Book

The Great Game of Genocide

Donald Bloxham

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199273560
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191699689 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273560.001.0001
The Great Game of Genocide

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This book addresses the origins, development, and aftermath of the Armenian genocide in a reappraisal based on primary and secondary sources from all the major parties involved. Rejecting the determinism of many influential studies, and discarding polemics on all sides, it founds its interpretation of the genocide in the interaction between the Ottoman empire in its decades of terminal decline, the self-interested policies of the European imperial powers, and the agenda of some Armenian nationalists in and beyond Ottoman territory. Particular attention is paid to the international context of the process of ethnic polarization that culminated in the massive destruction of 1912–23, and especially the obliteration of the Armenian community in 1915–16. The book examines the relationship between the great power politics of the ‘eastern question’ from 1774, the narrower politics of the ‘Armenian question’ from the mid-19th century, and the internal Ottoman questions regarding reform of the complex social and ethnic order under intense external pressure. It presents detailed case studies of the role of Imperial Germany during the First World War (reaching conclusions markedly different to the prevailing orthodoxy of German complicity in the genocide); the wartime Entente and then the uncomfortable postwar Anglo-French axis; and American political interest in the Middle East in the interwar period which led to a policy of refusing to recognize the genocide.

Keywords: Armenia; genocide; Ottoman empire; Armenian nationalism; eastern question; Armenian question; First World War; Entente; Middle East

Book.  352 pages. 

Subjects: Asian History

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Table of Contents

Interlude: The Genocide in Context in The Great Game of Genocide

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Epilogue: The Geopolitics of Memory in The Great Game of Genocide

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