Next CLBR: Eric Bogosian and Operation Nemesis

bogosianOperation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged The Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 52:19 — 47.9MB)

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In our featured segment, we talk with acclaimed actor, playwright, monologuist Eric Bogosian.  Bogosian is best known as the writer and star of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play and Oliver Stone movie “Talk Radio” and for playing Captain Danny Ross for five seasons on “Law and Order.”

Our interview was recorded previously courtesy of the Miami Book Fair.  It was a fascinating discussion that continued after we off the air.

Operation Nemesis

Bogosian’s new book tells the story of a tightly knit band of killers, who in 1921, set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian Genocide.

They were a humble bunch: an accountant, a life insurance salesman, a newspaper editor, an engineering student, and a diplomat. Together they formed one of the most effective assassination squads in history. They named their operation Nemesis, after the Greek goddess of retribution. The assassins were survivors, men defined by the massive tragedy that had devastated their people. With operatives on three continents, the Nemesis team killed six major Turkish leaders in Berlin, Constantinople, Tiflis, and Rome, only to disband and suddenly disappear. The story of this secret operation has never been fully told, until now.

Eric Bogosian goes beyond simply telling the story of this cadre of Armenian assassins by setting the killings in the context of Ottoman and Armenian history, as well as showing in vivid color the era’s history, rife with political fighting and massacres. Casting fresh light on one of the great crimes of the twentieth century and one of history’s most remarkable acts of vengeance, Bogosian draws upon years of research and newly uncovered evidence. Operation Nemesis is the result–both a riveting read and a profound examination of evil, revenge, and the costs of violence.

Absorbing and accessible, Bogosian presents this complex and multi-layered history with a master dramatist’s flair. Operation Nemesis is an engaged and provocative account of an unforgettable tragedy and a cathartic attempt at finding justice.  Atom Egoyan, Academy Award-nominated writer and director of The Sweet Hereafter and Ararat.

Background Material

The Armenian Genocide


“A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide

Over the course of the interview, Eric and I make reference to Samantha Power’s landmark book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide.  The book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, “explores America’s understanding of, response to, and inaction on genocides in the 20th century from the Armenian genocide to the “ethnic cleansings” of the Kosovo War.”

The book opens with a discussion of the assassination of Mehmed Talaat, which was part of Operation Nemesis.

Power is currently serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.



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