Paradise Lost: The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance

paradise lost milton

Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance

Giles MIlton

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From the back cover:

On Saturday 9th September, 1922, the victorious Turkish cavalry rode into Smyrna, the richest and most cosmopolitan city in the Ottoman Empire. What happened over the next two weeks must rank as one of the most compelling human dramas of the twentieth century. Almost two million people were caught up in a disaster of truly epic proportions. Paradise Lost is told with the narrative verve that has made Giles Milton a bestselling historian. It unfolds through the memories of the survivors, many of them interviewed for the first time, and the eyewitness accounts of those who found themselves caught up in one of the greatest catastrophes of the modern age.

From pages 324-25.

The Chicago news reporter, John Clayton, suddenly realised that he could no longer bring himself to write the sort of reports expected of him by Admiral Mark Bristol. The scale of the disaster was such that he was at long last forced to admit the truth about what was taking place in Smyrna. "The loss of life is impossible to compute," he wrote. "The streets are littered with dead... Except for the squalid Turkish quarter, Smyrna has ceased to exist... the problem of the minorities is here solved for all time." In a sentence that was guaranteed to provoke Admiral Bristol's wrath, he added: "no doubt remains as to the origin of the fire... the torch was applied by Turkish regular soldiers." 


Further Reading: 
Mark L. Bristol and the Greek Genocide
The Great Fire | Smyrna September 1922
La Mort de Smyrne (The Death of Smyrna), René Puaux
16 Sep 1922: Turks Killed 120,000, East Oregonian
15 Sep 1922: Turks Kill Women and Babes, The Evening Star
18 Sep 1922: Smyrna Ablaze. Stories of Massacre


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