Washington–DC–"The New York Times" best-selling author Peter Balakian will be honored with the ANCA Freedom Award at the 10th Annual Capitol Hill Genocide Observance–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). The event will take place on April 28–from 5:30-8:30 PM–in the historic Cannon Caucus Room–in Washington–DC.
Over the past decade–Peter Balakian has emerged as an exceptionally powerful–eloquent–and effective voice against Armenian Genocide denial–most recently through his landmark study of the US humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide. Released on September 30–2003–"The Burning Tigris" 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 Armenia’s–brought about the entry of the United States on the world stage as a humanitarian power. Historians and genocide scholars who have offered critical acclaim for the book include Sir Martin Gilbert–Robert Lifton–and Deborah Lipstadt.
"We look forward to honoring Peter Balakian for his tremendous contributions to educating the international community about the Armenian Genocide and the dangers of the Turkish government’s ongoing denial of this crime against humanity," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Our work toward official US commemoration of the Armenian Genocide–within Congress–the Washington–DC foreign policy community–and the American media–has been immeasurably aided by Peter’s excellent scholarship–his broad appeal to diverse audiences–and his tireless commitment to the truth."
Within weeks of its publication–"The Burning Tigris" was listed as Number 4 on The New York Times Best Seller list. It received stellar reviews from the Publishers Weekly–Kirkus Review–and a host of newspapers across the country. The book is set to debut in England in the upcoming weeks.
In 1997–Balakian published "The Black Dog of Fate," which offered important insight into the far-reaching consequences of the Armenian Genocide on the children and grandchildren of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. That book–now in multiple printings–was awarded the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for Memoir and designated a New York Times Notable Book.
In 1996–Balakian led a campaign against Turkish government efforts to manipulate scholarship on the Armenian Genocide in US educational institutions. His petition–titled "Against the Turkish Government’s Denial of the Armenian Genocide and Scholarly Corruption in the Academy," was signed by over 150 leading writers and scholars–including Susan Sontag–Arthur Miller–Henry Louis Gates–Cornel West–Yehuda Bauer–Raul Hilberg–and Norman Mailer. The petition co-signers "condemn[ed] fraudulent scholarship supported by the Turkish government and carried out in American universities," and urged the "US government–institutions–and citizens to reject Turkey’s genocide denial tactics."
In addition to "The Burning Tigris" and "Black Dog of Fate," Peter Balakian is the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism. He is the recipient of many awards–including a Guggenheim Fellowship. He holds a PhD in American Civilization from Brown University and teaches at Colgate University–where he is a Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities.
Dr. Balakian will be honored at the ANCA’s Annual Capitol Hill Observance–which provides Members of Congress the opportunity to commemorate the Armenian Genocide with Armenian Americans from throughout the country. The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region–Western Region and Washington headquarters cordially invite community members from across the US to participate in the Capitol Hill Genocide Observance.