” versus “them” violence is supported by racist institutions and policies.

It Can Happen Here is an essential new assessment of the dangers of contemporary white power extremism in the United States. While revealing the threat of genocide and atrocity crimes that loom over the country, Hinton offers actions we can take to prevent it from happening, illuminating a hopeful path forward for a nation in crisis.



About the Author:

Alex Hinton is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention, and author or editor of seventeen books, including It Can Happen Here: White Power and the Rising Threat of Genocide in the US (NYU, 2021), The Justice Facade: Trials of Transition in Cambodia (Oxford, 2018), and, most recently, Anthropological Witness: Lessons from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (Cornell, 2022) and Perpetrators: Encountering Humanity’s Dark Side (Stanford, 2023). In recognition of his work on genocide, the American Anthropological Association selected Hinton as recipient of the 2009 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, and in 2022, he was awarded the association’s 2022 Anthropology in the Media Award.

About the Moderator:

Peter Balakian is Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English at Colgate University, and author of eight books of poems including Ozone Journal, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and Ziggurat, both published by the University of Chicago Press. His memoir Black Dog of Fate won the PEN/Albrand Award and was a New York Times notable book, and The Burning Tigris won the Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times bestseller and New York Times notable book. He is co-translator of the Armenian poet Siamanto’s Bloody News From My Friend and Grigoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1918 (Knopf, 2009), which was a Washington Post book of the year. Recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, he was also awarded a Presidential Medal and the Moves Khoranatsi Medal from the Republic of Armenia and the Spendlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance and Diplomacy.