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Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State [Paperback]

Cemal Kafadar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

21 Nov 1996
Cemal Kafadar offers a much more subtle and complex interpretation of the early Ottoman period than that provided by other historians. His careful analysis of medieval as well as modern historiography from the perspective of a cultural historian demonstrates how ethnic, tribal, linguistic, religious, and political affiliations were all at play in the struggle for power in Anatolia and the Balkans during the late Middle Ages. This highly original look at the rise of the Ottoman empire--the longest-lived political entity in human history--shows the transformation of a tiny frontier enterprise into a centralized imperial state that saw itself as both leader of the world's Muslims and heir to the Eastern Roman Empire.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (21 Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520206002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520206007
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 594,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Kafadar contributes a distinguished addition to Ottoman studies with this thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion of the pioneer phase of Ottoman state building between the late 13th century and 1453. . . . It is a measure of the breadth and seriousness of his approach that his reflections on history, nationalism, and historic folk memory acquire an immediate relevance in the present context of the enormities occurring in those Balkan lands that were once among the Ottomans' oldest territorial acquisitions."--"Choice

About the Author

Cemal Kafadar is Associate Professor of History at Harvard University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Beginning in the fifteenth century, numerous historical accounts were composed, by Ottomans and others, that relate a series of events delineating the emergence and expansion of Ottoman power, but none of these would have passed Voltaire's test. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 Jun 2007
By tulip
This book takes a fresh look at the early Ottomans through a historical -sociological perspective. Very well written with excellent examples. A great academic text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sophisticated Book 20 July 2001
By ESMIKCIH - Published on
Reading this book requires quite a background on the theses of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire. The author questions the accounts about the nature of the early Ottoman state. Did it consist of tribal Turks (extension of Seljuks) with the purpose of propagating Islam as asserted by Koprulu or were they heteredox gazis cooperating with Christian Byzantine locals as asserted by Wittek? Or were they just plunderers as claimed by a couple of Greek historians? Kafadar is very analytical. It is quite stimulating to read his logical deductions where historical data are not available. He seems to reach a synthesis closer to Wittek but not quite Wittek though. It seems more like Lindner who revised Wittek's argument in 1980's. Kafadar further discusses how the centralization of the Ottoman administration during the early 15th century eliminated the gaza spirit over time. The book is analytic and presents interesting facts and possibilites such as the real name (or the second name) of Osman.
The only drag is the abbreviations. For example, the author uses Apz for Asikpasazade or OE for Ottoman Empire throughout the text.
It is very well worth reading if you are interested in the nature of early Ottomans.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this world 10 April 2001
By dndnd - Published on
Reading Kafadar's book is not only reading a history of the Ottoman Empire, but it is remembering the complexity of history. Kafadar's book analyses the forces at play, their effects, and their results on the creation of the Ottoman Empire. The questions Kafadar asks in this book are not only very important to uncover the often misunderstood beginnings of the Ottoman's; but it also addresses "the myths of creation" about the Ottoman Empire, which were to serve political purposes. Last but not least Kafadar's style is very powerful and capable of working on such a problematic period and yet make the reader flow through his arguments so easily. I can recommend this book to all interested in the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East and generally in great historical analysis, do not shy away from it because it is not a popular historical account.
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