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

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Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice
By Michael Bobelian
Simon & Schuster, 2009
320 pp. $26.00
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Much has been written about the deportation and slaughter of the Armenians by the Ottomans in 1915, but much less has been written about what followed in the years after -- which is odd given that the event is so deeply seared into the memories of Armenians everywhere and remains an immense burden on modern Armenian-Turkish relations. At every turn, Bobelian argues, from the post-World War I peace to the failure of the U.S. Congress to pass genocide resolutions in the 1990s, the Armenian cause has fallen victim to broken Western promises and been sacrificed to the priorities of others. He carefully unwinds three entwined threads, starting with the hopes for an independent homeland that were dissolved when Armenia was absorbed into Soviet Russia. The second thread emerges from the 1920s onward, when Atatürk's Turkey made denial of the episode an element of the country's emergent nationalism. The third thread is the quest to have the events of 1915 recognized as genocide, efforts that have been thwarted by U.S. administrations concerned with protecting relations with a NATO ally.