The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response

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Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - History - 528 pages

A History of International Human Rights and Forgotten Heroes

In this national bestseller, the critically acclaimed author Peter Balakian brings us a riveting narrative of the massacres of the Armenians in the 1890s and of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Using rarely seen archival documents and remarkable first-person accounts, Balakian presents the chilling history of how the Turkish government implemented the first modern genocide behind the cover of World War I. And in the telling, he resurrects an extraordinary lost chapter of American history.

Awarded the Raphael Lemkin Prize for the best scholarly book on genocide by the Institute for Genocide Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY Graduate Center.


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User Review  - jonfaith - LibraryThing

My friend Ed picked this one a few summers ago when Joel was preparing to teach a Genocide course. We were all affected by the book. Ed was bothered by Joel's ultimate distinction that genocide as a ... Read full review

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User Review  - PCorrigan - LibraryThing

My Amazon review: I gave this 5 stars not just for content but mainly for the incredible fact that almost 100 years later people (i.e. the Turkish nation) dare to deny the reality of what was done to ... Read full review


A Gathering at Faneuil Hall
There in the Woods
Yankees in Armenia
The Sultan and the Armenian Question
The Massacres of the 1890s
Clara Barton and Americas Mission to Armenia
Walking Skeletons
The Voice of the Womans Journal
The News from the American Consul in Harput
Land of Dead
From Jesse Jackson in Aleppo
Reports from All Over Turkey
Working for Armenia Again
Wilsons Quandary
The Rise of a New Turkish Nationalism and
The Ottoman CourtsMartial

The Ottoman Bank Incident and the Aftermath of the Hamidian Massacres
Intellectuals Popular Culture and the Armenian Massacres of the 1890s
The Rise of the Young Turks
Counterrevolution and Massacre
The Road to Genocide
GovernmentPlanned Genocide
The Ambassador at the Crossroads
The American Mandate for Armenia
The New U S Oil Policy in the Middle East
Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide
Photograph and Map Acknowledgments
Selected Bibliography

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Page 317 - The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development...
Page 145 - At Serres the president of the Bulgarian Committee embraced the Greek Archbishop ; at Drama the revolutionary officers imprisoned a Turk for insulting a Christian ; in an Armenian cemetery a procession of Turks and Armenians listened to prayers, offered up by their respective priests, for the victims of the Armenian massacres ; at Samsun the Turks saluted the beard of a Greek prelate ; at Tripoli Turks and Arabs joined in thanksgiving services.
Page 65 - The massacres in Armenia have aroused the deep sympathy and just indignation of the American people, and we believe that the United States should exercise all the influence it can properly exert to bring these atrocities to an end.
Page 97 - ... confer upon the husband an injurious and unnatural superiority, investing him with legal powers which no honorable man would exercise, and which no man should possess.
Page 403 - Week." and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Page 73 - African, may upset all prejudice that may be implanted there against those immortal beings, whose only crime is that of being unfortunate and having a skin of a darker hue than their own, and may teach them to remember that 'of one blood God made all the nations of the earth.
Page 232 - One day I was discussing these proceedings with a responsible Turkish official, who was describing the tortures inflicted. He made no secret of the fact that the Government had instigated them, and, like all Turks of the official classes, he enthusiastically approved this treatment of the detested race. This official told me that all these details were matters of nightly discussion at the headquarters of the Union and Progress Committee.
Page 33 - But whatever may have been their destiny — and it has been bitter — whatever it may be in future, their country must ever be one of the most interesting on the globe ; and perhaps their language ' only requires to be more studied to become more attractive. • If the Scriptures are rightly understood, it was in Armenia that Paradise was placed — Armenia, ' which has paid as dearly as the descendants of Adam for that fleeting participation of its soil in the happiness of him who was created...
Page 40 - The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out, without further delay, the improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians, and to guarantee their security against the Circassians and Kurds. It will periodically make known the steps taken to this effect to the Powers, who will superintend their application.
Page 200 - Our participation in the world war represents the vindication of our national ideal. The ideal of our nation and people leads us towards the destruction of our Muscovite enemy, in order to obtain thereby a natural frontier to our Empire, which should include and unite all branches of our race.

About the author (2009)

Peter Balakian is the author of Black Dog of Fate, winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for Memoir and a New York Times Notable Book, and June-tree: New and Selected Poems 1974–2000. He is the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship. He holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University and teaches at Colgate University, where he is a Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities.

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