Before Rwanda and Bosnia, and before the Holocaust, the first genocide of the twentieth century happened in Turkish Armenia in 1915, when approximately one million people were killed. This volume is an account of the American response to this atrocity. The first part sets up the framework for understanding the genocide: Sir Martin Gilbert, Vahakn Dadrian and Jay Winter provide an analytical setting for nine scholarly essays examining how Americans learned of this catastrophe and how they tried to help its victims. Knowledge and compassion, though, were not enough to stop the killings. A terrible precedent was born in 1915, one which has come to haunt the United States and other Western countries throughout the twentieth century and beyond. To read the essays in this volume is chastening: the dilemmas Americans faced when confronting evil on an unprecedented scale are not very different from the dilemmas we face today.
• The first book to set the Armenian genocide in twentieth-century international history • The first study to trace American attitudes to genocide in the twentieth century • Written by a team of international experts
Introduction: Witness to genocide Jay Winter; Part I. The Framework: 1. Twentieth-century genocides Sir Martin Gilbert; 2. Genocide in the perspective of total war Jay Winter; 3. The Armenian genocide: an interpretation Vahakn N. Dadrian; Part II. During the Catastrophe: 4. A friend in power? Woodrow Wilson and Armenia John Milton Cooper; 5. Wilsonian diplomacy and Armenia: the limits of power and ideology Lloyd E. Ambrosius; 6. American diplomatic correspondence in the age of mass murder: documents of the Armenian Genocide in the U.S. Archives Rouben Paul Adalian; 7. The Armenian genocide and American missionary relief efforts Suzanne Moranian; 8. Mary Louise Graffam: witness to genocide Susan Billington Harper; 9. From Ezra Pound to Theodore Roosevelt: American intellectual and cultural responses to the Armenian genocide Peter Balakian; Part III. After the Catastrophe: 10. The Armenian genocide and US postwar commissions Richard G. Hovannisian; 11. Congress confronts the Armenian genocide Donald A. Ritchie; 12. When news is not enough: American media and Armenian deaths Thomas C. Leonard.