Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Impressions: G359 Turkey: A Short History

Name of Book: Turkey: A Short History

Author: Norman Stone

ISBN: 978-00-500-29038-5

Publisher: Thames and Hudson

Year it was published: 2014


A virtuoso performance by historian Norman Stone, who has lived and worked in the country since 1997, this concise survey of Turkeys relations with its immediate neighbours and the wider world from the 11th century to the present day. Stone deftly conducts the reader through this story, from the arrival of the Seljuks in Anatolia in the eleventh century to the modern republic applying for EU membership in the twenty-first. It is an historical account of epic proportions, featuring rapacious leaders such as Genghis Khan and Tamerlane through the glories of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent to Kemal Atatürk, the reforming genius and founder of modern Turkey. At its height, the Ottoman Empire was a superpower that brought Islam to the gates of Vienna. Stone examines the reasons for the empires long decline and shows how it gave birth to the modern Turkish republic, where east and west, religion and secularism, tradition and modernity still form vibrant elements of national identity. Norman Stone brilliantly draws out the larger themes of Turkeys history, resulting in a book that is a masterly exposition of the historians craft.


Normally I love history books and I look forward to reading some non-fiction literature, and I also majored in history where I was taught to find out what the book is about, and whether or not it matches the author's arguments. From the title alone, Turkey: A Short History, my imagination stirs that this will be the story of Turkey from old times to modern times where the reader will get a chance to make their own conclusions. Because I won't be reading the book, I won't know if its true, but I have to say that Introduction and the title don't really match one another. The introduction of the book is rambling and disjointed; the author promises to talk about six things that make Turkey what it is today, but it doesn't seem to match with the title.


I'm sorry to say so, but I won't be reading the book

I won this from Goodreads firstreads program

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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