The Resistance Network is the history of an underground network of humanitarians, missionaries, and diplomats in Ottoman Syria who helped save the lives of thousands during the Armenian Genocide. Khatchig Mouradian challenges depictions of Armenians as passive victims of violence and subjects of humanitarianism, demonstrating the key role they played in organizing a humanitarian resistance against the destruction of their people. Piecing together hundreds of accounts, official documents, and missionary records, Mouradian presents a social history of genocide and resistance in wartime Aleppo and a network of transit and concentration camps stretching from Bab to Ras ul-Ain and Der Zor. He ultimately argues that, despite the violent and systematic mechanisms of control and destruction in the cities, concentration camps, and massacre sites in this region, the genocide of the Armenians did not progress unhindered—unarmed resistance proved an important factor in saving countless lives.
The book, published by Michigan State University Press in 2021, has received the Syrian Studies Association “Honourable Mention 2021.” The Prize Committee deemed The Resistance Network “long awaited,” noting that “somewhere along the way we lost sight of the Armenian resistance network. This book is one great step in recovering that past.”
Khatchig Mouradian’s impressive first book, The Resistance Network, highlights the rich potential that Armenian sources hold not only for Armenian Genocide studies but for scholars of mass violence, more broadly. The result is a stunning piece of scholarship that boldly suggests that the defining story of the Armenians is not so much the Armenian Genocide but their resistance to it.
International Journal of Middle East Studies
Khatchig Mouradian has written a pathbreaking book on the Armenian genocide. Using a wealth of untapped sources in multiple languages, he shows how a humanitarian resistance network emerged in Ottoman Syria that saved the lives of many Armenians. The Resistance Network is essential reading not only for the new insights it offers on the Armenian genocide but also for the compelling analysis of humanitarianism and resistance in times of great atrocities.
Eric D. Weitz
Author of A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-
This exciting study of Armenian resistance radiating from an Aleppo “life raft” takes us as close as we are ever likely to get to the Armenian genocide itself—and to those who labored to thwart it. We hear their voices, we see their torments, and we trace their stratagems—such as “human newspapers” written on the backs of children, then covered with dirt, enabling communication between far-flung communities. Deeply researched, elegantly written, The Resistance Network cannot fail to stimulate discussion and is highly recommended for scholars, book clubs, and classrooms alike.
Margaret Lavinia Anderson
Professor of history emerita, University of California Berkeley
In this invaluable book, Khatchig Mouradian explores Talaat’s exterminatory universe in Northern Syria during the Armenian genocide. He reveals the victims’ agonizing yet effective resilience and their faith in Armenian futures beyond a regime’s perversion.
Author of Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide