Alexandros Sakellariou of Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences reviews Humanism in Ruins: Entangled Legacies of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange by Asli Igsız. In this book, Igsiz maps the links between liberal discourses on peace and the legacies of this forced migration. The book weaves together past and present, making visible the effects in Turkey across the ensuing century, of the 1923 exchange, which forcibly relocated one and a half million people. Liberal humanism has responded to segregative policies by calling for coexistence and the acceptance of cultural diversity. Yet, as Igsız makes clear, liberal humanism itself, with its ahistorical emphasis on a shared humanity, fails to confront an underlying racialized logic. This far-reaching and multilayered cultural history investigates what it means to be human—historically, socially, and politically. It delivers an urgent message about the politics of difference at a time when the reincarnation of fascism in different parts of the world invites citizens to participate in perpetuating a racialized and unequal world.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1177/0197918319855064.