This book boils down to an examination of the aims of the Committe for Union and Progress after the end of the reign of Abdülhamid and the second constitutional experiment--all of which embody the last ditch efforts to revive the moribund sick man of Europe. As the title connotes, this is done with a particular emphasis on how the CUP/Young Turks viewed the Arab provinces; therefore, issues surrounding the turkification (better: centralization) of the late Ottoman empire and its relation vis a vis nascent Arabism and fading Ottomanism. Kayali forms his work as a counterargument against the view that would describe the reforms of the Young Turks as motivated by the desire for the aggrandizement of Turkish ethnicity and language--prefering, rather, to see the actions of the CUP as an attempt to centralize and consolidate Ottoman authority, albeit by employing the Turkish language and emphasizing Ottoman interests over local ones to do so. A note on the inclusion of "Islamism" in the title: the author throughout uses the term Islamism in what would appear to be a anachronistic fashion, being that it is rather tenuous to speak of Islamism at all until after the Second World War. Kayali plays fast and loose the term "Islamism" as meaning any gov't project that takes recourse to Islamic rhetoric. It's inclusion and usage in the book appears, then, to be a gimmick. Anyone looking for insights into Islamism, being mass populist political movements based on religious soiidarity, would do better to look elsewhere.
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