Kaloosdian’s Book on Tadem Continues to Receive Praise

Reviewed by USHMM Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Journal of Levantine Studies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian National Institute is pleased to announce that Robert Aram Kaloosdian’s book, Tadem: My Father’s Village Extinguished during the 1915 Armenian Genocide, was reviewed in the April 2017 issue of Holocaust and Genocide Studies,
the premier journal of the discipline published by Oxford University
Press on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In his
review, Robert Melson, past president of the International Association
of Genocide Scholars, describes the book as a “significant contribution
to historical understanding” of the Armenian Genocide.

Dr.
Melson, also professor emeritus of political science at Purdue
University, writes: “A graduate of Boston University’s School of Law,
Kaloosdian is the founding chairman of the Armenian National Institute,
and one of the founders of the Armenian Assembly of America.  He relies
on a written chronicle of the village and on oral testimonies by elderly
survivors, among them members of his own family, including his father
Boghos.”

Melson
continues: “One of the historical questions that Kaloosdian helps to
clarify…is the role of locals in the mass violence…Kaloosdian’s
research demonstrates that a potential for violence against Armenians at
the local level existed even before the massacres of 1895-1896.”

In her review which appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of the Journal of Levantine Studies,
Dr. Nazan Maksudyan of Istanbul Kemerburgaz University wrote:
“Kaloosdian has made a lasting contribution in reconstructing the
experience of Tademtsis (people from Tadem) during and after the
genocide.”  Maksudyan added: “Robert Aram Kaloosdian’s Tadem, My Father’s Village: Extinguished during the 1915 Armenian Genocide is
an exceptionally rich local history of a rather small village, based
mostly on oral histories, but also on memoirs and other published
accounts. The book provides an almost complete picture of life before
the genocide, with detailed population figures, census-like data on each
family, socioeconomic background, and so on. Moreover, the book
meticulously records the different phases of the genocidal process by
presenting Tadem as a microcosm of the genocide.”

The Journal of Levantine Studies is
published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, a center dedicated to
the interdisciplinary study and discussion of issues related to
philosophy, society, culture, and education.

While some
would rather we deny, forget, or ignore the reality of the Armenian
Genocide, the book serves as a countervailing force for truth and for
remembrance. It further clarifies with heartbreaking sincerity, what it
is that genocide entails. Because the book documents the tragedy at such
impressively granular tracking, not just a village or community but
also families and individuals, the reader is witness to the complex
pattern in which genocide unfolds – often decentralized, and with a
collection of differently motivated types of perpetrators. The message
is particularly poignant in light of the current turmoil in the same
region where slavery, forced marriages and conversions, and other forms
of exploitation are seen playing out against a background of
international inaction and apathy.

Kaloosdian stated the “voice that came forth in Tadem is
from those villagers of Tadem who no longer have a voice. They were
peaceful and agrarian, rich in culture but limited in resources,
certainly posing no threat to anyone. The ruin of Tadem never needed to
occur. They were not near a war zone. Tadem stands as a testament that religious hatred and racial prejudice are far more destructive than the weapons of war.”

Kaloosdian’s book had already received two awards in 2016. Tadem: My Father’s Village was
awarded an Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA) Benjamin
Franklin Award as a Silver Winner in the Best New Voice Nonfiction
category. The IBPA describes the book as follows: “Drawing on accounts
from over a dozen witnesses, most never before published, the author
recounts the life and death of one village. With striking immediacy, the
author presents TADEM as a microcosm of
the Genocide and argues that the Turks used the outbreak of World War I
as a cover for atrocities motivated by religious hatred and greed.”

Tadem: My Father’’s Village also
received an “IPPY” Silver award in the category of World History. The
“IPPY” Awards, launched in 1996 and given out by the Independent
Publisher Book Awards, are designed to bring increased recognition to
the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors
and publishers.

Founded in
1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501©(3) educational
charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study,
research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.

About Armenian Assembly of America

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
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