Readers' Comments about Ships of Mercy

  • "His All Holiness. . . [indicates that] your book promises to make a significant conribution in raising awareness about the unjust closing of our Theological School. The Patriarch also congratulates your hard work and dedication to the re-opening [of] our school . . . ."--Archimandrite Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, Chief Secretary, Ecumenical Patriarchate.

ISBN: 9781913807661
Hardcover: 280pp; Price $30.00

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  • “I have recently finished reading your fine book, Ships of Mercy, and I want to thank you for writing it. The depth of your research is everywhere evident, and you have effectively presented the newly uncovered details of the Smyrna rescue in the larger context of the political and military events that led to the Catastrophe. These features, together with your straightforward writing style, will make the book especially comprehensible to a non-Greek readership unfamiliar with the Smyrna story.

    You have done a great service to scholarship, not merely scholarship about Greece and Turkey, but also about the United States. I say this because of your even-handedness in dealing with the Smyrna tragedy. While by no means diminishing its horror, your book still does not succumb to being a partisan tirade against the Turkish nationalists, which it could easily have become. Your purpose, it seems, was much nobles. You have set straight a significant error in the historical record and have revived the memory of Asa Jennings, an astonishing American hero.--James Marketos, Esq., Washington, D.C. Read full text.

  • ". . . thank you for publishing such a wonderful heartwarming book, "Ships of Mercy." I read it over and over again. My "Yiayia" was born in Smyrna and as a child she would tell me about her country exactly as you wrote. . . . "--Helen Ignatiou

  • Excerpts of response by Mary Papoutsy to comments and reviews of Ships of Mercy,
    "Reactions to the publication of Jennings' role have been largely positive. In Greece, historians and persons interested in history have welcomed the book, judging its contribution to history to be significant. . . . In the U.S., we've been thanked by many people for publishing the book. The grandson of Asa Jennings, Roger Jennings, has been pleased that his grandfather's name has been dusted off and has finally received recognition from persons of Greek descent. . . . "

    Ships of Mercy only addresses the evacuation of the refugees from the main harbor of Smyrna, as Chris has been careful to point out. A fuller examination of the role of the Allies, however, is still in order. Many questions still remain. . . ." and unless we investigate and answer these questions fully, less than honorable people may try to improperly influence the way that posterity views the Catastrophe of Smyrna.

  • Response to Catherine Tsounis' book review of "Ships of Mercy,
    "Excellent article. Very perceptive not only on Papoutsy's theses, but on Smyrna catastrophe itself. This same perceptiveness is in your book which you sent me, for which I am grateful. Relative to your question, Christos scholarship is very well done. It opens new thought on the role of America in the evacuation, and, discredited many of the false allegations, (i.e. Japan, etc.) I wish maybe we could have a forum with Papoutsy and Houssepian, whom I have a high regard and had her give a lecture to a packed hall of Archons and guests at the NY Cathedral years ago, to discuss this issue of who did what those fateful daus in Sept. of 1922. I feel Papoutsy's scholarship is as worthy as that of Houssepian's and Papoutsy's book is one more contribution for future generations to arrive at the truths of who was aggressor and who was victim in the holocaust of 1922, Keep up the good work." --Fr. Milton Efthymiou
    Click here to read Catherine Tsounis book review of "Ships of Mercy"

  • ". . .thank you for writing such a touching book. My grandmother, mother and the rest of her family came from Smyrna. They talked very little about what had happened to them, and after reading your book I understand why."--Helen Ignations

  • "I can't thank you enough for the treasure of your book and the signing of it as well. My mother was thrilled and I will be sure to read it when she is finished."--Cheryl Pappademas Berman

  • "November 23rd was an exceptional day for us. We heard a . . . lecture on Modern Hellenic History and how one man made the difference by saving 300,000 Hellene Christian refugees . . . ."--Rev. Fr. Chrysostom

  • "There has been a lot of positive feedback from your presentation and I look forward to meeting and talking with you again. I finished your book and I found it very informative . . .Thank you once again."--Dr. Tim Tsiotsias, St. George Greek Orthodox Church-Hollywood, FL.

  • "Your book is wonderful . . . ."--Gus & Marie Angelos, Marblehead, MA

  • "On my return to South Africa I read the book. It is outstanding. Congratulations on a well researched work."--Nic Frangos

  • "An important contribution to the account of the CATASTROPHE OF SMYRNA that took place at the hands of the Turks following the first World War. Mr. Papoutsy describes in graphic detail the events that led up to the disaster and offers newly discovered information emphasizing the important role played Americans in the humanitarian effort of that period, while at the same time dispelling various myths associated with the disaster."--Dr. James Rouman, Hartford, Connecticut

  • "We are pleased to have . . . [the author] presenting his book, 'Ships of Mercy,' a profound story of the 1922 Smyrna tragedy at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Not only will we be honored by this talented author, but we are grateful for his generosity of donating proceeds of the book sales to our parish."--Pastor of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral

  • "This event tells a history that many of us have only heard about through our grandparents and great grandparents. . . [It] is not only for the Greek community but for all those who love history and want to learn more about a tragic time in European and Asia Minor history."--Gus Giannakis, President of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral

  • "What a story! I can't put the book down and when I do, I find myself thinking an awful lot about it."--Alex Panos

  • [Ships of Mercy] reads great and is very informative! This book, in my opinion, carries a great deal of historical, truth revealing value!--Professor Demetri Kantarelis

  • "[Ships of Mercy] will go a long way in dispelling the myths concerning the tragedy of September 1922. I would recommend highly to all Greeks and Philhellenes to read your stirring Ships of Mercy to better appreciate the tragic events of the Smyrna (Asia Minor) Catastrophe. I believe that a detailed understanding of those events makes us even more appreciative of our beloved United States."--Rev. Christopher P. Foustoukos

  • "The book is Awesome! This is a great work to be proud of. Thank you for telling the story that the world needs to know."--Rogers Jennings, grandson of Asa Jennings

  • "An important contribution, it enrichens the relevant bibliography with sources and testimonies, placing the Smyrna Catastrophy momentum through a different prism.Please accept our sincere congratulations for your work. . ."--Stavros Th.Anestides and Stelios Kapsomenos, Centre d'Etudes d'Asie Mineure,Athens,Greece

  • "I . . . wish to number myself among the many persons who will congratulate you on what you have accomplished by writing such an important book. Yours is a remarkable achievement--the product of long hours of work, thoughtful research, and dedication to the cause of providing answers to lingering questions about an episode in history neglected by scholars and the world-wide public.Moreover, by your relentless pursuit of heretofore unknown factual material you have provided an important reference source for persons engaged in any future scholarship regarding the horrific Catastrophe of Smyrna.

    For the average reader such as I, you have done a number of important things. In broad brush, you painted with clarity a picture of the confusing military and political events following World War I, not only pertaining to the situation in Europe but specifically to Greece and the Balkans. You alluded to the complexity of interests of the Great Powers at that time and how Greece became embroiled in a web of Geo-political complicity. Appropriately, you spoke of the horrors that befell an innocent population, and in vivid detail you described the brutality of the Turkish armed forces. Your narrative was at times riveting as the horrific events unfolded, while at moments eliciting a certain sadness from the human misery your book described  you rightfully refuted the erroneous impression of the role played by the United States during the tragedy, as well as the false credit attributed to others. You rightfully paid tribute to agencies and persons who labored on behalf of the victims. And most importantly you related the remarkable story of an amazing hero, namely Asa Jennings.

    Prior to reading Ships of Mercy, I had read Twice a Stranger by Bruce Clark, an editor of Economist magazine and a well known Philhellene. While his book deals primarily with the population exchange brought about by the Lausanne Treaty, his work and yours together compliment each other by speaking specifically of the misery experienced by the Greeks of Asia Minor--something which Marjorie Housepian Dobkin fails to emphasize in her book, Smyrna 1922: TheDestruction of a City. For me, reading Ships of Mercy filled a certain void in my comprehension of the events of that time. . . . Our family was touched as were thousands of others by the great Catastrophe.Ships of Mercy brought home to me the enormity of that tragedy. Thanks for writing it."--Dr. James Rouman

  • "I . . . am very impressed with the research and time you put into this valuable and true story. Congratulations on such a wonderful and accurate description of the fate of the Asia Minor Greeks. . . . Thank you for bringing your story to the general public."--Jasmine Panos Andrews, author of Demetrios the Survivor

  • "I have read your tremendous book . . . and I am thrilled to know that there are people like you in the world, revealing the truth of history."--Rev. Fr. Chrysostom Manuel

  • "[We] would like to congratulate you for the beautiful job you did in your book. . . . it is an aristourgima."--Demosthenes and Angela Varipatis

(Posting date 18 December 2008; updated 25 February 2009, 22 March 2009, 28 September 2009, 2 July 2010, 24 July 2010)

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