The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust, and Modern Conscience

In This Review

The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust, and Modern Conscience

By William Shawcross
Simon & Schuster, 1984
464 pp. $19.95
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The "realists" who write about international relations rarely address themselves to moral issues. Shawcross is concerned here with how the U.S. and the world responded to the virtual extinction of the Kampuchean nation and the takeover of Kampuchea first by the murderous Pol Pot regime and later by the Vietnamese. He singles out former U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Morton Abramowitz and his wife, as well as former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and several other U.S. government officials, for their determination to prevent a new holocaust. In the end, this compelling book demonstrates how officials who really care about humanitarian goals can and do get around lethargic bureaucracies.