The Lemkin
Book Award

ISG's Lemkin Award honors Raphael Lemkin, the originator of the concept of genocide and first exponent of a United Nations Genocide Convention. The biennial award recognizes the best non-fiction book published in English or translated into English that focuses on explanations of genocide, crimes against humanity, state mass killings and gross violations of human rights, and strategies to prevent such crimes and violations.
Raphael Lemkin [UN]

Call for Submissions

Edited volumes, memoirs, poetry, fiction and drama are excluded.

The award consists of a citation and honorarium, and the winner is invited to deliver a public address in New York City at a meeting convened by the Institute for the Study of Genocide.

The 2019 award cycle covers books published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018

We are currently accepting nominations for books published in the 2018 calendar year (January 1st-December 31st, 2018).


Prior to sending books please contact Lemkin Award Committee Chair, Professor Ernesto Verdeja at

2017 Lemkin Book Award Winner

Benjamin Madley, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe (Yale, 2016)

The 2017 Lemkin Book Award Ceremony honoring 'An American Genocide' by Benjamin Madley (UCLA) was held on October 17, 2017 at the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights in New York City. Professor Madley gave a public lecture followed by a discussion by Professor Karl Jacoby (Columbia).


  • Max Bergholz, Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism and Memory in a Balkan Community (Cornell, 2016)
  • Alexander Laban Hinton, Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer (Duke, 2016)
  • Scott Straus, Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Cornell, 2015)
  • Ronald Grigor Suny, They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else: A History of the Armenian Genocide (Princeton, 2015)
  • Andrew Woolford, This Benevolent Experiment: Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide, and Redress in Canada and the United States (Nebraska,2015)

Past Lemkin Book Award Winners

2015: Mark Levene, The Crisis of Genocide, 2 volumes (Oxford University Press, 2104)

2013: Yang Jisheng, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962, translation by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

2011: Emma Gilligan, Terror in Chechnya: Russia and the Tragedy of Civilians in War (Princeton, 2009)

2009: Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007)

2007: Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford, 2005)

2005: Peter Balakian, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response (Harper Collins, 2003)

2003: Samantha Power, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Harper Perennial, 2002)

2000: Alison Des Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (Human Rights Watch and FIDH, 1999)