THE GREAT FIRE
ONE AMERICAN'S MISSION TO RESCUE VICTIMS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY'S FIRST GENOCIDE
LOU URENECK

Now in its second release under the title Smyrna: September 1922


The Great Fire tells the harrowing and inspiring story of Asa Jennings and a strong-willed naval officer, Lt. Commander Halsey Powell, who together orchestrated one of the century's greatest humanitarian missions. Emboldened by his religious faith, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of desperate people while Powell, a war hero and Kentucky gentleman, skirted orders so that he could bring America's Navy to the rescue. By the time the horrible events in Turkey had ended, Jennings and Powell had helped rescue almost a million refugees.

Drawing extensively from survivors' stories, fresh primary sources, and years of research, Ureneck has painted 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. This 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. This is an astonishing look at a pivotal, but little known, moment in our history viewed through the lens of the hopeful story of two men who faced a savage crisis with an unshakeable decency.

The study guide to the book can be viewed and downloaded here

 

David Lloyd George - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

“...tens of thousands of men, women and children have been deported, and tens of thousands have died. It was pure deliberate extermination.”

House of Commons, 4 August 1922.

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