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

Michael Bobelian, Author . Simon & Schuster $26 (308p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5725-8

The 1915 genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government against its Armenian subjects drags on in the form of Turkish denial and global indifference, according to this rancorous history. Journalist Bobelian gives a sketchy rundown of the massacres (“what difference did it make if several hundred thousand Armenians died rather than 1.5 million?”), but his main story is the ensuing refusal of Turkey and the international community—especially the United States—to properly acknowledge the crime. He chronicles a generations-long contest between moral claims and realpolitik; after initial Western outrage, the genocide was shoved off the agenda of Turkish-American relations by commercial interests and the anti-Soviet alliance. The book provides an exhaustive account of the perennial battles between Armenian-American activists and Turkey's lobbyists over congressional genocide resolutions. The victimization of the Armenians' excuses much for Bobelian, who blames Armenian terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s—he sympathetically profiles an aging survivor who assassinated two Turkish diplomats—on “frustration and rage” over Ankara's denials. One leaves this j'accuse wondering if the quest for justice can be taken to an unhealthy extreme. (Sept. 1)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4165-5835-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4165-5726-5
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