New Book: ‘The Musa Dagh Armenians: A Socioeconomic and Cultural History, 1919-1939’

Cover of The Musa Dagh Armenians: A Socioeconomic and Cultural History, 1919-1939
Cover of The Musa Dagh Armenians

The Haigazian University Press in Beirut recently published The Musa Dagh Armenians: A Socioeconomic and Cultural History, 1919-1939, a book by Dr. Vahram L. Shemmassian.  “The Musa Dagh resistance to the Armenian Genocide in 1915 has been immortalized by Franz Werfel’s novel, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” writes the author. “Yet, despite the novel’s fame and impact, to date the story of the Musa Dagh Armenians, both before and after World War I, has not been studied and recounted in a historical form.”  This new publication, therefore, is a pioneering effort that deals with the social, economic, and cultural life in Musa Dagh between the two World Wars.  A separate tome will cover religion, education, and politics.

The study is the culmination of extensive research—spanning nearly four decades—in numerous governmental, institutional, and organizational archives, and through private papers, interviews, correspondence, unpublished memoirs and manuscripts, newspapers and periodicals, books, articles, and online sources.

The Musa Dagh Armenians includes the following eight chapters: “Trying Times after Repatriation”; “The Social Canvas”; “Agriculture and Animal Husbandry”; “Trades, Businesses, and Industries”; “Migrants in the Middle East and in Ethiopia”; “The American Experience”; “Vacationing and Tourism”; and “Cultural Manifestations.”

An epilogue deals with the exodus of Musadaghtsis from their native mountain to Anjar in Lebanon in 1939.  The volume also contains a map, statistical tables, and appendixes.  It is richly illustrated.  For more information, e-mail the author at

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