November 6, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC — The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has launched the second wave of its “Burning Tigris Education Campaign,” urging Armenian Americans to participate in the national speaking tour by New York Times Best Selling author Peter Balakian, and to encourage the newly released paperback version of his powerful book to be used in school curricula around the nation.

First published in hardcover in September, 2003, “The Burning Tigris” is a thoroughly documented history of the U.S. humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide, which draws special attention to the vast cast of American heroes who raised their voices against the atrocities being committed by the Ottoman Turkish government against the Armenian people. Among those whose stories are told are Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, authors Stephen Crane and Ezra Pound, and the many missionaries and diplomats who, through their tireless efforts on behalf of the Armenians, brought about the entry of the United States on the world stage as a humanitarian power. Released by HarperCollins, it received critical praise from historians and genocide scholars including Sir Martin Gilbert, Robert Lifton and Deborah Lipstadt and debuted #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Upon publication of Balakian’s seminal work last year, the ANCA launched the “Burning Tigris Education Campaign”, a multi-faceted program designed to share the history of the Armenian Genocide and to celebrate the American humanitarian spirit. Armenian Americans responded energetically to the ANCA’s efforts to encourage individual activists and grassroots organizations to purchase and donate copies of the volume to local elected officials, media outlets, and libraries to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA also made arrangements to distribute 1,000 copies to Members of Congress and the Bush Administration and encouraged support for the Genocide resolution (H.Res.193 / S.Res.164), which marked the 15th anniversary of the U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention.

With the paperback version released in October 2004, the ANCA has encouraged Armenian Americans to step up efforts with their local schools to include the Armenian Genocide in class curricula. Publisher HarperCollins has featured the work on its website geared to educators and academia:

Commenting on the importance of teaching the Armenian Genocide in social studies and history classes, Balakian noted that “any course dealing with World War I must include the Armenian Genocide; it is as essential to understanding World War I as the Holocaust is to understanding World War II.” “The Burning Tigris” is listed among useful teaching resources on, a website that provides extensive lesson plans on the Armenian Genocide.

Peter Balakian’s speaking tour will continue through the month of November. Visit the ANCA website for a complete list of tour dates and reviews of “The Burning Tigris.”


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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