A History of the Armenian People
Armenian Edition of Bournoutian’s ‘Concise History’ Published
October 25, 2012
Before the publication of A History of the Armenian People, a two-volume set commissioned by the AGBU from 1993-94, teachers in the U.S. and abroad were hard-pressed to find a comprehensive text on Armenian history. With his seminal treatise, scholar George Bournoutian quickly changed that. Today, the text—a sweeping account that ranges from ancient times to present-day—is required classroom reading. Updated and redistributed in 2002 as a single volume, A Concise History of the Armenian People has been reprinted in five different editions, numbering 20,000 copies in four languages, Arabic, English, Spanish, and Turkish. Now, Bournoutian is celebrating the release of the book’s newest translation: the much-anticipated Armenian version made possible by AGBU. The translation, which was funded by the AGBU Cleveland Chapter, was done by Artsvi Bakhchinyan in Yerevan.
On Wed., Sept. 19, Bournoutian debuted his latest work at the AGBU Armenia Representation Office in Yerevan among dozens of academics, professionals, and students. The diverse crowd included visitors from Japan, who are looking forward to the upcoming release of the Japanese edition. Before signing their copies, Bournoutian took the audience through each step of his research process, pointing to the book’s various documents and maps that fill its some 500 pages. He described the inspiration for the ambitious text—to create a resource on Armenian culture and history that would be accessible to all readers, Armenian and non-Armenian alike. By the mid-1990’s, he had achieved that goal; the original book had been reissued three times, putting it out of print. That, as Bournoutian described at the event, and the region’s changing political landscape, prompted him to revisit the project. The new edition combined two volumes, tracing centuries of Armenians’ struggles and contributions worldwide, while at the same time placing them in a modern context.
In addition to the AGBU event, Bournoutian was invited to the American University of Armenia (AUA), where he presented his most recent work, The 1823 Russian Survey of the Karabakh Province: A Primary Source on the Demography and Economy of Karabakh in the Early 19th Century. For Bournoutian, who has organized and taught the very first Armenian history courses at the University of Connecticut, Glendale Community College, New York University, Ramapo College, Rutgers University, and Tufts University, such speaking engagements help ensure that the story of the Armenian people is told and heard around the world.
Dr. George Bournoutian is a professor of Eastern European and Middle Eastern history at Iona College, and a recipient of the IREX, NDEA, and Mellow Fellowship awards. He has taught at the California State University at Fresno, University of California, Los Angeles, and Columbia University, and has authored dozens of articles and publications on Armenian history.
Established in 1906, AGBU is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural, and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 400,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, visit www.agbu.org.