THE MEMOIRS OF A NATION-STATE FIGURE

“Memories of the past” / Z. Yeolian; Compilers: A. Azizyan, A. Simonyan; Yerevan, “Lusakn”, 2023, 612 pages.

Summary

Mher A. Harutyunyan
Ph.D. in History

The articles of Zakar Yolyan, one of the foremost figures of the Armenian National Liberation Struggle and ARF leader of the first quarter of the 20 century, mostly published in the press, formed the bases of a large book of memoirs of this socio-political and state figure, initiated by Aghasi Azizyan and Ashot Simonyan.

The relevance of the memoirs, summarized in a separate collection by Z. Yeolian, is due to the author’s desire to rethink the past, to draw lessons from history and to outline the sequence of correct steps respectively. As an active participant or witness of important political events of the time, Z. Yeolian provided reliable and as impartial as possible testimonies and memoirs. His knowledge came not only from his close ties with ARF leaders in Baku and Zangezur, but also from his frequent contacts with leaders of the Bolsheviks and other socio-political currents. Thanks to this and especially to the fruitful activity in Zangezur, which, in fact, is reflected in the work of Z. Yeolian in his voluminous memoirs, many events and names of heroes were saved from inevitable oblivion and have now become an inexhaustible source of inspiration and imitation for the present and future generations.

Z. Yeolian’s vivid and lively memoirs preserve the former industrial centre of the Caucasus – Baku, in the social, political and cultural life of which the role of the numerous Armenian populations was significant. The author’s unique testimonies are not only about the ARF, but also about other Armenian parties and foreign political movements, organizations and figures, as well as their connections, and represent important material for our historiography.

Remarkable archival materials extracted from the National Archives of Armenia and other sources, as well as valuable information about his personal life and family members significantly enriched the content of the book.

Thus, summing up, it can be stated that the reader is presented with a valuable book, which has scientific, historiographical and primary source value and is intended to contribute to the full study and rethinking of the history of the Armenian nation in the first quarter of the XX century.

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