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Ataturk: The Rebirth of a Nation Paperback – 15 Nov 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (15 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842125990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842125991
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 4.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The definitive biography of the father of modern Turkey, a powerful figure in the still-unfolding drama of the Middle East.

From the Publisher

“A life-size portrait of a man…a splendid culmination…absorbing…full of life and incident and colour, and worthy of its theme.” Geoffrey Lewis, The Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
Kinross takes the reader through the life and times of Mustafa Kemal during the early 20th century turmoil of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Mustafa Kemal's role in the Gallipoli battles with the ANZACS and British, in coming almost face-to-face with Lawrence of Arabia in Syria, and his single-minded determination to prevent the break up of his people and country makes this both an inspiring read as well as a concise lesson on the history of the First World War in the east of Europe. Kinross then goes on to map out events leading to the creation of the Republic including the war of independence victory over the invading Greeks, and the reader can see how some of today's issues in Turkey have roots in this volatile period of the nation's history.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Spilsbury on 29 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding portrait of an outstanding man. Ataturk simply saved what was left of the rapidly collapsing Ottoman Empire with a Military Genius that was always clear in his earlier life. This biography chronicles his upbringing, successes in Military School, and then Methodical and exceptionally detailed foresight and planning in the subsequent Military conflict in Gallipoli where ANZACs and British troops lost thousands in a failed campaign, and Turkey as an entity was secured. Attention to personal characteristics and abilities abound in this book. He was a man of astonishing energy and endurance ( read Young Stalin for an unerringly similar constitution and Stamina.) His Political relations and actions are described in a detailed and sometimes laborious chronology. The only part of this book that demonstrates omission is in the treatment of the Armenian Minorities. His personal demons- drink and turbulent personal revelations make him the richer for their exposition.
This man single handedly fought off Western predations to complete the total destruction of the Ottoman Empire, and in its place, having slaughtered Minorities in the East, that would have invited destruction from the East, set about constructing a Post-Caliphate Secular State that is Modern Turkey.
His reasons for De-islamisation, his mechanisms for this, and ultimately the contemporary legacy he left as a result are clearly analysed in this biography.
It is an outstandingly good read and will give any reader interested in a History of Modern Turkey a huge insight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By haunted on 3 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd like to think that Ataturk would be flattered to be described as a great "European" statesman!
I was on holidays in Turkey a few years ago and was fascinated to see photos of Ataturk in most shops and statues of him in even small towns. While I had heard of him I didn't know he was still so revered by his countrymen more than 60 years after his death. This prompted me to read a biography on the man and I'm glad I chose Kinross's one.
Ataturk was a fascinating character,soldier, statesman, dictator,
moderniser and this book describes all these aspects of his life in an
informative and interesting way. I am convinced that the development of the relationship between Turkey and (the rest of)Europe will be one of the most vital in the world over the next 50 years. This book explains Turkey's desire to be accepted as a "western" country, despite it's position on the edge of Europe.
I might be so bold as to suggest that the book is slightly mistitled. Should it be called "Birth of a Nation" rather than "Rebirth"? The modern republic of Turkey rose from the ashes of the huge Ottoman Empire. Ataturk's key policy in my opinion, was that for a Turkish nation to survive it had to restrict it's borders to areas where Turks were in the great majority. This was in contrast to the Empire,which ruled large numbers of Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa and Christians in the Balkans. The Ottoman elite saw themselves as Ottomans rather than as part of a Turkish "nation".
The Empire was famously seen as "the sick man of Europe" as it's Balkan subjects achieved various forms of independence in the 19th century.
Ataturk realised that if Turkey was to be independent and strong it couldn't waste time and resources trying to rule people who felt no affinity for Turkey.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wizard_1881 on 25 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm not going to repeat what's already been said. I shall only say that this book reads beautifully. Despite it being so hefty, you will struggle to put it down. I'm dumbfounded as to why this has not been made into a Hollywood blockbuster.

Regarding Ataturk, it is clear that no one man has ever achieved so much in his lifetime. From the impossibility of even a Turkish state existing and what was a mostly illiterate peasant population to a modern-thinking, peaceful, secular republic that emphasised the importance of education and the arts.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 2 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Ataturk was both an amazing personality and a very complex one. To the Turkish nation he is almost godlike but of course he had both his weaknesses and strengths. Kinross does him great justice in an excellent penmanship which makes the book both interesting and worth reading. It's also a history of the founding of the Turkish Republic which can not be set apart from Ataturk himself. I have read several biographies about Ataturk and really recommend this one. It reads through like a novel, meaning it keeps you fixed for the whole of the book.
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