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Night on Earth


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. A Loose Configuration of Humanitarian Actors; 2. From Repatriation to Resettlement of Ottoman Armenians: War, Diplomacy and the Mandate that Never Was; 3. The Near East Relief; 4. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; 5. Relief and Rehabilitation in Transcaucasia, 1919-1929; 6. The American Red Cross in Jerusalem and Palestine, 1918-1921; 7. International Humanitarian Actors in Beirut, Aleppo and Cilicia: Relief and Rehabilitation of Ottoman Armenians; 8. The Revealing History of an Allied Fact-finding Mission in the Sea of Marmara and a Lone Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross; 9. International Humanitarian Operations in Greece Before and After the Summer of 1922; 10. Rehabilitation Without Relief: Seeking International Humanitarianism in Greece after 1923; 11. The American Women's Hospitals from Marconissi Quarantine Island to Public Health Work; 12. Modernization, Technical Assistance and Development avant la letter: The Near East Foundation; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.

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Reveals how international 'relief' and 'development' became intertwined in humanitarian programs in the Near East from 1918 to 1930.

About the Author

Davide Rodogno is Professor of International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. His previous publications include Fascism's European Empire (2006), Against Massacre: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire, 1815-1914 (2011). He co-edited and authored Humanitarian Photography (2015) and Transnational Networks of Experts in the Long Nineteenth century (2016).


'Night on Earth is a major feat and contribution to our understanding of modern humanitarianism. Davide Rodogno unearths a humanitarianism that is defined by layers of entanglements and contradictions. There are humanitarians aspiring to save lives, save societies, and save themselves. This is not a story of success but rather a burst of rain showers that quickly evaporates: humanitarians aspired to disrupt in the name of progress, but all this ambition failed to leave an impression. Elegantly written and historically sweeping, this transnational history of humanitarianism is a must read.' Michael Barnett, author of Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism
'Carefully dissecting what he calls 'Promethean' elements in international relief organisations in the Near East at a crucial juncture, Davide Rodogno has written a deeply informed and passionate book. Night on Earth is a landmark contribution to the history of humanitarianism.' Peter Gatrell, author of The Unsettling of Europe: the Great Migration, 1945-the Present
'This is a profound, poetic, erudite and moving book. Inspired by Jim Jarmush and a profound sense of humanity, Davide Rodogno's latest work is a magnus opus drawing its transnational history from an unprecedented range of sources and archives. It is a major contribution to the scholarship on humanitarian aid and to our understanding of the tragic history of the Near East one hundred years ago.' Bertrand Taithe, author of The Charity Market and Humanitarianism in Britain and The Killer Trail
'Night on Earth is a serious, forthright, and necessary reconsideration of the nature and purpose of Western humanitarianism in the Middle East, and in particular it's close and complicated relationships with empire, conquest, and the toxic notion of "civilization." It is essential reading for anyone interested in the workings of modern humanitarianism.' Laura Robson, author of The Politics of Mass Violence in the Middle East
'Rodogno's book is humane scholarship at its best. Here is a brilliant account of the limitations on efforts to provide humanitarian aid in the Middle East in the period of the Great War.' Jay Winter, author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning

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