Simon Payaslian releases book on The Armenian Genocide

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Clark University
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WORCESTER, Mass. - Professor Simon Payaslian, Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies and Modern Armenian History at Clark University, has published a new book, "United States Policy toward the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide" (Palgrave Macmillan).

The book covers the political economy of U.S. foreign policy toward the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Question, U.S. Relations with the Young Turk government, the Wilson administration and the Ittihadist regime, among other things.

Payaslian said his principal objective in writing the book was to present a more accurate assessment of U.S. policy toward the Armenian Genocide than has been available in the literature so far.

"With few exceptions, published works on this subject place too much emphasis on the humanitarian aspects of U.S. responses and pay insufficient attention to economic and geopolitical considerations," he said.

According to Professor Payaslian, the issues related to the formulation and implementation of U.S. policy toward the genocide are multi-layered.

"I hope my book will contribute toward a better understanding of the domestic and international dimensions of U.S. responses to this human catastrophe," he said.

Payaslian's book places U.S. responses to the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide within the broader context of the political economy of U.S. foreign policy, and offers a new perspective and challenges conventionally held views on the subject since World War I.

The author surveys the evolution of U.S. policy toward the Ottoman Empire since the early nineteenth century and examines the extent to which the missionary community, commercial interests, and international economic and geopolitical competitions shaped U.S. policy during the administrations of William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.

In his book, Professor Payaslian argues that the Wilson administration was not seriously interested in the Armenian cause and merely utilized the Armenian Question to pursue its domestic and international political and economic objectives.

Professor Dennis R. Papazian, director of the Armenian Research Center at The University of Michigan at Dearborn, praised the author for "exploding old myths and establishing new truths" and credited him for providing a "clear view of what was really going on in government and in missionary and business circles."

Professor Payaslian joined Clark's highly acclaimed Ph.D. program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the fall of 2002. He received his first Ph.D. in political science from Wayne State University (1992) and his second Ph.D. in Armenian history from UCLA (2003). He is the author of "The Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923: A Handbook for Students and Teachers"; "U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid"; and (co-authored with Frederic S. Pearson) "International Political Economy."

Clark University is a private, co-educational liberal-arts research university with 2,000 undergraduate and 800 graduate students. Since its founding in 1887 as the first all-graduate school in the United States, Clark has challenged convention with innovative programs such as the International Studies Stream, the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the five-year BA/MA programs with the fifth year tuition free for eligible students.
Angela Bazydlo
Associate Director, Media Relations
(508) 793-7635; abazydlo @