The History Book Club discussion


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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a topic which is as horrible to discuss and imagine as the World War II Holocaust. During World War I, the Armenians also suffered and this is part of the history of World War I and we cannot deny these events any more than the Holocaust. There have been some very tough moments to understand that took place during these World Wars and this is another one.

Please realize that some of the information and the photos may be sensitive.

The First World War by John Keegan John Keegan John Keegan

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This site seems to deal with the topic exhaustively:

message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) This is one book that I have read on the subject for those interested in further reading:

The Burning Tigris The Armenian Genocide and America's Response by Peter Balakian by Peter Balakian
"Now faded from memory in the shadow of the Holocaust, the Turkish slaughter of more than a million Armenians in 1915-1916 was a virtual template for the 20th-century horrors that followed, and much of what Balakian describes so powerfully is now chillingly familiar: inhuman brutality; mass deportations of helpless civilians (often in overcrowded railroad boxcars); headlines screaming of "systematic race extermination"; activists and intellectuals calling for intervention; and, most devastatingly, the lack of political will in the West to intervene to stop the slaughter. Balakian exposes the roots of the genocide in the "total war" atmosphere of WWI, which combusted with the pan-Turkish nationalism of the Young Turk government, inflamed Muslim rage against "infidel" Armenian Christians, and a long-simmering Ottoman hatred of the Armenians dating to Sultan Abdul Hamid II and his slaughters in the 1890s. Balakian, who wrote so movingly of the impact of the genocide on his own family in Black Dog of Fate, also underscores how well known the Armenian destruction was in America through detailed reports by U.S. consuls throughout Turkey and steady newspaper reporting, and how great the response was in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and survivors. In a horrifying account, city by city, region by region, Balakian quotes firsthand testimony about the decimation of the Armenian population and their towns and culture. Yet he retains the measured tone of a historian throughout; if anything, he lets Woodrow Wilson off too easily for not declaring war on Turkey. But readers will come away sadly convinced that Armenians' brave but doomed stand in Van should be as celebrated as the Warsaw ghetto uprising, and the corpse-strewn Lake Gaeljak as well known as Babi Yar." - Publishers Weekly

Another book covering this subject which I have not read is:

A Shameful Act The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility by Taner Akcam by Taner Akcam
"Akcam has attracted considerable attention for being one of the first Turkish intellectuals to devote his career to studying the systematic slaughter of one million Armenians during World War I. For this reason, he has been harshly criticized by those who would deny the existence of an Armenian genocide. Akcam's earlier work, From Empire to Republic (2004), contextualized the genocide within a climate of Turkish nationalism and attempted to provide the basis for a Turkish national conversation about trauma and culpability. Although essentially similar to that book in its analysis of Turkish culpability, his latest study is considerably broader in historical scope. He seeks to harmonize the conventional narrative of the collapsing Ottoman Empire with victims' perspectives of Turkish dominance over minorities. He does this by showing a state--rent by internal power struggles and terrified of being partitioned--that pursues genocide as a way of avoiding catastrophic collapse. Clearly a companion to Peter Balakian's Burning Tigris (2003) and other accounts of the genocide, this book also deserves to be read in concert with recent works analyzing the politics of genocide and national shame in Germany." - Booklist

Elizabeth (Alaska) A book that has been recommended to me, but I have not yet read, is

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel Franz Werfel Franz Werfel

message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Elizabeth, good post, I take it that this book is a historical novel?

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel by Franz Werfel

Elizabeth (Alaska) Yes, Aussie Rick. I heard about this about a year ago at the anniversary date. It was a fellow of Armenian descent who was asking us to remember this event and suggested this as a read. I think it might be hard to come by, but fortunately my local university library has a copy to which I have access.

message 7: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Elizabeth, let us know what you think of it once you have had a chance to read it, I am sure that a few readers here will also be interested.

For sake of clarity if you mention/recommend a book and it is a historical novel best just mention that so people are aware of its format :)

Elizabeth (Alaska) Will do, Aussie Rick. Thanks for the heads up.

message 9: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I recently picked up a copy of this book which offers a first-hand account of this terrible period of history:

Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian by Grigoris Balakian
"On the night of April 24, 1915, Grigoris Balakian, an Armenian priest, and more than two hundred other Armenian politicians and intellectuals were arrested in Constantinople. Soon, Armenians across Turkey were massacred or forced to join a death march to the desert of Der Zor. Balakian walked among the displaced for months before he fled, disguising himself variously as a German engineer, a soldier, and a worker in the vineyards; he began this book while in hiding. (It was published in Armenian in 1922 and in 1959; the translator is Balakian’s great-nephew.) Both a memoir and an attempt at a history of the genocide, it assumes considerable familiarity with Ottoman politics, but remains fascinating first-hand testimony to a monumental crime." - The New Yorker

“Gripping. . . . A powerful and important book. . . . It takes its place as one of the key first-hand sources for understanding the Armenian Genocide.” — Mark Mazower, The New Republic

“Powerful. . . . Riveting. . . . A poignant, often harrowing story about the resiliency of the human spirit [and] a window on a moment in history that most Americans only dimly understand.” — Chris Bohjalian, Washington Post

“An immensely moving, harrowing memoir that instantly takes its place as a classic alongside Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz and Elie Wiesel’s Night.”
— Carlin Romano, The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Read this heartbreaking book. Armenian Golgotha describes the suffering, agony and massacre of innumerable Armenian families almost a century ago; its memory must remain a lesson for more than one generation.” — Elie Wiesel, author of Night

“An appalling and magnificent book. . . . It owes its existence to [Balakian’s] determination to survive to write it . . . a sacred task that gives him the strength to persevere through the impossible circumstances that killed well over a million of his countrymen.” — Benjamin Moser, Harper’s

“Shocking and brilliant. . . . Exquisitely rendered. . . . This book has the feel of a classic about it, and I suspect that future writers on historical trauma and its representation will turn eagerly to Armenian Golgotha. It’s a massively important contribution to this field.” — Jay Parini, The Chronicle of Higher Education

“An extraordinary narrative . . . beautifully translated. . . . Armenian Golgotha will influence Armenian genocide studies for decades.” — John A. C. Greppin, The Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Monumental. . . . Balakian provides strong evidence that these gruesome proceedings were carried out under official orders from the highest level. . . . For generations to come Armenian Golgotha will remain a first-hand documentation of a historic tragedy written from the perspective of a talented scholar.” — Henry Morgenthau, III, Boston Sunday Globe

“[A work] of exceptional interest and scholarship.” — Christopher Hitchens, Slate

“The translation and publication of Armenian Golgotha in English is long overdue. It constitutes a thundering historical proof that those who deny the Armenian Genocide are engages in a massive deception.” — Deborah E. Lipstadt, author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory

“Groundbreaking. . . . Comprehensive. . . . Sobering. . . . Armenian Golgotha is replete with narratives that focus on collective suffering, marking this memoir as one of the few to explicate the true nature of the crime. . . . Balakian’s memory is extraordinary, but so, too, are his intellect, his compassion and his ethical obligation to immortalize his beloved co-nationals.” — Donna-Lee Frieze, The Jewish Daily Forward

“An Armenian equivalent to the testimonies of Holocaust survivors like Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel.” — Adam Kirsch, Nextbook

“The descriptions of the Armenian genocide are striking and the author spares his readers none of the gruesome details. . . . A riveting and powerful indictment of a genocide that became a paradigm for future genocides.” — Holger H. Herwig, The Gazette (Montreal)

“An essential memoir, a lively and extraordinary life story. . . . This is more than an eyewitness account, it is a masterful history in its own right.” — Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post

“Weighted with eyewitness accounts and distinguished by Balakian’s prodigiously sharp memory, this book is not a scholar’s history, of course, but an educated prelate’s, with an enviable grasp of Ottoman and European history. . . . Memory and hope for the future live in seminal texts such as Armenian Golgotha.” — Keith Garebian, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“A powerful, moving account of the Armenian Genocide, a story that needs to be known, and is told here with a sweep of experience and wealth of detail that is as disturbing as it is irrefutable.” — Sir Martin Gilbert

“Extraordinary. . . . This book will become a classic, both for its depiction of a much denied genocide and its humane and brilliant witness to what human beings can endure and overcome.” — Robert Jay Lifton, author of The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide

“Witness literature of the highest order, to be put aside the great testimony from the Shoah. . . . Required reading for those who wish to comprehend the 20th century.” — Robert Leiter, The Jewish Exponent

“An astonishing memoir. . . . An important primary document concerning the Armenian Genocide. . . . A major addition to the literature of witness and testimony.” — Robert Melson, Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

message 10: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Another book on this topic:

The Knock at the Door
The Knock at the Door by Margaret Ajemian Ahnert by Margaret Ajemian Ahnert Margaret Ajemian Ahnert
In 1915, Armenian Christians in Turkey were forced to convert to Islam, barred from speaking their language, and often driven out of their homes as the Turkish army embarked on a widespread campaign of intimidation and murder. In this riveting book, Margaret Ajemian Ahnert relates her mother Ester's terrifying experiences as a young woman during this period of hatred and brutality. At age 15, Ester was separated from her family during a forced march away from her birth town of Amasia. Though she faced unspeakable horrors at the hands of many she met, and was forced into an abusive marriage against her will, she never lost her faith, quick wit, or ability to see the good in people. Eventually she escaped and emigrated to America. Ahnert's compelling account of her mother's suffering is framed by an intimate portrait of her relationship with her 98-year-old mother. Ester's inspiring stories, told lovingly by her daughter, will give you a window into the harrowing struggle of Armenians during a terrible period in human history.

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Jerome | 4355 comments Mod
The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History

The Armenian Genocide A Complete History by Raymond Kevorkian by Raymond Kevorkian (no photo)


The Armenian Genocide was one of the greatest atrocities of the twentieth century, an episode in which up to 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives. In this major new history, the renowned historian Raymond Kévorkian provides an authoritative account of the origins, events and consequences of the years 1915 and 1916. He considers the role that the Armenian Genocide played in the construction of the Turkish nation state and Turkish identity, as well as exploring the ideologies of power, rule and state violence. Crucially, he examines the consequences of the violence against the Armenians, the implications of deportations and attempts to bring those who committed the atrocities to justice.

Kévorkian offers a detailed and meticulous record, providing an authoritative analysis of the events and their impact upon the Armenian community itself, as well as the development of the Turkish state. This important book will serve as an indispensable resource to historians of the period, as well as those wishing to understand the history of genocidal violence more generally.

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A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire

A Question of Genocide Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire by Ronald Grigor Suny by Ronald Grigor Suny (no photo)


One hundred years after the deportations and mass murder of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other peoples in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the history of the Armenian genocide is a victim of historical distortion, state-sponsored falsification, and deep divisions between Armenians and Turks. Working together for the first time, Turkish, Armenian, and other scholars present here a compelling reconstruction of what happened and why.

This volume gathers the most up-to-date scholarship on Armenian genocide, looking at how the event has been written about in Western and Turkish historiographies; what was happening on the eve of the catastrophe; portraits of the perpetrators; detailed accounts of the massacres; how the event has been perceived in both local and international contexts, including World War I; and reflections on the broader implications of what happened then. The result is a comprehensive work that moves beyond nationalist master narratives and offers a more complete understanding of this tragic event.

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Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

Children of Armenia A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice by Michael Bobelian by Michael Bobelian (no photo)


From 1915 to 1923, the ruling Ottoman Empire drove 2 million Armenians from their ancestral homeland; 1.5 million of them were viciously slaughtered. While there was an initial global outcry and a movement led by Woodrow Wilson to aid the "starving Armenians," the promise to hold the perpetrators accountable was never fulfilled and a curtain of silence soon descended on one of the worst crimes of modern history. Now, almost a century later, the Armenians are still fighting for justice.

After uncovering his family's experiences during the Genocide, Michael Bobelian struggled to rationalize how an event as widely reported as the Genocide -- more than a hundred articles ran in The New York Times in 1915, with a typical headline exclaiming "Wholesale Massacres of Armenians by Turks" -- could fade from public consciousness. Why was the Genocide ignored, forgotten, and, worse, relegated to fiction for so long? What role did America's national self-interest play in helping Turkey evade public accountability? Why did Armenians themselves initially stand silent? Based on years of archival research and personal interviews, Children of Armenia is the first book to trace this post-Genocide history and reveal the events that have conspired to eradicate the "hidden holocaust" from the world's memory.

At the close of World War I, the upsurge of support for the Genocide's survivors, considered one of the world's first international human right movements, inspired the few remaining Armenian leaders -- such as Simon Vratsian, the ravaged nation's last prime minister, and Vahan Cardashian, Armenia's chief advocate in the United States -- to seek relief and justice for their people. But despite their tireless efforts, the promises made to them by the war's victors were systematically cast aside during postwar negotiations. In the end, the Armenians received nothing, not even an apology, and decades of silence would pass before the Genocide's survivors -- dispersed, stateless, and on the verge of extinction -- would produce a new generation of activists who would renew their fight for justice.

In Children of Armenia, we meet Gourgen Yanikian, a seventy-seven-year-old terrorist bent on revenge, whose act of terrible violence in Southern California galvanized a movement for recognition; Vartkes Yeghiayan, a lawyer who brought a class action suit against New York Life, seeking to win a judgment for thousands of unclaimed policies; and Van Krikorian, who teamed up with Senator Bob Dole to gain public acknowledgment of the Genocide from the U.S. government. From the initial acts of revenge-fueled terrorism to the birth of an organized movement seeking recognition for these unacknowledged crimes -- including political maneuvering to get a resolution passed by the U.S. Congress -- this is a groundbreaking account of the Armenian struggle to seek redress in the face of recalcitrant perpetrators and an indifferent world.

Bobelian delivers a powerful lesson on the price that is paid when injustice goes unacknowledged and a moving story of a people living in the shadow of a century-old genocide.

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The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians

The Great Game of Genocide Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians by Donald Bloxham by Donald Bloxham (no photo)


The Great Game of Genocide addresses the origins, development and aftermath of the Armenian genocide in a wide-ranging reappraisal based on primary and secondary sources from all the major parties involved. Rejecting the determinism of many influential studies, and discarding polemics on all sides, it founds its interpretation of the genocide in the interaction between the Ottoman empire in its decades of terminal decline, the self-interested policies of the European imperial powers, and the agenda of some Armenian nationalists in and beyond Ottoman territory. Particular attention is paid to the international context of the process of ethnic polarization that culminated in the massive destruction of 1912-23, and especially the obliteration of the Armenian community in 1915-16.

The opening chapters of the book examine the relationship between the great power politics of the 'eastern question' from 1774, the narrower politics of the 'Armenian question' from the mid-nineteenth century, and the internal Ottoman questions of reforming the complex social and ethnic order under intense external pressure. Later chapters include detailed case studies of the role of Imperial Germany during the First World War (reaching conclusions markedly different to the prevailing orthodoxy of German complicity in the genocide); the wartime Entente and then the uncomfortable postwar Anglo-French axis; and American political interest in the Middle East in the interwar period which led to a policy of refusing to recognize the genocide. The book concludes by explaining the ongoing international denial of the genocide as an extension of the historical 'Armenian question', with many of the same considerations governing modern European-American-Turkish interaction as existed prior to the First World War.

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The Young Turks' Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire

The Young Turks' Crime Against Humanity by Taner Akçam by Taner Akçam Taner Akçam


Introducing new evidence from more than 600 secret Ottoman documents, this book demonstrates in unprecedented detail that the Armenian Genocide and the expulsion of Greeks from the late Ottoman Empire resulted from an official effort to rid the empire of its Christian subjects. Presenting these previously inaccessible documents along with expert context and analysis, Taner Akçam's most authoritative work to date goes deep inside the bureaucratic machinery of Ottoman Turkey to show how a dying empire embraced genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Although the deportation and killing of Armenians was internationally condemned in 1915 as a "crime against humanity and civilization," the Ottoman government initiated a policy of denial that is still maintained by the Turkish Republic. The case for Turkey's "official history" rests on documents from the Ottoman imperial archives, to which access has been heavily restricted until recently. It is this very source that Akçam now uses to overturn the official narrative.

The documents presented here attest to a late-Ottoman policy of Turkification, the goal of which was no less than the radical demographic transformation of Anatolia. To that end, about one-third of Anatolia's 15 million people were displaced, deported, expelled, or massacred, destroying the ethno-religious diversity of an ancient cultural crossroads of East and West, and paving the way for the Turkish Republic.

By uncovering the central roles played by demographic engineering and assimilation in the Armenian Genocide, this book will fundamentally change how this crime is understood and show that physical destruction is not the only aspect of the genocidal process.

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Crescent and Iron Cross: Turkey, Germany and the Armenian Genocide

Crescent and Iron Cross by E.F. Benson by E.F. Benson E.F. Benson


Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" asked Hitler in 1939 as he invaded Poland and started a holocaust. Perhaps if the world would have paid attention to the prosecution of Christians by the Turks who were allied with the Germans during the First World War, WWII would not have happened. Given the present day situation in Syria and the reported crimes against Christians, E.F. Benson's book remains relevant as it provides a valuable historic background.

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Starving Armenians: America and the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1930 and After

Starving Armenians America and the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1930 and After by Merrill D. Peterson by Merrill D. Peterson (no photo)


The persecution and suffering of the Armenian people, a religious and cultural minority in the Ottoman Empire, reached a peak in the era of World War I at the hands of the Turks. Between 1915 and 1925 as many as 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children died in Ottoman Turkey, victims of execution, starvation, and death marches to the Syrian desert.

In Starving Armenians, Merrill Peterson explores the American response to these atrocities, beginning with the initial reports to President Wilson from his Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, who described Turkey as "a place of horror." The West gradually began to take notice. As the New York Times carried stories about the "slow massacre of a race," public outrage over this tragedy led to an unprecedented philanthropic crusade spearheaded by Near East Relief, an organization rooted in Protestant missionary endeavors in the Near East and dedicated to saving the survivors of the first genocide of the twentieth century. The book also addresses the Armenian aspirations for an independent republic under American auspices; these hopes went unfulfilled in the peacemaking after the war and ended altogether when Armenia was absorbed into the Soviet Union.

Part of a generation who were admonished as children to "remember the starving Armenians," Peterson went to Armenia in 1997 as a Peace Corps volunteer and became fascinated by the country’s troubled history. The extensive research he embarked upon afterwards revealed not only the scope of the people’s hardship and amazing resilience; it located in the American effort to help the Armenians a unique perspective on our own nation’s experience of the twentieth century. Starving Armenians is an eloquent narrative of an all but forgotten part of that experience.

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From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide

From Empire to Republic Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide by Taner Akçam by Taner Akçam Taner Akçam


The murder of more than one million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915 has been acknowledged as genocide. Yet almost 100 years later, these crimes remain unrecognized by the Turkish state. This book is the first attempt by a Turk to understand the genocide from a perpetrator's, rather than victim's, perspective, and to contextualize the events of 1915 within Turkey's political history and western regional policies. Turkey today is in the midst of a tumultuous transition. It is emerging from its Ottoman legacy and on its way to recognition by the west as a normal nation state. But until it confronts its past and present violations of human rights, it will never be a truly democratic nation. This book explores the sources of the Armenian genocide, how Turks today view it, the meanings of Turkish and Armenian identity, and how the long legacy of western intervention in the region has suppressed reform, rather than promoted democracy.

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Caravans to Oblivion: The Armenian Genocide, 1915

Caravans to Oblivion The Armenian Genocide, 1915 by G.S. Graber by G.S. Graber (no photo)


Acclaimed author and historian G. S. Graber has crafted a searing narrative of "the forgotten genocide." Using newly available sources, Graber offers definitive proof—denied even today by the Turkish government—that there was nothing less than a centrally organized government attempt to systematically eliminate the Armenian population in 1915.

Placing the events of this effort within a broader historical context, the author brings insight and perspective to the political, economic, and cultural upheaval that led to the murder of over one million Armenian men, women, and children. Firsthand accounts recall the climate that ignited the flames of anti-Armenian sentiment as the Ottoman Empire collapsed and a new leadership emerged. The political party of the Young Turks, Ittihad ve Teraki (the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress), espoused the notion of Turanism, a mythic glorification of Turkish ethnic identity, and was devoted to restoring Turkey's shattered national pride. And even though Armenians had distinguished themselves as productive and loyal citizens in times of peace and able-bodied soldiers in times of war, they were now branded as traitorous enemies, destroying Turkey from within.

The tragic fate of the Armenian people would be sealed by the political maneuvering of foreign powers eager to capitalize on the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Graber examines how and why the West—principally France and Great Britain—was eager to look the other way. Following a pattern that the engineers of modern genocide would repeat time and time again, the Turks systematically gathered Armenian men and used them as slave labor before executing them en masse. The women and children were then packed into caravans for "relocation." Most would die along the way from disease and exposure. Those who survived would be shot on some arid plain, which would become their final destination.

The slaughter of the Armenians, and the diplomatic backsliding that precipitated it, would serve as an all-too-efficient blueprint. In the twentieth century, genocides decimated over 119 million people worldwide—84 million more than the number who died in both world wars and all the revolutions and civil wars fought in this century combined. More than a compelling chronicle, Caravans to Oblivion offers chilling insight into how genocide happens.

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The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus

The History of the Armenian Genocide Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus by Vahakn N. Dadrian by Vahakn N. Dadrian (no photo)


The Armenian Genocide, though not given such prominent treatment as the Jewish Holocaust which it precedes, still haunts the Western world and has assumed a new significance in the light of "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia and, more recently, Darfur. This study by the most distinguished scholar of the Armenian tragedy offers an authoritative analysis by presenting it as a case study of genocide and by seeing it as an historical process in which a domestic conflict escalated and was finally consumed by global war.

message 21: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicki_c) The novel The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.

Summary from Powell'
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. It’s 1915, and Elizabeth has volunteered to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide during the First World War. There she meets Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. After leaving Aleppo and traveling into Egypt to join the British Army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, realizing that he has fallen in love with the wealthy young American.

Years later, their American granddaughter, Laura, embarks on a journey back through her family’s history, uncovering a story of love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

message 22: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Thanks, Victoria. Good job on the book citation. If you have a book cover, you don't need a title link, and don't forget the author photo:

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian by Chris Bohjalian Chris Bohjalian

message 23: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicki_c) No problem. I actually included the title intentionally (since often I don't recognize a cover) but will omit it in the future. As for the photo of the author, I don't know what happened, I saw the photo when selecting the author, but then it wasn't there when I posted. Is there a trick or extra step I missing to that?

message 24: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig No problem. You have a button to choose link or photo when you are on the author tab.

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Ottomans and Armenians: A Study in Counterinsurgency

Ottomans and Armenians A Study in Counterinsurgency by Edward J. Erickson by Edward J. Erickson (no photo)


Covering the period from 1878-1915, Ottomans and Armenians is a military history of the Ottoman army and the counterinsurgency campaigns it waged in the last days of the Ottoman empire. Although Ottomans were among the most active practitioners of counterinsurgency campaigning in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, in the vast literature available on counterinsurgency in the early twenty-first century, there is very little scholarly analysis of how Ottomans reacted to insurgency and then went about counterinsurgency. This book presents the thesis that the Ottoman government developed an evolving, 35-year, empire-wide array of counterinsurgency practices that varied in scope and execution depending on the strategic importance of the affected provinces.

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Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
@Jerome - thank you for the adds; @Bryan - thank you for giving extra help to Victoria

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An upcoming book:
Release date: May 12, 2015

The Great Fire: Two Americans' Heroic Mission to Rescue the Victims of the Armenian Genocide

The Great Fire Two Americans' Heroic Mission to Rescue the Victims of the Armenian Genocide by Lou Ureneck by Lou Ureneck Lou Ureneck


The harrowing story of a Methodist Minister and a principled American naval officer who helped rescue more than two hundred and fifty thousand refugees during the genocide of Armenian and Greek Christians—a tale of bravery, morality, and politics, published in to coincide with the genocide’s centennial

The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey’s interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence. Mustapha Kemal, now known as Ataturk, and his Muslim army soon advanced into Smyrna, a Christian city, where a half a million terrified Greek and Armenian refugees had fled in a desperate attempt to escape his troops. Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Asa Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city’s Quay.

With the help of the brilliant naval officer and Kentucky gentleman Halsey Powell, and a handful of others, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people—an amazing humanitarian act that has been lost to history, until now. Before the horrible events in Turkey were complete, Jennings had helped rescue a million people.

By turns harrowing and inspiring, The Great Fire uses eyewitness accounts, documents, and survivor narratives to bring this episode—extraordinary for its brutality as well as its heroism—to life.

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Release date: March 22, 2015

"They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide

"They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else" A History of the Armenian Genocide by Ronald Grigor Suny by Ronald Grigor Suny (no photo)


Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by ninety percent--more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian versions of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915-16 were committed.

As it lost territory during the war, the Ottoman Empire was becoming a more homogenous Turkic-Muslim state, but it still contained large non-Muslim communities, including the Christian Armenians. The Young Turk leaders of the empire believed that the Armenians were internal enemies secretly allied to Russia and plotting to win an independent state. Suny shows that the great majority of Armenians were in truth loyal subjects who wanted to remain in the empire. But the Young Turks, steeped in imperial anxiety and anti-Armenian bias, became convinced that the survival of the state depended on the elimination of the Armenians. Suny is the first to explore the psychological factors as well as the international and domestic events that helped lead to genocide.

Drawing on archival documents and eyewitness accounts, this is an unforgettable chronicle of a cataclysm that set a tragic pattern for a century of genocide and crimes against humanity.

message 29: by Teri (last edited Nov 24, 2014 08:44AM) (new)

Teri (teriboop) Came across this article about hunger in Armenia and how the 1915 genocide has affected today's Armenian generation.

Hunger Is Not New to Armenia

Turks starved hundreds of thousands of Armenians to death in 1915. It was Armenia's Great Genocide.

My grandfather was his family's sole survivor as the genocide hit; the rest died of starvation.

Hunger is not new to Armenia.

But for so many in today's modern societies, it's impossible to imagine what it's like to be hungry -- I mean really hungry -- compounded with neverending pain and suffering. Not being able to feed your own children, like many face in Armenia, is burdening with feelings of great stress and failure.

Children around the world can relate to being deprived of this essential life component. Cayden Taipalus, an eight-year-old student in Michigan, was encouraged to help a classmate when denied a hot lunch (but offered a cold one) because he had more than $5.00 of debt on his school lunch account. After being witness to this traumatizing experience, Cayden raised money to pay off not only that one child's debt, but every student's debt at his school. His campaign soon went viral and raised more than $14,000.

Today, food is a centerpiece to the Armenian heritage, but it now has a much more positive connotation. Recently, my work to fund needy Armenian children has centered around food.

Orran, which means "haven" in Armenian, is an after school program for the country's most vulnerable children. It also serves as a soup kitchen for the elderly. It costs Orran $500 to feed one child for an entire year. Between its two centers, Orran spends more than $100,000 annually to provide meals for more than 250 children and elderly.

Hunger and shelter were the main drivers that encouraged Orran's founders, Armine Hovannisian, and her husband, Raffi K. Hovannisian (first minister of foreign affairs of independent Armenia) to open the center in 2000.

Upon entering the program, children arrive hungry and weak; their growth is stunted by lack of nutrition.

When a trio of brothers arrived at Orran last year, each boy ended up eating three servings of food for the entire first month just to make up for the nourishment they lacked for so long.

With food being a necessity in our lives, it becomes the centerpiece of everything we do.

A recent cooking day with my cousin allowed me to learn the recipes to my favorite Armenian foods. She introduced me to manti (meat and pastry dumplings), kololak (meatball soup) and kata (sweet bread). A visit to Alvard Barseghian's will always include plenty homemade treats, plus a doggie bag (or several large containers) to take home. My favorite part of the visit though was the chance to sit down with three generations (Alvard, her mother and daughter) over traditional Armenian coffee. The history and camaraderie felt during this ritual is a cherished moment that takes me back to a simple life.

Another Armenian cooking experience I had was a kufta-making party at the Aghajanian's home. Kufta is lean ground meat mixed with cracked wheat made into a meatball with ground meat inside. Our host for the kufta-making party, Michael, grew up in an Armenian suburb in Boston and continues one of his favorite family traditions of large gatherings in the kitchen with everyone cooking together.

Even the Kardashian sisters still make their traditional Armenian breakfast dish beeshee for special occasions.

Today, food can be a vehicle for helping to feed those who cannot support themselves.

Last week, Hopscotch, an upscale diner in Oakland, Calif., hosted a dinner to raise money for Orran's children, allowing the charity to keep all of the ticket proceeds.

That evening, Armenians and non-Armenians enjoyed exceptional food and drinks, and more importantly, generated $1,000 in donations, which means that two more Armenian children will not go hungry this year.

While my work is to raise funds to help indigent youth, I also seek to achieve another goal: Using food to raise awareness of supporting those who don't have it. Everyone can relate -- those who have it can help those who need it. (source:

The Armenian Genocide: Forgotten and Denied
Note: Kindle only

The Armenian Genocide Forgotten and Denied by Yair Auron by Yair Auron (no photo)


A Complete comprehansive analysis of the armenian genocide of wide range of aspects such as political, historical and moral. The book deals with both the genocide of the armenian people and denying the war cars since than and until now.

On April 24, 1915, in the course of WWI, the rulers of the crumbling Ottoman Empire embarked upon a campaign of extermination against the Armenian people.Within less than a year—after 2,300 years of living, working, and creating in Armenia—almost no Armenians remained. More than one million people were killed, and those who survived became refugees dispersed throughout the world.The Armenian genocide was the first genocide that was brought to the attention of the public in the West. However, no decisive response, action, or an attempt at prevention was ever taken. The modern state of Turkey was founded in 1923, and firmly resolved not only to forget this appalling chapter in its history but also to deny it. This book explores the Armenian genocide in its historical, political, and ideological context. It also addresses the effort, unprecedented in its scope and intensity, which has been put into denying the genocide, as well as the world's position on the subject. The Armenian Genocide: Forgotten and Denied is part of the series Genocide, which offers a comprehensive exploration of the subject of genocide. Each volume constitutes an integral component of this larger endeavor, but also stands alone in its own right.

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An upcoming book:
Release date: April 21, 2015

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide

Operation Nemesis The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian by Eric Bogosian Eric Bogosian


In 1921, a small group of self-appointed patriots set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian Genocide. They named their operation Nemesis after the Greek goddess of retribution. Over several years, the men tracked down and assassinated former Turkish leaders. The story of this secret operation has never been fully told until now.

Eric Bogosian goes beyond simply telling the story of this cadre of Armenian assassins to set the killings in context by providing a summation of the Ottoman and Armenian history as well as the history of the genocide itself. Casting fresh light on one of the great crimes of the twentieth century and one of history's most remarkable acts of political retribution, and drawing upon years of new research across multiple continents, Operation Nemesis is both a riveting read and a profound examination of evil, revenge, and the costs of violence.

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book does no deal specifically with the genocide but instead with the people who survived it and developed a country based on nationalism and ethnic pride.

Armenia: The Survival of a Nation

Armenia The Survival of a Nation by Christopher J. Walker by Christopher J. Walker(no photo)


This modern history of Armenia traces the influences promoting Armenian nationalism, and places the historical, cultural and social issues firmly in the contemporary context. It assesses the impact of changing political attitudes, and provides brief bibliographies of 120 leading Armenian figures.

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The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide

The Spirit of the Laws The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide by Taner Akçam by Taner Akçam Taner Akçam


Pertinent to contemporary demands for reparations from Turkey is the relationship between law and property in connection with the Armenian Genocide. This book examines the confiscation of Armenian properties during the genocide and subsequent attempts to retain seized Armenian wealth. Through the close analysis of laws and treaties, it reveals that decrees issued during the genocide constitute central pillars of the Turkish system of property rights, retaining their legal validity, and although Turkey has acceded through international agreements to return Armenian properties, it continues to refuse to do so. The book demonstrates that genocides do not depend on the abolition of the legal system and elimination of rights, but that, on the contrary, the perpetrators of genocide manipulate the legal system to facilitate their plans.

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Armenian Genocide: Survivors and Heroes

Armenian Genocide Survivors and Heroes by Dr Albert Valencia by Dr Albert Valencia (no photo)


During the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, half of the Armenian population-estimated at one to two million men, women and children-was killed in order to transform the multiethnic and multi-religious Ottoman society into a homogeneous Turkish state. The remaining population was forced to flee and build new lives elsewhere. Thousands of displaced Armenians came to the United States, and settled in Yettem in the California San Joaquin Valley. Armenian Genocide: Survivors and Heroes compiles 19 essays written by survivors and heroes of the genocide who made the Yettem settlement their new home.

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