Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide



By Eric Bogosian

Little, Brown and Company

April 21, 2015

$28.00 Hardcover | ISBN 9780316292085 |

In Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide, actor, novelist and playwright Eric Bogosian crafts a masterful account of the conspiracy of assassins who hunted down and killed the perpetrators of the genocide. Publishing will coincide with the 100th memorial anniversary of the genocide on April 24.

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Few people talk about the Armenian Genocide, one of the 20th century’s greatest atrocities, to this day not acknowledged as such by several national governments. Fewer still talk about — or even know of — the calculated revenge plot enacted in secret against the responsible officials.

In 1921, in the middle of a crowded Berlin street, Turkish national Talat Pasha was shot dead by an Armenian student, Soghomon Tehlirian. The shooter was swiftly arrested and his case went to trial. Despite his obvious guilt, the student was acquitted — his impassioned defense claimed he was overwhelmed with rage at the sight of the man who had participated in the murder of his family and people.

But as Bogosian details in the book, Tehlirian was not just in the right place at the right time. He didn’t witness the deaths of his family. And he wasn’t even a student. He played the first part in a meticulous plot orchestrated by a small group of self-appointed patriots to avenge the nearly 1 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. Over the next several years, the vigilante group would track down and assassinate at least 10 more former Turkish leaders.

Bogosian uses his considerable storytelling gifts to create a narrative of Operation Nemesis, set against an illuminating history of Ottoman and Armenian conflict as well as a chilling examination of the genocide itself. Bogosian was brought up on the importance of his Armenian heritage. Every Armenian he knew had lost family in the massacre, and his grandfather told him from the tender age of four, “If you ever meet a Turk, kill him.” When he later began investigating his heritage in earnest, Bogosian found scattered accounts of a cadre of assassins and a covert plan named for the Greek goddess of retribution. He realized there was more to a story already shrouded in secrecy.

With tremendous empathy and a historian’s eye for detail, Bogosian casts fresh light on one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century and one of history’s most remarkable acts of retribution.Operation Nemesis is both a riveting read and a profound examination of evil, revenge, and the costs of violence.

Eric Bogosian was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play “Talk Radio” and is the recipient of the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear Award, as well as three Obie Awards and the Drama Desk. In addition to his celebrated work in the theater and onscreen, he has authored three novels. He lives in New York City with the director Jo Bonney.


He will go on a national tour. Among his stops will be:

Tues., April 21, 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble Union Square, New York, N.Y.

Thurs., April 23, 7 p.m. BookCourt, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sun., April 26, 6:30 p.m. Busboys & Poets Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.

Mon., April 27, 7 p.m. BookSoup, Los Angeles, Calif.

Tues., April 28, 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble at the Grove, Los Angeles, Calif.

Wed., April 29, 8 p.m. Live Talks LA: “An Evening with Eric Bogosian” (co-hosted by Abril Books) at the Alex Theatre, Glendale, Calif.

Sat., May 2, 2 p.m. Indigo Place Montreal Trust, Montreal, Canada

Wed., May 6 PEN World Voices Center: “Armenian Genocide: A Dark Paradigm” SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd St., New York, N.Y. More information at worldvoices.pen.org.

Tues., May 12, 7 p.m. Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.

Tues., May 19, 6:30 p.m. Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, N.Y.

Thurs., May 28, Saint Leon Armenian Church, Fair Lawn, N.J.

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