LOS ANGELES—On Friday, April 22, USC Institute of Armenian Studies will host a book launch for TRUTH HELD HOSTAGE by Ambassador John Evans at 7pm at the Hilton Pasadena. Ambassador Evans will be present.
Ambassador Evans, a member of the Institute’s National Council, served as US ambassador to Armenia until 2005, when he lost his job for using the word Genocide to describe the Turkish government’s policy of extermination of Armenians in 1915. This book is a chronicle of John Evans’ experiences prior to and following his public statement.
The book is published by the Gomidas Institute, and Ara Sarafian, historian and president of the Gomidas Institute will also speak at the book launch.
Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, says, “The USC Institute of Armenian Studies is honored to not only launch this book, but create a platform for meaningful discussion about ethics as it relates to governance.”
Scholars and practitioners have welcomed the publication.
Peter Balakian, author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, said “Ambassador John Evans’s Truth Held Hostage is the most important work about the Armenian genocide by a US diplomat since Henry Morgenthau’s groundbreaking Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story in 1918. Evans writes with an elegant clarity that allows us to experience his journey into a major personal and political ethical dilemma concerning the truth of history and the untruth of US government protocol in the name of foreign policy politics. This is a must read with implications for all histories of mass violence and trauma.”
Tom de Waal, Senior Associate at Carnegie Europe and author of Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War, as well as The Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide, said, “Evans is a remarkable man who was an unusual American diplomat. A principled man steeped in history, he wrestled with the moral issue of whether to defy his own government’s increasingly awkward position on the Armenian Genocide. Evans’ tale of how he came to be involved in Armenia, his term as ambassador in Yerevan and his decision to break the US government’s genocide taboo is a compelling, page-turning read. It is fascinating not just for anyone interested in Armenian issues but as an inside story of international diplomacy and politics of recent times.”
John Evans, formerly U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, enjoyed a long career in foreign service. Over the course of 35 years, Ambassador Evans served with distinction in diplomatic posts in Tehran, Prague, Moscow, Brussels (NATO), St. Petersburg and Washington, reaching the rank of Minister-Counselor. A native of Williamsburg, Virginia, educated at Yale and Columbia, he is an avid student of Russian history who devoted a sabbatical year to investigating the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the setting in which the tragic events of 1915 occurred.
Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Books will be available for purchase, and Ambassador Evans will be available to sign them.
Directions and parking information:
Hilton Pasadena is located on 168 S Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101. The event will be held in the international ballroom. Valet is offered at a reduced rate of $11 and self-parking is available for $10.
About the Institute
Established in 2005, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies supports multidisciplinary scholarship to re-define, explore and study the complex issues that make up the contemporary Armenian experience – from post-Genocide to the developing Republic of Armenia to the evolving Diaspora. The Institute encourages research, publications and public service, and promotes links among the global academic and Armenian communities.
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