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Discovering the Ottomans
Discovering the Ottomans
by Ilber Ortayli
Edition: Paperback

0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heavily Biased and Immature Account of the Ottoman Empire, 19 April 2010
I can basically summarize the whole of this book in a few sentences:

"There were many world Empires, but the Ottoman Empire was the best. Sure, there were many great cities at the time, but Istanbul was better than all of them. Of course, the Persians and the Indians were renowned for their culture, architecture, and governance, but the Turks were superior in every aspect. In fact, the world owes everything they have to the Turks. Nobody else in history mattered much, really."

Essentially, rather than looking at the Ottomans objectively, he praises them to the extreme, exaggerates wildly, and puts other cultures down to promote Turkish culture. Avoid this immature drivel at all costs.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2011 11:54 PM BST


Science and Islam: A History
Science and Islam: A History
by Ehsan Masood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate and highly flawed -- take caution, 7 Jan. 2010
This book, although intended for the lay reader is fraught with errors from start to finish. For one, for some reason the author acknowledges the ethnicity and cultural background of all the scientists he discusses except the Persians, which he simply refers to by their Arabic titles (e.g. al-Tusi, al-Biruni, etc.), giving readers the false impression that scientists such as Khwarizmi, Tusi, ibn-Sina and al-Razi were all Arabs, simply because they wrote in Arabic, which was necessary for them to gain recognition in the Islamic world. Secondly, he refers to Omar Khayyam as an Arab, and even when quoting from his Rubayyat, does not mention that it is Persian poetry. Third, when referring to places and locations, he gives no detail to the reader as to where they actually are geographically. How is the lay reader supposed to know where the Alamut fortress is? Fourth, numerous times he mistakes the Safarids (a Persian dynasty) for the Safavids, which is a huge error, as the Safavids were a completely different dynasty! As well, many major accomplishments of the scientists are omitted. For instance, how can one write about Zakariya Razi (Rhazes) without mentioning his discovery of alcohol, which he is most famous for? Lastly, why are there no footnotes? It seems as if the author is simply writing from memory and hearsay.

Overall, the topic of the book is very interesting and the writing style is clear and not at all boring, but it is a HIGHLY erroneous, flawed, and in many cases, biased view of the subject. Beware.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2011 10:36 PM BST


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