In This Review

Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks, and a Century of Genocide
Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks, and a Century of Genocide
By Vicken Cheterian
Oxford University Press, 2015, 416 pp

Cheterian’s book offers one of the most complete tellings of the twisted, emotional story of the decimation of 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915, during the fury of World War I—and the story of the political struggle over the massacre in the century since it occurred. Cheterian deals with the most familiar aspects of the controversy: the insistence of Armenia and the Armenian diaspora that Turkey recognize the killing as genocide and the refusal of Turkish governments over the years not only to accept that designation but even to acknowledge the scale and nature of what happened. Cheterian also explores the killings’ intricate legacy in the Armenian communities that remain in Turkey and in others scattered across the world, revealing how the fight over 1915 continues to shape conflicts in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Middle East—and debates in the U.S. Congress. On an encouraging note, he reports that some among the younger generation of Turks are genuinely struggling to understand and come to terms with this episode in Turkish history.