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Paradise Lost

The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance

By Giles Milton

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Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Other Information: 3 B&W illustrated maps and 2x 8pp B&W picture sections - integrated onto text paper for short run (hence extent increase).
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 May 2009
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.

Promotional Information

A powerful tale of destruction, heroism and survival by the bestselling author of NATHANIEL'S NUTMEG.

Promotional Information

A powerful tale of destruction, heroism and survival by the bestselling author of NATHANIEL'S NUTMEG.

About the Author

Giles Milton is a writer and journalist. He has contributed articles to most of the British national newspapers as well as many foreign publications. He is the author of five previous works of non-fiction and one novel. His books have been translated into sixteen languages worldwide. He travelled widely during the course of his research for Paradise Lost, notably to Turkey and Greece.


At the beginning of the 20th century, Smyrna was the most vibrant, cosmopolitan city in the Ottoman Empire. Home to an overwhelming population of Greeks, Armenians, and wealthy Levantine business owners, this Turkish city was a multicultural model of peaceful cohabitation. Yet the advent of World War I and increasing sectarian tension transformed this Ottoman "paradise" into a war zone long after the war officially ended. A complete breakdown of law and order and an indifferent foreign military presence ultimately led to the city's brutal destruction and one of the worst humanitarian crises the world had ever seen. London journalist Milton (Nathaniel's Nutmeg) raises expectations for this chronicle of the destruction of Smyrna, and, thankfully, he does not disappoint. Drawing heavily from the personal narratives of Smyrna's Christian residents and foreign diplomats, as well as interviews with survivors, Milton offers a detailed portrayal of life in Smyrna, a comprehensive look at the politics that shaped the city, and a shockingly vivid eyewitness account of the city's violent demise. This extremely well-researched historical narrative is recommended for both public and academic libraries.--Veronica Arellano, Univ. of Houston Libs. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'[PARADISE LOST is] Giles Milton's brilliant re-creation of the last days of Smyrna' -- Sunday Times 'Engrossing ... Milton's book celebrates the heroism of individuals who put lives before ideologies' -- Independent 'The sack of that famously cosmopolitan city makes a compelling story. It is also a strikingly neglected one ... Milton's considerable achievement is to deliver with characteristic clarity and colour this complex epic narrative. Milton brings commendable impartiality to his thoroughly researched book. Paradise Lost proves a timely examination of a defining moment in the history of ethnic and religious conflict' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Paradise Lost is a timely reminder of the appalling cost of expansionist political ambitions; it tells a fascinating story with clarity and insight' -- The Economist 'Paradise Lost is essential reading for anyone that cares about the past - and present of today's Europe, indeed of civilisation itself' -- Adam LeBor, Literary Review 'Giles Milton ... has written his best book to date' -- Scotland on Sunday '[Milton is] a master of historical narrative' -- The Sunday Times 'Milton has a terrific eye for the kind of detail that can bring the past vividly to life off the page ... restores an exotic lustre' -- The Spectator 'Giles Milton ... has crafted an inspiration for those of us who believe that history can be exciting and entertaining' -- The Times 'Milton is a great storyteller ... he conjures mood from dry parchment' -- Express on Sunday

EAN: 9780340837870
ISBN: 034083787X
Publisher: Hodder Murray
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.8 centimetres (0.24 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
All Reviews
George on
Amazing how all the ugly moments in history like this catastrophe, are the result of personal preferences and decisions of petty minded leaders.
I do not think that we learnt anything from previous events, which is unfortunate, as we are heading towards a difficult period.
The book is fully recommended, however be prepared to be upset with the description of some events.

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