Challenged Works

Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide

By Barbara Coloroso


2007—The Council of Turkish Canadians objected to the inclusion of this book on a recommended reading list for a proposed Grade 11 history course on genocide in Toronto
public schools.

Objection—The book describes the deaths of more than a million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire early in the twentieth century as genocide.

Update—In April 2008, a committee of the Toronto District School Board decided to remove the book from the reading list because “a concern was raised regarding [its]
appropriateness. . . . The Committee determined this was a far from a scrupulous text and should not be on a History course although it might be included in a course on the social
psychology of genocide because of her [Coloroso’s] posited thesis that genocide is merely the extreme extension of bullying.” The decision to remove Extraordinary Evil, however, prompted new protests from the book’s defenders, including Canadian publishers, the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Book and Periodical Council and holocaust scholar Gerald Caplan. In June, the school board reversed its decision, putting the book back onto the recommended reading list. But this decision prompted the Turkish Embassy in Canada to protest to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Ontario’s Ministry of Education.

See all posts about this author: