Smyrna, September 1922

Smyrna, September 1922 : The American Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide

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In September 1922, the richest city of the Mediterranean was burned, and countless numbers of Christian refugees killed. The city was Smyrna, and the event was the final episode of the 20th Century's first genocide -- the slaughter of three million Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians of the Ottoman Empire.

The slaughter at Smyrna occurred as warships of the great powers stood by -- the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy. The deaths of hundreds of thousands seemed inevitable until an American minister staged a bold rescue with the help of a courageous U.S.naval officer. Now, the forgotten story of one of the great humanitarian acts of history gets told.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 488 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 30mm | 363g
  • Ecco Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 006225989X
  • 9780062259899
  • 826,544

Review quote

Praise for Backcast: "This book is a rarity: humble in its beauty, elegant in its reflection."--Anchorage Daily News
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Back cover copy

With a foreword by James Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University

A bribe, a lie, and an empty threat--these were the tools Reverend Asa K. Jennings, a minister from upstate New York, used to rescue hundreds of thousands of helpless refugees following the 1922 burning and rape of Smyrna, the richest city of the Ottoman Empire, by the Turkish troops of Mustapha Kemal, known today as Ataturk.

Smyrna, September 1922 tells the harrowing and inspiring story of Jennings and a strong-willed naval officer, Lt. Commander Halsey Powell, who together orchestrated one of the century's greatest humanitarian missions. Drawing extensively from survivors' stories, fresh primary sources, and years of research, Lou Ureneck paints an unforgettable portrait of the fire at Smyrna--the symbolic end of five hundred years of Ottoman rule and the final act in a ten-year religious slaughter. His gripping narrative reveals forces that would define the rest of the century: virulent nationalism, trading oil for national principles, and conflict and misunderstanding between the Christian West and Moslem East.

Previously published as The Great Fire
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Rating details

107 ratings
4.24 out of 5 stars
5 41% (44)
4 46% (49)
3 10% (11)
2 2% (2)
1 1% (1)
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