Reviews

During the Soviet era, the short-lived first independent Republic of Armenia was disparaged as a “bourgeois” and “petty- nationalist” adventure led by Dashnak class enemies and “traitors” to the people. Soviet historiography consisted mostly of propagandist pamphlets and the main scientific studies on that short period of time were published in the diaspora. Apart from memoirs of the great republican leaders (Khatissian, Vratsian), the main historical study is due to professor Richard Hovannisian from UCLA who used Western archives as well as the Dashnak party archives located in Boston, before he was granted access to the archives in Armenia during Perestroika. After the collapse of the Soviet regime, the experience of the first Armenian Republic has been reassessed by historians in Yerevan, with a new set of historical studies and numerous publications of archival material. This is the case with this volume which presents the recording of the parliament sessions from August 1, 1918 to November 23, 1920. The debates in the two successive assemblies (August 1, 1918 – June 4, 1919; August 1, 1919 – November 23, 1920) installed in the former Buniatov Theatre shed new light on all the issues the members of parliament have to dealt with in a highly chaotic context of war, starvation, epidemics, political strife. The volume also provides the regulations of the Parliament (in Russian), the text of electoral law of March 31, 1919 (in Armenian), and the names of deputies as well as photographs of major leaders. It is an indispensable contribution for the history of this period of state building.

Claire Mouradian, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.3.D-234