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

The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response
Author: Peter Balakian
ISBN 13: 9780060558703
ISBN 10: 60558709
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: 2004-10-05
Format: Paperback
Pages: 528
List Price: $15.99

The Armenian Genocide by the Turks was the first great genocide of the 20th century. Balakian (humanities, Colgate U.) explores the American response to the crime through the actions of diplomats and politicians, as well as Protestant missionaries, the press, and the American relief community. State Department officials, particularly Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, are portrayed as going to almost heroic lengths in efforts to avert the massacres. The passion of the relief agencies are also described favorably, while isolationist Republican Senators and post-World War I power alliances and oil considerations are suggested to have diverted attempts to address the genocide. These tensions, contends Balakian, continue to haunt American foreign policy down to the present time. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

The New York Times

The Burning Tigris does succeed in resurrecting a little-known chapter of American as well as Armenian history. It also underscores a crucial point about humanitarian responses to violations of human rights: outrage and outpourings of sympathy and aid may save some lives, but -- as the 20th century would show time and again -- they have little real impact in the face of state interests that militate against intervention. With The Burning Tigris Peter Balakian forcefully reminds us that almost a century after the Armenian genocide, the international community has yet to find a means of implementing Charlotte Perkins Gilman's vision, as pertinent today as it was in 1903: ''National crimes demand international law, to restrain, prohibit, punish, best of all, prevent.'' — Belinda Cooper