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Ataturk: A Biography of Mustafa Kemal, Father of Modern Turkey Paperback – January, 1992


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Paperback, January, 1992
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 615 pages
  • Publisher: Quill; Reissue edition (January 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688112838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688112837
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 2.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Ataturk by Kinross is the standard book on the founder of Turkey.
J. Hanson
Lord Kinross' masterful book captures the broad scope and the thrilling details of the life of this amazing man and demonstrates his influence on the 20th century.
William B. Whiddon
Some knowledge of the divisiveness of the current Mideast is expanded as well.
D/San Antonio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Kinross approached this biography in a very unconventional manner, and the gamble paid off. Often historical subjects like Ataturk can reach into the "heavy reading" column with complicated military, social, diplomatic and political explanations. But Kinross gambles by trusting the intelligence of the reader, and depends more on conveying the strong, abrasive character of Ataturk than on the intricit, deeply-calculated broad social mechanics that surrounded him. You will walk away knowing in-depth the end of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of the Turkish Republic while getting a clear insight into the character of Ataturk: his strengths and his shortcomings. As time goes by, it is more and more important to understand Kemalism and the course of secularization and modernization in the East.
The diagrams of the battle-fields on a mile scale were extremely helpful: for those, like me, who aren't adept at reading and understanding military strategies, Kinross gives you an introductory course. For the first time, I felt like I actually *knew* what happened in some important battles.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By ktregoe@sol.racsa.co.cr Gonzalo Madrigal on August 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Found by chance in a small bookstore this is one of the best books I have ever read. Finely written, it will give you all the detail you need to understand the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the Turkish Nation. Even if you are not that interested in the subject it will draw you into the fascinating detail of the life of a truly extraordinary man in extraordinary times. Buy it...you will enjoy it without being able to put it away.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ataturk is, for most Westerners, the Unknown Titan of the Twentieth Century - towering over most of the centuries leaders and up there in the Pantheon with Churchill, de Gaulle, Roosevelt and Truman. Ataturk's vision, courage and generosity of spirit would have marked him out as exceptional in any period, but his achievement in creating a new, modern, forward-looking nation on the ruins of a corruption and strife-ridden empire that had finally collapsed after centuries of decline is unprecedented. Ataturk - Mustapha Kemal - did not just remake Turkey, giving it new hopes, new visions and new liberties, - even a new alphabet - but he remade himself in the process, coping with personal weaknesses and failings and never letting them master him. Tough, courageous, ruthless when necessary, Ataturk nevertheless balanced these qualities with compassion and humanity. Like many great soldiers turned politicians he never lost sight of the fact that yesterday's enemy must be tomorrow's friend if the mistakes of the past are not to be perpetuated. This masterly biography covers every aspect of Ataturk's life in detail and is the ideal introduction for the open-minded Westerner eager to understand modern Turkey and its heroic people. I first read it in 1967 and it remained as an inspiration for me until I had the privilege and pleasure of living and working in Turkey a quarter century later. I then reread it with even greater delight and was able to make a personal pilgrimage to Ataturk's severe and dignified mausoleum (which he would probably never have wanted) in Ankara. Ataturk's portrait hangs in my study and this book has a place of honour on my shelves - if you love history and seek personal inspiration then get it at all costs!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By William B. Whiddon on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At 9:05 AM on each November 10th, all the inhabitants of Turkey stop their worldly activities and observe a few minutes of silence. They are observing the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, in 1938. Ataturk was a man larger than life. After the destruction of the Ottoman Empire during WWI he defeated western European powers bent on carving up the spoils for themselves, and formed the new Turkish Republic in 1923. Ataturk was directly responsible for the disaster inflicted on British and Australian forces at Gallipoli, dramatized in the 1981 Australian motion picture. He also fought unsuccessfully against T. E. Lawrence and his Arabs. After forming the new Turkey, he completely reformed its society, replacing the arabic alphabet with latin, abolishing both polygamy and the fez, and installing a secular government. Lord Kinross' masterful book captures the broad scope and the thrilling details of the life of this amazing man and demonstrates his influence on the 20th century. Ataturk is one of the best biographies ever written, about one of the most interesting men in history.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1996
Format: Paperback
It is not common that you find an objective and well written
biography of a great personality. Kinross shows great skill in
in showing the strengths and weaknesses of Ataturk and the
reforms accomplished by him with that eras background.
If you want to know about Ataturk and also the foundation of
a modern nation from the ruins of Ottoman Empire, this is one
book you must read.

Evrim Icoz
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By R. Esra Ustar on June 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately we know very little about the history of Modern Turkey and the Turkish people in general. I would even say all we know is unsubtantiated ...in general against Turks. This wonderful book of outstanding historian Lord Kinross is telling the real story behind the modern Turkey and the avant-guard philosophical foundations that created this modern republic out of ashes of a country which was torn off completely by wars followed one another. This book is clearly proving us that Ataturk is not only the most important political leader of our century but also may be some centuries back and some centuries forward yet to come. Any person from the developed Western societies who are serious about learning something about a nobel nation such as Turks and their genius humanitarian leader Ataturk, this is the book to read.
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