Paradise Lost by Giles Milton
Smyrna, 1922

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Synopsis

On Saturday, September 9, 1922, the victorious Turkish cavalry rode into Smyrna, the richest and most cosmopolitan city in the Ottoman Empire. The city’s vast wealth created centuries earlier by powerful Levantine dynasties, its factories teemed with Greeks, Armenians, Turks, and Jews. Together, they had created a majority Christian city that was unique in the Islamic world. But to the Turkish nationalists, Smyrna was a city of infidels.

In the aftermath of the First World War and with the support of the Great Powers, Greece had invaded Turkey with the aim of restoring a Christian empire in Asia. But by the summer of 1922, the Greeks had been vanquished by Atatürk’s armies after three years of warfare. As Greek troops retreated, the non-Muslim civilians of Smyrna assumed that American and European warships would intervene if and when the Turkish cavalry decided to enter the city. But this was not to be.

On September 13, 1922, Turkish troops descended on Smyrna. They rampaged first through the Armenian quarter, and then throughout the rest of the city. They looted homes, raped women, and murdered untold thousands. Turkish soldiers were seen dousing buildings with petroleum. Soon, all but the Turkish quarter of the city was in flames and hundreds of thousands of refugees crowded the waterfront, desperate to escape. The city burned for four days; by the time the embers cooled, more than 100,000 people had been killed and millions left homeless.

Based on eyewitness accounts and the memories of survivors, many interviewed for the first time, Paradise Lost offers a vivid narrative account of one of the most vicious military catastrophes of the modern age.

 

About Giles Milton

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Giles Milton is a journalist and best-selling author of five previous works of nonfiction: White Gold, Samurai William, The Riddle and the Knight, Big Chief Elizabeth, and Nathaniel's Nutmeg. He lives in London.
 
Published July 8, 2008 by Basic Books. 464 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Paradise Lost

Kirkus Reviews

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Arriving in 1919 to an enthusiastic reception from their countrymen, Greek troops proceeded to loot the Turkish quarter, killing hundreds and enraging Turkish nationalists.

Jul 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

The New York Times

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John Milton was a great poet, as everyone knows, but he also played a political role in British history as a member of the governing Council during Oliver Cromwell's Puritan dictatorship in 17th-century England.

May 14 1997 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

The New York Times

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The only really egregious soft-pedaling in Willard's book comes not in the text proper but in a biographical note, in which she sums up Milton's political career thus: ''As a political activist and pamphleteer, Milton wrote in defense of the freedom of the press.'' While this is true, sort of, it...

Nov 14 2004 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

The New York Times

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Nancy Willard's version of 'Paradise Lost' sticks closely to the story but tells it in prose.

Mar 12 2013 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

The Guardian

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Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922 – The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance by Giles Milton Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Smyrna was...

May 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

Publishers Weekly

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When saint-like pop singer Gabriela Zuada is found burned to a crisp in her dressing room after a performance in São Paulo, Brazil, on the last night of her Glory Revealed World Tour, Bernadette Callahan, field agent for the top-secret government spy agency known as Section, investigates.

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

Examiner

The Paradise Prophecy is a masterpiece.

Aug 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

Examiner

John Milton’s Paradise Lost: In Plain English is a must for any home library.

Jan 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

The New York Review of Books

and on page sixteen a question is posed to which the answer is, yes, “I’m Zuckerman the author.” Nathan Zuckerman is the author of Carnovsky (Zuckerman Unbound), an alternative title like those sometimes used in foreign transla-tions.

Jun 12 1997 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

Geek Speak Magazine

That’s how you’re going to introduce this new book that apparently deals with angels, comparing it another book that actually has nothing whatsoever to do with angels (i.e.

Jul 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

Project MUSE

As distinct from Milton's Satan, the Byronic hero both confirms and desires responsibility for his actions.' In addition to a fine reading of Cain, which draws out Byron's intense engagement with moral questions, Shears goes on to consider the overlooked influence of Milton on a number of other B...

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Project MUSE

After the exaggerated assessments, earlier this century, of Milton's Hebrew erudition an over-correction set in, asserting that because Milton resorted to secondary sources, reference works, and translations his Hebrew learning was shallow.

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Project MUSE

The sequential principle, the poem's unfolding in time, relates most significantly in McMahon's thesis to the Bard: the Bard presents himself composing the poem as an "unrevised performance" (5) in a literary present, while Milton as the author behind the poem designed the Bard to grow as the poe...

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The Paris Review

The aspiring novelist had already written the perfect dedication (“For my friends”), and he’d long had a list of possible titles, yet he still had no epigraph, the mysterious but meaningful quotation he’d seen at the beginning of every great book.

Feb 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922

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