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Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by 90 percent—more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian interpretations of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915–16 were committed. Drawing on archival documents and eyewitness accounts, this is an unforgettable chronicle of a cataclysm that set a tragic pattern for a century of genocide and crimes against humanity.
An estimated one million Armenians were killed in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Against the backdrop of World War I, reports of massacre, atrocity, genocide and exile sparked the largest global humanitarian response up to that date. Britain and its empire - the most powerful internationalist institutional force at the time - played a key role in determining the global response to these events. This book considers the first attempt to intervene on behalf of the victims of the massacres and to prosecute those responsible for 'crimes against humanity' using newly uncovered archival material. It looks at those who attempted to stop the violence and to prosecute the Ottoman perpetrators of the atrocities. In the process it explores why the Armenian question emerged as one of the most popular humanitarian causes in British society, capturing the imagination of philanthropists, politicians and the press. For liberals, it was seen as the embodiment of the humanitarian ideals espoused by their former leader (and four-time Prime Minister), W.E. Gladstone. For conservatives, as articulated most clearly by Winston Churchill, it proved a test case for British imperial power. In looking at the British response to the events in Anatolia, Michelle Tusan provides a new perspective on the genocide and sheds light on one of the first ever international humanitarian campaigns.
In the 1910s historian Harry Harootunian's parents Ohannes and Vehanush escaped the mass slaughter of the Armenian genocide, making their way to France, where they first met, before settling in suburban Detroit. Although his parents rarely spoke of their families and the horrors they survived, the genocide and their parents' silence about it was a permanent backdrop to the Harootunian children's upbringing. In The Unspoken as Heritage Harootunian—for the first time in his distinguished career—turns to his personal life and family heritage to explore the genocide's multigenerational afterlives that remain at the heart of the Armenian diaspora. Drawing on novels, anecdotes, and reports, Harootunian presents a composite sketch of the everyday life of his parents, from their childhood in East Anatolia to the difficulty of making new lives in the United States. A meditation on loss, inheritance, and survival—in which Harootunian attempts to come to terms with a history that is just beyond his reach—The Unspoken as Heritage demonstrates how the genocidal past never leaves the present, even in its silence.
Introduction: making history and the historian -- Part I. History and historians -- Back and beyond? Reversing the cultural turn -- Reading Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century: how the West wrote its history of the USSR -- The empire strikes out: imperial Russia, national identity, and theories of empire -- Part II. Russia's revolutions -- Toward a social history of the October Revolution -- Revision and retreat in the historiography of 1917: social history and its critics -- Breaking eggs, making omelets: violence and terror in Russia's civil wars
"In this extraordinary volume, Krishan Kumar provides us with a brilliant tour of some of history's most important empires, demonstrating the critical importance of imperial ideas and ideologies for understanding their modalities of rule and the conflicts that beset them. In doing so, he interrogates the contested terrain between nationalism and empire and the legacies that empires leave behind."--Mark R. Beissinger, Princeton University "This is an excellent book with original insights into the history of empires and the discourses and rhetoric of their rulers and defenders. Kumar's writing is lively and free of jargon, and his research is prodigious. He manages to bring clarity and perspective to a complex subject."--Ronald Grigor Suny, author of "They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide "A masterly piece of work."--Anthony Pagden, author of The Burdens of Empire: 1539 to the Present
Tracking the degeneration of the Russian Revolution Red Flag Wounded brings together essays covering the controversies and debates over the fraught history of the Soviet Union from the revolution to its disintegration. Those monumental years were marked not only by violence, mass killing, and the brutal upturning of a peasant society but also by the modernization and industrialization of the largest country in the world, the victory over fascism, and the slow recovery of society after the nightmare of Stalinism. Ronald Grigor Suny is one of the most prominent experts on the revolution, the fate of the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet empire, and the twists and turns of Western historiography of the Soviet experience. As a biographer of Stalin and a long-time commentator on Russian and Soviet affairs, he brings novel insights to a history that has been misunderstood and deliberately distorted in the public sphere. For a fresh look at a story that affects our world today, this is the place to begin.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the legacy of the historian, ethnographer, and geographer Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev (1912–1992) has attracted extraordinary interest in Russia and beyond. The son of two of modern Russia’s greatest poets, Nikolai Gumilev and Anna Akhmatova, Gumilev spent thirteen years in Stalinist prison camps, and after his release in 1956 remained officially outcast and professionally shunned. Out of the tumult of perestroika, however, his writings began to attract attention and he himself became a well-known and popular figure. Despite his highly controversial (and often contradictory) views about the meaning of Russian history, the nature of ethnicity, and the dynamics of interethnic relations, Gumilev now enjoys a degree of admiration and adulation matched by few if any other public intellectual figures in the former Soviet Union. He is freely compared to Albert Einstein and Karl Marx, and his works today sell millions of copies and have been adopted as official textbooks in Russian high schools. Universities and mountain peaks alike are named in his honor, and a statue of him adorns a prominent thoroughfare in a major city. Leading politicians, President Vladimir Putin very much included, are unstinting in their deep appreciation for his legacy, and one of the most important foreign-policy projects of the Russian government today is clearly inspired by his particular vision of how the Eurasian peoples formed a historical community. In The Gumilev Mystique, Mark Bassin presents an analysis of this remarkable phenomenon. He investigates the complex structure of Gumilev’s theories, revealing how they reflected and helped shape a variety of academic as well as political and social discourses in the USSR, and he traces how his authority has grown yet greater across the former Soviet Union. The themes he highlights while untangling Gumilev’s complicated web of influence are critical to understanding the political, intellectual, and ethno-national dynamics of Russian society from the age of Stalin to the present day.

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