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The Thirty-Year Genocide

Turkey's Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924

Benny Morris Dror Ze'evi



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Harvard Uni.Press Academi
24 April 2019
A reappraisal of the giant massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, and then the Turkish Republic, against their Christian minorities.

Between 1894 and 1924, three waves of violence swept across Anatolia, targeting the region's Christian minorities, who had previously accounted for 20 percent of the population. By 1924, the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had been reduced to 2 percent. Most historians have treated these waves as distinct, isolated events, and successive Turkish governments presented them as an unfortunate sequence of accidents. The Thirty-Year Genocide is the first account to show that the three were actually part of a single, continuing, and intentional effort to wipe out Anatolia's Christian population.

The years in question, the most violent in the recent history of the region, began during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II, continued under the Young Turks, and ended during the first years of the Turkish Republic founded by Ataturk. Yet despite the dramatic swing from the Islamizing autocracy of the sultan to the secularizing republicanism of the post?

World War I period, the nation's annihilationist policies were remarkably constant, with continual recourse to premeditated mass killing, homicidal deportation, forced conversion, mass rape, and brutal abduction. And one thing more was a constant: the rallying cry of jihad. While not justified under the teachings of Islam, the killing of two million Christians was effected through the calculated exhortation of the Turks to create a pure Muslim nation.

Revelatory and impeccably researched, Benny Morris and Dror Ze'evi's account is certain to transform how we see one of modern history's most horrific events.
By:   Benny Morris, Dror Ze'evi
Imprint:   Harvard Uni.Press Academi
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780674916456
ISBN 10:   067491645X
Pages:   672
Publication Date:   24 April 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Benny Morris, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, has published books about the history of the Zionist-Arab conflict. He has also written about the conflict in the New York Review of Books, New York Times, New Republic, and The Guardian. Dror Ze'evi, Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, has published several books on Ottoman and Middle Eastern history.

Reviews for The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey's Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924

In well over six hundred pages the authors detail, town by town and village by village, the atrocities that led to the elimination of Christians from Turkey...A monumental achievement.--Gabriel Said Reynolds Commonweal (06/01/2020) A landmark contribution to the study of these epochal events...A richly textured and highly sensitive study...The authors document, in painstaking detail and with constant reference to their key arguments, the centrally planned murder and deportation of Christians throughout Turkey.--Mardean Isaac Times Literary Supplement (09/17/2019) A must read for anyone interested in the tragic events and history which inevitably shaped the modern world.--Eleni Sakellis National Herald (05/05/2019) An exhaustive account of Turkish policies towards Christians from the waning years of the Ottoman Caliphate through the first decade of Ataturk's rule.--Dov S. Zakheim National Interest (08/08/2019) Brilliantly researched and written...Benny Morris and Dror Ze'evi cast a careful eye upon the ghastly events that took place in the final decades of the Ottoman empire, when its rulers decided to annihilate their Christian subjects. They emphasize that the three waves of violence against the Christians living in Anatolia were not spasmodic or distinct, but formed part of a larger and coherent plan to destroy them utterly. Hitler and the Nazis gleaned lessons from this genocide that they then applied to their own efforts to extirpate Jews from the face of the Earth.-- (12/01/2019) Forces me to re-examine my understanding of the Armenian Genocide...It will stand in both the historical records of nations and in the field of Genocide studies as a monumental marker of excellence.--Gilbert Bilezikian Massis Post (06/12/2019) Gut-wrenching...Morris and Ze'evi convey well the horror of the killings.--John Waterbury Foreign Affairs (08/12/2019) Offers a subtle diagnosis of why, at particular moments over a span of three decades, Ottoman rulers and their successors unleashed torrents of suffering.--Bruce Clark New York Times Book Review (07/12/2019) Remarkable...A warning from history, perhaps, that this incisive work transmits to us in these dark days of political turmoil.--Colin Shindler Jewish Chronicle (09/01/2019) The book's strength lies in the fact that it has a broader perspective than many other books on the subject... Morris and Ze'evi have given us an outstanding representation of the fate of the Christian minorities during this crucial thirty-year period.--Svante Lundgren Svenska Dagbladet (05/24/2019) The mass killings of Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christians in the late Ottoman era and early 1920s have been the subject of several excellent studies in recent years. The Israeli historians Morris and Ze'evi add value by knitting together the three main episodes of violent persecution in a comprehensive narrative.-- (12/03/2019) Again and again, I was brought up short by the sheer, terrible, shocking accounts of violence in Morris's and Zeevi's work... Is it possible for a people to be so inured to cruelty that they changed, that their acts of sadism could alter their humanity?--Robert Fisk The Independent

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