Lou Ureneck: The Great Fire

WED, JUL 15, 2015 (47:46)

The year was 1922: American Asa Jennings had just arrived in the Turkish coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Unknown to him, the Armenian Genocide was unfolding and the Turkish army was advancing on Smyrna, where a half a million refugees had fled in a desperate attempt to escape. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people—an amazing humanitarian act that has been lost to history, until now.

+ BIO: Lou Ureneck

Lou Ureneck is the author of "The Great Fire: One American's Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide,” which tells the story of a rescue operation led by a small-town minister from upstate New York. His book, “Backcast,” won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2007. Ureneck teaches journalism at Boston University, and is a former Neiman fellow and newspaper editor for publications in Maine and Philadelphia. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Boston Globe, among others. He recently returned from Kiev, where he taught at the National University’s prestigious Mohyla Academy under a Fulbright grant.

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