LOS ANGELES — Former Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius will give a pair of talks in Southern California on January 29 and 30, 2012, in connection with the publication of his memoir Now I Know in Part in a revised and expanded edition.
On Sunday, January 29, Ignatius will speak at 2:30 p.m. at the Glendale Public Library, an event sponsored by the USC Institute of Armenian Studies, the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). On Monday, January 30, 12:00 noon, NAASR and USC Institute of Armenian Studies will sponsor a talk by Paul Ignatius at USC, his Alma Mater, at the Colloquium in Armenian Studies, Von Kleinsmid Center (near Figueroa & Jefferson), room 156. Both events are free and open to the public.
Ignatius’ Now I Know in Part, a substantially revised and expanded edition of a memoir that was first published privately in 2000, was issued in late 2011 by NAASR’s Armenian Heritage Press. The book will be available for purchase and signing by the author at both events.
A descendant of Armenian parents from the Kharpert region of Historic Armenia, Ignatius is a native of Glendale, California, and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He earned an MBA from Harvard University after serving as a naval officer in World War II. He is also the author of On Board: My Life in the Navy, Government, and Business (Naval Institute Press, 2006).
Ignatius served for eight years in the presidential administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, first as an Assistant Secretary of the Army, then as Under Secretary of the Army and Assistant Secretary of Defense, and finally in 1967 as Secretary of the Navy. Following his government service, he was president of the Washington Post for two years and president of the Air Transport Association for fifteen years.
He is the recipient of the Army Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award.
In Now I Know in Part, Ignatius looks back on family history, childhood in Glendale, California (long before it had was home to a large Armenian community), colorful characters (both famous and obscure) and Hollywood brushes with greatness, military service during World War II, and more.
In the book’s Foreword, Ignatius writes that “There is quite a lot in these stories about Armenia and my parents’ Armenian friends. I never thought much about all this when I was growing up, probably because it would make me seem to be different from my school mates, and I wanted to be just like everyone else. Now I look with a different eye on my heritage. I have come to believe that I am a more interesting person, to myself and to others, because of this background.”
Also, he adds, he enjoyed telling “stories about the old days, about growing up in California with parents of Armenian heritage, and getting to know a lot of characters, mostly Armenian, who came to our house in Glendale. I would acquaint them with William Saroyan’s Uncle Aram, who told jokes in crazy ethnic dialects, and with Levon Agha and Armenag Effendi Kurkjian, and how my brother and I did the wash in the old Maytag and invented silly languages in our shared bedroom before going to sleep.”
Chapters newly added for this second edition include reminiscences of Ignatius’ former boss, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, during a difficult time in U.S. history, and two homecomings of a sort: one to Hoover High School in Glendale and the other a visit to ancestral lands in Historic Armenia.
For more information contact NAASR at 617-489-1610 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit NAASR at 395 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA 02478.