Osman’s Dream

The History of the Ottoman Empire

Osman's dream
Editions:Paperback: $ 19.85
ISBN: 0465023975
Size: 6.00 x 9.25 in
Pages: 674

The definitive history of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and most influential empires in world history. Its reach extended to three continents and it survived for more than six centuries, but its history is too often colored by the memory of its bloody final throes on the battlefields of World War I. In this magisterial work-the first definitive account written for the general reader-renowned scholar and journalist Caroline Finkel lucidly recounts the epic story of the Ottoman Empire from its origins in the thirteenth century through its destruction in the twentieth.

Reviews:Chris Martin on Amazon wrote:

Much of us Westerner's view of Turkey has come from Euro-centric accounts via the middle age chroniclers and early historians without access to the Turkish archives. And so,we are aware of Turkey's peripheral roles in the Crimean War and then the two World Wars in more modern historical tracts. However, Caroline Finkel is a historian who takes an insider's view of this most interesting, multifaceted and multi-layered empire on Europe's eastern boundary. She presents an enormous wealth of material that many western readers might find overwhelming in its detail.She points out many early trends but I am not sure of her rationale for the empire's expansion beyond its Anatolian beginnings when she discounts religion or jihadism.

Like the many headed Hydra,the emerging Turkish Empire is featured in all its glory and weaknesses. While still adopting a 'kings and queens' approach to historical research, albeit with Turkish names,Finkel paints a very broad canvas, but we readers are left feeling a little overwhelmed in the detail of court intrigues. Apart from her account of Turkey's quite general resistance to modernization, one weakness is that there is little description of broader social trends in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries affecting Turkey. Nevertheless the broad sweep is there underneath well sourced detail and an easy to comprehend writing style.


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