- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 25, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691134529
- ISBN-13: 978-0691134529
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire
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"There are many fine insights in this short book. It is no surprise that many relate to political hypocrisy, since Hanioglu is well known for his studies of the Young Turk political movement. But he also offers often-illuminating discussions of cultural changes, mainly those of the Ottoman official and middle strata."--Choice
"[T]his book raises a series of new questions and calls for developing new approaches and ideas to analyze the last Ottoman century and understand better the rise of national states in the Balkans and the Middle East, especially Turkey. . . . In short, this is a thought-provoking book and I recommend it highly."--Kemal H. Karpat, American Historical Review
"Forgoing 'the worn-out paradigms of modernization and Westernization,' Hanioglu opts instead for a consideration of Ottoman responses to the challenge of modernity. . . . [This book] is a pleasure to read."--Kate Fleet, Journal of Islamic Studies
"The Ottoman Empire was the longest-lived regional regime in the Middle East since antiquity; it was also the most recent, and left enduring traces. ?ükrü Hanio?lu's A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire is a major contribution to the better understanding of the region. His account is based on intimate knowledge of the Ottoman archives, as well as of many other sources, both internal and external. Concerned with trends more than events, this book illuminates the ideas and movements that shaped the course of history."--Bernard Lewis, Middle East Strategy at Harvard
"This timely history is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the legacy left in the ruins of the empire--a legacy the world still grapples with today."--Turkish Daily News
"A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the legacy left in this empire's ruins--a legacy the world still grapples with today."--Spartacus Educational
"A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire deserves only unqualified praise. It is well written and comprehensive in its coverage--with diplomatic, economic and intellectual history interacting."--Peter Clark, Asian Affairs
"In all, this is a fine effort well worth reading for its valuable background to WWI, to the politics of modern Turkey and the other Ottoman successor states. Its maps are particularly useful."--Len Shurtleff, Listening Post
"[T]o readers familiar with the Ottoman Empire through the Balkans, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire is especially commendable as a fresh introduction to a bygone view from Istanbul."--Seth C. Elder, Balkanalysis
"Hanioglu's seminal work presents a true spring of ideas not only for the late Ottoman history but also for the search of some earlier East Roman and Byzantine interplays of structures and identities."--Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Sehepunkte
From the Inside Flap
"Without doubt the best history of the development of political ideas in the late Ottoman Empire. Hanio?luu situates this history of ideas in the context of the political and diplomatic history of the empire as well as in the history of European political thought, of which he demonstrates a deep knowledge."--Erik J. Zürcher, author of Turkey: A Modern History
"A significant contribution, not only to the historiography of the late Ottoman Empire but also to the field of comparative studies of empires."--Fikret Adanir, coeditor of The Ottomans and the Balkans
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The summary part is what lowered by rating. Perhaps this deserves a 4.5 instead of a 4, but the problem is its too short! Hanioglu is often only able to touch on some subjects without giving them the depth they deserve. I understand that is a limitation of the publisher and the format, but it is a bit frustrating at times. For example, he notes the origins and growth of the Young Ottoman movement, but isnt able to give it the full attention I would have liked. In this sense it is a quick overview of the subject, but leaves me, at least, wanting to read more. Maybe thats the intention after all!
The introduction provided an excellent summary of the politically untenable situation the Ottoman Empire found itself: as the nation states of Europe were beginning to assert themselves and the technological fruits of the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution were beginning to ripen, the Ottoman leadership recognized its place in the sun was slipping. The remaining 200 pages discusses in elaborate detail with crystal clarity the myriad attempts made by successive Sultans to modernize and save the Empire. In a nutshell, these efforts failed because of equal parts internal resistance (from the Janisaries, the ulama, from regional powers) and external interference (Britain in particular does not come off very well.) I was especially impressed with the way in which complex inter-relationships (between social / economic classes, internal politics and international policies, international trade, intellecutal challenges and policies aimed at reforming and modernizing) were broken down into digestible pieces, their connections clearly stated, and the long-term results shown. This is no easy feat.
I do regret that more attention was not given the final decade of the Ottoman Empire: the emergence of the Young Turks, the Second Constitutional Period, and the partitioning of the empire among Britain and France. For those seeking a detailed and accessable history of the attempts at reforming the Ottoman Empire, this is the most authoritative and detailed text on the subject to date.
I think the book especially good on the modernization under Mehmet II, and also on the challenge posed by Mehmet Ali in Egypt. The book is not an easy read, in the sense it is dense-packed with information, and the cast of characters is one many readers will not know, unless they have read other books about the Ottomans. The book can be described as an account of how an archaic multi-ethnic state tried, with some success, to modernize. Modernization provoked resistance that was sustained and difficult to overcome. Much of it is about policy and government. There is not much on the Armenian genocide.
These were among the surprises for me. A Turkish dialect in central Anatolia was written in Greek. Putting the Sultan's portrait up in government offices provoked an outcry from ulemas in some of the Arab-populated territories. The Ottoman presence in the First World War tied up 2.55 million Allied troops.