Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922 chronicles the Turkish invasion of Smyrna while warships of America and Europe bobbed in the harbor and made no effort to stop the slaughter of the city and its multi-national mix of people.
Utilizing reports from eyewitnesses and reports from the time Milton details the horrors of war rape, pillage, and murdering of innocents. The most nauseating part is that those aforementioned ships harbored there did not, in fact could not, help because of “orders” not to rescue the survivors.
The fate of thousands is unknown to this day because they disappeared into Turkey and were never heard from again. Over 100,000 Greek and Armenian civilians were flat-out murdered.
Smyrna, as well as most of her citizens, no longer existed. The name was changed to Izmir, and the rare survivors were forced into resettlement elsewhere. Were it not for the preoccupation with Europe post-World War I, this particular atrocity might have been averted.
In the aftermath, had more attention been paid to the divisive ideals that separated non-Muslim from Muslim, the current tragedy of fighting between those two groups might have been averted.
Paradise Lost is graphic in its honest and grotesque portrayal of battle, so it may upset the squeamish. However, this is an important book to read because it foreshadows the current situation and should make readers realize the importance of following a different course than the failed one from the past.
History lovers will love this book, and it should be mandatory reading for every politician in the nation.