Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Armenian Genocide and America's Response

The Burning Tigris, The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. A History of International Human Rights and Forgotten Heroes by Peter Balakian . 2003 HarperCollins Publishers.

Here is a book which our president and staff, and all of us, need to read. These comments printed on the jacket of the hardback will give you a good idea of its contents:

“Peter Balakian’s The Burning Tigris, is a gripping treatment of the official Turkish mass murder of a whole people, an event that adds its insane horror to the copious disgrace earned by the twentieth century. The book, fully documented with appalling details, is a masterpiece of moral history, and needs to be widely read.” --Paul Fussell, author of The Great War and Modern Memory

“The terrible fate of the Armenians, whose attempted destruction provided a template for the Jewish Holocaust, is brilliantly described, as is the remarkable response of the United States in the face of a humanitarian tragedy of a type that has, unfortunately, been repeated again and again, into our twenty-first century. Peter Balakian has done a great service to the history of the Armenians.” --Sir Martin Gilbert, author of The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust.

“The Armenian Genocide is a double tragedy; the tragedy of the horrific event itself and the contemporary tragedy of its denial by Turkey. Peter Balakian tells the powerful and largely unknown story of America’s response to both these tragedies. This important and compelling book is long overdue.” --Deborah E. Lipstadt, author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

Comments from the publishers:
“This is the only study of a particular genocide that fully records the motivations of perpetrators, the suffering of victims, and the responses of the outside world. Balakian brillianty integrates all of these dimensions so that they become a single, compelling narrative. This book will be a classic, in terms of what it says about genocide and about the struggle of America—and humanity as a whole—to come to terms with it.”

“During the United States’ ascension in the global arena at the turn of the twentieth century, America’s humanitarian movement for Armenia was an important part of the rising nation’s first epoch of internationalism. Intellectuals, politicians, diplomats, religious leaders, and ordinary citizens came together to try to save the Armenians. The Burning Tigris reconstructs this landmark American cause that was spearheaded by the passionate commitments and commentaries of a remarkable cast of public figures, including Julia War Howe, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Stone Blackwell, Stephen Crane and Ezra Pound, as well as courageous missionaries, diplomats and relief workers who recorded their eyewitness accounts and often risked their lives in the killing fields of Armenia.”

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