C-SPAN to Broadcast Reading by Best-Selling Author on December 13th and 14th

December 11, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – Two months after the release of “The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response,” the book is in its eighth printing and has now appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and most recently, The Los Angeles Times.

Peter Balakian’s readings have drawn standing room only crowds throughout the United States. His final reading at the Museum of the City of New York was taped by C-SPAN and will be broadcast nationally twice:

** C-SPAN 2: Saturday, December 13th at 11:00pm (Eastern U.S.)
** C-SPAN 2: Sunday, December 14th at 8:00pm (Eastern U.S.)

For schedule information, visit:

Released on September 30th, “The Burning Tigris” comprehensively documents the U.S. humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide and 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.

Thousands of readers learned about this publication through the ANCA “Burning Tigris” Education Campaign, which was conducted over the internet, through ANCA chapters, and extensive outreach by activists throughout the nation. The ANCA campaign also reached out to elected officials, scholars, the media, and the general public. As part of the campaign, activists were urged to:

1) Tell a Friend about “The Burning Tigris”
2) Teach Elected Officials, the Media, and Libraries
3) Take a Friend to a Reading of “The Burning Tigris”

The Burning Tigris continues to receive stellar reviews in the national press:

* “An essential, chilling account of the 20th century’s first genocide-by Turks of 1.5 million Armenians-a virtual template for the horrors that followed.”
Publishers Weekly citation, one of the best books of 2003.

* “Balakian writes with passion and power…. this is a landmark book abundant with documentation against the Turkish government’s brazen attempts to convince the world that nothing happened.”
– Anne Grant, The Providence Journal

* “fascinating … comprehensive … crucial … Balakian’s vivid narrative … reconstructs a chapter of the history of the humanitarian movement in the United States: the valiant efforts of missionaries, diplomats and relief workers … who often risked their lives trying to save Armenians … [also] Balakian exposes the hypocrisy of U. S. policy toward Turkey.”
– Levon Sevunts, The Montreal Gazette

* “In this meticulously researched, admirably wrought book, Balakian charts the genocidal policies that successive governments in Turkey perpetrated against the minority Christian Armenians…. Balakian supplies compelling historical context for the turbulent years before World War I … and quotes chillingly from an official Turkish 10-point how-to document. This process the Nazis would later follow against the Jews.”
– Laura Kalpakian, The Seattle Times

* “A vivid account … Peter Balakian’s new book … recalls the outcries of idealistic men and women during the last decades of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th that made the plight of the Armenians headlines news and fueled an outpouring of charitable donations.”
– Henry Morgenthau III, The Boston Globe (op-ed)

* “A lucid and engaging account…. Balakian’s book should serve as a warning. Suppressed history has a way of returning…. One can only hope that Americans, concerned with the Armenian cause in the past, will be receptive to it again, and that Turkey, long in denial of its past, will strengthen its own democratic system by dealing with it.”
– Stephen Feinstein, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

* “Timely and welcome … an overwhelmingly convincing retort to genocide deniers…. the book’s real power derives from the eyewitness accounts to the genocide itself…. The Burning Tigris succeeds in resurrecting a little known chapter of American history [and] also underscores a crucial point about humanitarian responses to violations of human rights … Balakian forcefully reminds us that almost a century after the Armenian Genocide the international community has yet to find a means of implementing … international law.”
– Belinda Cooper, The New York Times Book Review

* “the reaction of Americans to the horrors that were occurring half a world away is so key to a comprehensive understanding…. of the blood soaked 20th century.”
– Pamela H. Sacks, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette

* “shines a blinding spotlight into the corners of the past … describes how America’s intellectual and cultural leaders spoke out against the atrocities, even as the U. S. government stood idly by.”
– Laura Ryan, The Syracuse Post-Standard

* “The horror that swept the Armenian people to the brink of extinction during World War I is captured with chilling power…. and also a comprehensive account of how U. S. citizens came to the aid of the Armenians and helped launch America’s first international human rights movement.”
– Guy Keeler, The Fresno Bee

* “Culminating in the organized murder of more than one million Armenians in 1915, the Armenian genocide was both a systematized continuation of violence begun in the nineteenth century and a chilling premonition of larger and more systematic European genocide to come… Balakian proves adept at presenting both human horror and political tragedy.”
– Book List

* “Peter Balakian’s powerful new examination … weaves together the horrific details of the genocide with the inspirational story of America’s early response to the disaster…. a gifted stylist … Balakian argues America’s long history with humanitarian intervention begins in Armenia … [The Burning Tigris] encourages America to tap into a forgotten well of knowledge about the genocide and to revive its powerful impulse toward humanitarianism.”
– Paul Mitchinson, New York Newsday

* “Relying on eyewitness accounts of excruciating brutality and on newly translated official state records, Balakian describes the systematic extermination of the Armenians…. Balakian shows how the Armenian genocide became a template for most of the genocide that followed in the 20th century.
– Tom Goldstein, The San Francisco Chronicle

Additional reviews are expected. Meanwhile, the British edition of the book comes out in April 2004, and translations in Bulgarian, French and Italian will follow soon thereafter.


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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