This is a book for travelers who would like to know about what they are going to see and how to put it into context. As a result, they condense a ton of material into a fairly short and readable book. When I go to Turkey I will be mostly interested in the ancient (Hittite, Lydian), Byzantine and Ottoman empires, but can certainly appreciate the info on modern Turkey and how it came to occupy the position it has in the middle east and world in general. Overall, a quick read that provides mostly decent information. The author tries (does he succeed?- who knows) to "tell it like it is" and is both condemning of the Turks at times and admires them at others. The book gets 4 stars because at times they will bring up a name or city from 5 pages ago that was only mentioned once, so a bit hard to track. A few times, they made references to things I don't think were previously explained. To a certain extent they could rectify this, but it would also make the book longer and didn't detract from the bulk of information. I have no wish to be an expert on the history of Turkey but feel much better prepared for my trip.
Terrific concise history for people traveling to that part of the world. Considering there is 5000 years of history to tell - Stoneman does a wonderful job giving you enough detail to feel knowledgeable without being burdened. Highly recommend it to anyone interested in a quick history lesson.
Just as the title implies, this is a short brief Traveller's History of Turkey. It's a quick and easy read. One could probably read the whole book in one sitting from America to Turkey. It is what it is. Kinda the cliff notes of Turkish History. Although, I must say after reading several books on the subject, there were many things I read here that I didn't know before. You won't get three units of graduate credit for reading this, but, if you know nothing this is worth the read.
Like a previous reviewer, I was put off by the concentration on ancient history with almost no modern history.
Having said that, the ancient history IS fascinating and I am very hald I read the book.
To the two turkish reviewers: when your country finally admits that it massacred the Greeks at Smyrna and the Armenians at every opportunity, then people will begin to forget, but as long as you insist that these things didn't happen people will assume that that is still the way it is in Turkey.