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Reader's letters
'The Burning Tigris' 09/11/2003
Help Advance the Armenian Cause
By Ordering 'The Burning Tigris'

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Between now and the end of September, Armenian-Americans have the unique
opportunity to place a very valuable book on the Armenian Genocide on the
best-seller list.
Peter Balakian, the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, "Black Dog of
Fate: An American Son Uncovers His Armenian Past," has written a new book,
"The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response," which
will be released by HarperCollins on September 30.  Balakian is the Donald
M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University.
His previous book, "Black Dog of Fate," received rave reviews in scores of
major American newspapers and literary journals. The book told the story of
the Armenian Genocide from a very personal perspective to large segments of
the American public. It won the PEN/Albrand Award for Memoir and was
selected as a New York Times Notable Book as well as one of the best books
of the year by the Los Angeles Times
Balakian's new book, "The Burning Tigris," is expected to educate an even
larger number of Americans about the Armenian Genocide. It documents the
humanitarian efforts of Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, John D.
Rockefeller, Clara Barton, Ezra Pound, high-ranking clergymen of all faiths,
and millions of ordinary American citizens. The book includes eyewitness
accounts, survivor testimonies, and official reports from the archives of
the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Austria and Turkey.
"The Burning Tigris" has already received advanced praise from several major
writers and historians. Paul Fussell, author of "The Great War" and "Modern
Memory and Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War,"
wrote: "Peter Balakian's The Burning Tigris is a gripping treatment of the
official Turkish mass murder of a whole people.... The book, fully
documented with appalling details, is a masterpiece of moral history, and it
needs to be widely read."
Prof. Robert Jay Lifton, the author of "Nazi Doctors" and "Destroying The
World to Save It," wrote: "This is the only study of a particular genocide
that fully records the motivations of perpetrators, the suffering of
victims, and the responses of the outside world. Balakian brilliantly
integrates all of these dimensions so that they become a single, compelling
narrative. This book will be a classic...."
Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, the author "Denying the Holocaust," wrote: "The
Armenian Genocide is a double tragedy: the tragedy of the horrific event
itself and the contemporary tragedy of its denial by Turkey. Peter Balakian
tells the powerful and largely unknown story of America's response to both
these tragedies. This important and compelling book is long overdue."
Sir Martin Gilbert, author of "The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the
Holocaust" and "Empires In Conflict: A History of the Twentieth Century,
1900-1933," wrote: "The terrible fate of the Armenians, whose attempted
destruction provided a template for the Jewish Holocaust, is brilliantly
described, as is the remarkable response of the United States.... Peter
Balakian has done a great service to the history of the Armenians."
The Publisher's Weekly, the book industry's publication of record, wrote in
its starred review: "Balakian exposes the roots of the genocide in the total
war atmosphere of WWI, which combusted in the pan-Turkish nationalism of the
Young Turk government, inflamed Muslim rage against 'infidel' Armenian
Christians, and a long-simmering Ottoman hatred of the Armenians dating to
Sultan Abdul Hamid II and his slaughters in the 1890s.  ...Readers will come
away sadly convinced that Armenians' brave but doomed stand in Van should be
as celebrated as the War saw ghetto uprising, and the corpse-strewn Lake
Goeljuk as well known as Babi Yar."
With the aid of this valuable book, Armenians have the unique opportunity to
disseminate the facts of the Armenian Genocide to a worldwide readership and
counter the lies spread by Turkey on this subject.
Thanks to the billions of dollars of aid provided by the US government, the
Turkish government spends millions to deny and distort the facts of the
Armenian Genocide. The Turks pay large sums of money to hire Turkish and
foreign mercenary writers to pen these lies which are then translated into
dozens of languages and mailed to newspapers, libraries and politicians
Mr. Balakian has devoted several years to research, at his personal expense,
and write this very impressive book. The least Armenians could do now is to
buy as many copies as possible and donate them to family members, friends
and colleagues. The Armenian National Committee has already announced that
it has arranged to distribute 1,000 copies of this book to Members of
Congress and the Bush Administration. Individuals or organizations could
purchase and donate additional copies of the book to newspapers, libraries,
and local and state government officials.
If thousands of copies are pre-ordered before September 30, "The Burning
Tigris" could go on the best-seller list, substantially increasing its
exposure and readership worldwide. Those who order this book now from
Amazon.com will get a 30% pre-publication discount ($18.87 instead of
$26.95). Barnes and Noble (http://www.bn.com/) is offering it at a 20% discount.
Since best-seller lists are based on the number of books sold per week,
pre-ordering it now on-line in large quantities could place Balakian's book
on the best-seller list when it is released on September 30!
Every Armenian could participate in this worthwhile effort and play an
important role in helping to advance the Armenian Cause!
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