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Drawing on memoirs by European visitors as well as standard histories of the era, Goodwin traces the Ottoman Empire from its origins in the 14th-century collapse of the Byzantine state to its centuries-long decline and final collapse at the end of World War I. Along the way, he writes of the Ottomans' addiction to wealth (and to hiding their gold in fabulous hoards), the pleasure they took in holding picnics in their lush cemeteries, and the prowess of their elite military both in battle and in organized crime. ("The janissaries were magnificent extortionists," Goodwin notes. "People paid them not to burn their homes and business, then they paid them to come and put the fires out.") Full of vivid detail, Goodwin's narrative makes for an enjoyable introduction to this historically influential, but little understood, culture. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Informative but got to be heavy going here and there with too much dense history.Published 2 months ago by Peter G. Obuchan
This is an excellent account of the Ottoman Empire, very readable and informative. I very much liked the thematic approach which enabled a good understanding of the nature and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paul Willis
I love this book. It's scary how ethnocentric our view of history is in America. Reading this book helps me understand many events playing out on the world stage today. Read morePublished 3 months ago by azuremountain
Takes place over hundreds of years so is naturally full of information, too much to remember. However there is a decent way to look up,specific information if so inclined.Published 3 months ago by Jody B
A well written history. I thought the authors seemed to run out of gas in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jerry Goulding
It's wonderful to read Jason Goodwin's work as a scholar and historian. This book is remarkable; clear, fascinating, beautifully written. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kristina Jones