Synopses & Reviews
from "Ozone Journal"
Bachs cantata in B-flat minor in the cassette,
we lounged under the greenhouse-sky, the UVBs hacking
at the acids and oxides and then I could hear the difference
between an oboe and a bassoon
at the rivers edge under cover
trees breathed in our respiration;
there was something on the other side of the river,
something both of us were itching toward
radical bonds were broken, history became science.
We were never the same.
The title poem of Peter Balakian's Ozone Journal is a sequence of fifty-four short sections, each a poem in itself, recounting the speaker's memory of excavating the bones of Armenian genocide victims in the Syrian desert with a crew of television journalists in 2009. These memories spark othersthe dissolution of his marriage, his life as a young single parent in Manhattan in the nineties, visits and conversations with a cousin dying of AIDScreating a montage that has the feel of history as lived experience. Bookending this sequence are shorter lyrics that span times and locations, from Nairobi to the Native American villages of New Mexico. In the dynamic, sensual language of these poems, we are reminded that the history of atrocity, trauma, and forgetting is both global and ancient; but we are reminded, too, of the beauty and richness of culture and the resilience of love.
A History of International Human Rights and Forgotten Heroes
In this national bestseller, the critically acclaimed author Peter Balakian brings us a riveting narrative of the massacres of the Armenians in the 1890s and of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Using rarely seen archival documents and remarkable first-person accounts, Balakian presents the chilling history of how the Turkish government implemented the first modern genocide behind the cover of World War I. And in the telling, he resurrects an extraordinary lost chapter of American history.
Awarded the Raphael Lemkin Prize for the best scholarly book on genocide by the Institute for Genocide Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY Graduate Center.
At the end of World War II, nearly three million Jews were trapped inside the Soviet Union. They lived a paradoxunwanted by a repressive Stalinist state, yet forbidden to leave. When They Come for Us, Well Be Gone
is the astonishing and inspiring story of their rescue. Drawing on newly released Soviet government documents, as well as hundreds of oral interviews, Gal Beckerman shows not only how the movement led to a mass exodus in 1989, but also how it gave the American Jewish community a renewed sense of spiritual purpose and taught it to flex its political muscle. In cinematic detail, this multi-generational saga, filled with suspense and packed with revelations, provides an essential missing piece of Cold War and Jewish history.
The untold story of the twenty-five-year struggle to free Soviet Jews, drawing on newly released Soviet government documents as well as hundreds of oral interviews, and told from the perspective of the individuals on the frontlines.
A New Yorker
“Beckerman recounts the historic trajectory of this grand assertion of human rights with passionate clarity and pellucid conviction.”—Cynthia Ozick
AT THE END OF WORLD WAR II, NEARLY THREE MILLION JEWS WERE TRAPPED INSIDE THE SOVIET UNION. They lived a paradox—unwanted by a repressive Stalinist state, yet forbidden to leave. When They Come for Us, Well Be Gone is the astonishing and inspiring story of their rescue. Drawing on newly released Soviet government documents and hundreds of interviews, Beckerman shows how the movement led to a mass exodus in 1989 and forced human rights into the center of American foreign policy. In cinematic detail, this multigenerational saga, filled with suspense and revelations, provides an essential missing piece of Cold War and Jewish history.
“Fresh, surprising and exceedingly well-researched.”—Anne Applebaum, Washington Post Best Nonfiction 2010
“A riveting work of reporting and a magisterial history of one of the twentieth centurys great dramas of liberation.”—Commentary
About the Author
Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities and professor of English at Colgate University. He is the author of seven books of poems, most recently of Ziggurat and June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974–2000. He is also the author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a New York Times best seller, and Black Dog of Fate, a memoir. A new collection of essays, Vise and Shadow, is also available this spring from the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
Name and Place
Pueblo 1, New Mexico
Pueblo 2, New Mexico
Pueblo, Christmas Dance
Joe Louiss Fist
Hart Crane in LA, 1927
Baseball Days, 61
Here and Now
Slum Drummers, Nairobi
Near the Border