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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent summary
this provided an excellent summary for me as someone who is brushing up on European history. There are some serious issues with the kindle translation in places. It needs proof reading and amending. I could find no way of viewing the illustrations on my kindle.
Published 6 months ago by shannybong

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Craftmanship
I'm not a historian but a surgeon. However my passion through the last 40 years is history and as such I have extensive knowledge of history. After reading only a few pages it stood clear to me that the book has been written with a great deal of emotion. Positive emotion to Turkey. But also negative emotion towards Turkey's classical enemies. In short the positive deeds...
Published 12 months ago by Mik Holst


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Craftmanship, 30 Mar 2013
I'm not a historian but a surgeon. However my passion through the last 40 years is history and as such I have extensive knowledge of history. After reading only a few pages it stood clear to me that the book has been written with a great deal of emotion. Positive emotion to Turkey. But also negative emotion towards Turkey's classical enemies. In short the positive deeds of turks are enhanced and the negative ones are systematically diminished. I am my self an admirer of Turkey and of Mustafa Kemal, but at the same time only what we know for facts interests me, not the positive or negative emotions of the one or the other author. Therefore the book is simply not trustworthy.

The examples from the author who is a professor of history in Ankara Turkey are numerous:
NS: The Janissaries were young men from the occupied parts of the Ottoman empire who were lifted up through a great education.
Normal consensus: The Janissaries, were small christian (maninly Greek, but also Serbian etc) boys of the age of 6 who were taken away from their mothers by force, and sent to Istanbul to become elite-soldiers. Their families never saw them again. The mere human grief in this fact is never mentioned.
NS: The massacre of Chios was a mistake done by the Turks who mistook the Island for another Island who had in fact deserved to be punished.
Consensus: The massacre of Chios comprised the entire Greek population which was killed, and thousand of women and children were sold as slaves (and never got their freedom back). The massacre was ordered as a reprisal to the uprising in mainland Greece (Morea).

The author also has a divided and inconsistent view on many things. E.g. the Persians (today Iranians). In some pages they are described almost as fools not understanding the Turkish culture, in other pages they are great, because of the fact that thay are muslims and culturally linked to the Turkish. The great history of the Persian culture is being unprofessionally belittled, that is unbecoming.
The author is clearly not fond of the Greeks and the history of the Greeks diminished, and the Greeks and Byzantines are mixed together so as to give an impression of the positive deeds of the Greeks being Byzantine and the negative deeds being Greek. History is, however, not so simple.
The killing of a very large number of Armenians (in the hundreds of thousands) in the beginning of the 20th century is diminished to a degree which is simply inexcusable to a historian, the same goes for the killing (consensus) of between 250000 and 370000 Greeks in Asia minor, which are nowadays normally viewed as historical facts, just as Hitler's killing of 10 million jews and 6 million others. When historians attempt to belittle Hitlers negative deeds they are called revisionists.

In short, the book is lacking craftsmanship. A history-book written by a historian should be scientific i.e. what do we know as scientific facts. The speculative discussions should be clearly marked as a discussion and not intermingled with historical facts, as is the case in this book. Also the book has no footnotes so checking the sources of the numerous postulates is impossible.
Finally the author is writing in a very humoristic tone, which I at least soon became very tired of. The author undoubtedly has a vast knowledge of Turkey. However, he is not faithful to science and his history-book is far too biased to be trustworthy, unfortunately. There are a number of history books on Turkey which are far better and far superior as to telling the historical facts. I cannot recommend the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent summary, 20 Sep 2013
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this provided an excellent summary for me as someone who is brushing up on European history. There are some serious issues with the kindle translation in places. It needs proof reading and amending. I could find no way of viewing the illustrations on my kindle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first stop introduction to the history of Turkey., 21 July 2013
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Lucid and entertaining; full of informed and well argued opinion well supported with examples. As someone who lives there for some of his life in the last 20 years or so, he brings together the overview of an outsider and the study of a resident who spends much of their time studying and examing the context.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ab Fab, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Turkey: A Short History (Paperback)
I thought this might be a little dry, coming from an historian as eminent as NS, but in fact this is an often-witty, colourful account, lifted by plenty of anecdote and supported by succinct analysis. NS paints an excellent picture of the complexities of Turkish history without losing the reader in the detail. Jolly good.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Craftmanship, 30 Mar 2013
This review is from: Turkey: A Short History (Paperback)
I'm not a historian but a surgeon. However my passion through the last 40 years is history and as such I have extensive knowledge of history. After reading only a few pages it stood clear to me that the book has been written with a great deal of emotion. Positive emotion to Turkey. But also negative emotion towards Turkey's classical enemies. In short the positive deeds of turks are enhanced and the negative ones are systematically diminished. I am my self an admirer of Turkey and of Mustafa Kemal, but at the same time only what we know for facts interests me, not the positive or negative emotions of the one or the other author. Therefore the book is simply not trustworthy.

The examples from the author who is a professor of history in Ankara Turkey are numerous:
NS: The Janissaries were young men from the occupied parts of the Ottoman empire who were lifted up through a great education.
Normal consensus: The Janissaries, were small christian (maninly Greek, but also Serbian etc) boys of the age of 6 who were taken away from their mothers by force, and sent to Istanbul to become elite-soldiers. Their families never saw them again. The mere human grief in this fact is never mentioned.
NS: The massacre of Chios was a mistake done by the Turks who mistook the Island for another Island who had in fact deserved to be punished.
Consensus: The massacre of Chios comprised the entire Greek population which was killed, and thousand of women and children were sold as slaves (and never got their freedom back). The massacre was ordered as a reprisal to the uprising in mainland Greece (Morea).

The author also has a divided and inconsistent view on many things. E.g. the Persians (today Iranians). In some pages they are described almost as fools not understanding the Turkish culture, in other pages they are great, because of the fact that thay are muslims and culturally linked to the Turkish. The great history of the Persian culture is being unprofessionally belittled, that is unbecoming.
The author is clearly not fond of the Greeks and the history of the Greeks diminished, and the Greeks and Byzantines are mixed together so as to give an impression of the positive deeds of the Greeks being Byzantine and the negative deeds being Greek. History is, however, not so simple.
The killing of a very large number of Armenians (in the hundreds of thousands) in the beginning of the 20th century is diminished to a degree which is simply inexcusable to a historian, the same goes for the killing (consensus) of between 250000 and 370000 Greeks in Asia minor, which are nowadays normally viewed as historical facts, just as Hitler's killing of 10 million jews and 6 million others. When historians attempt to belittle Hitlers negative deeds they are called revisionists.

In short, the book is lacking craftsmanship. A history-book written by a historian should be scientific i.e. what do we know as scientific facts. The speculative discussions should be clearly marked as a discussion and not intermingled with historical facts, as is the case in this book. Also the book has no footnotes so checking the sources of the numerous postulates is impossible.
Finally the author is writing in a very humoristic tone, which I at least soon became very tired of. The author undoubtedly has a vast knowledge of Turkey. However, he is not faithful to science and his history-book is far too biased to be trustworthy, unfortunately. There are a number of history books on Turkey which are far better and far superior as to telling the historical facts. I cannot recommend the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book, 5 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Turkey: A Short History (Paperback)
If you are looking for an in depth, detailed history of Turkey this is not the book for you. However, as a condensed history this is interesting, informative and well written about a unique and diverse country.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Jan 2014
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A n easy read, well written and comprehensive and not at all ''dry'' as many history boos tend to be
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 10 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Turkey: A Short History (Paperback)
A very fascinating, in depth but not overwhelming book. It is very readable and actually quite an amusing read! Fast delivery from the company. Thanks!
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Balanced, 10 Sep 2012
This review is from: Turkey: A Short History (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. It avoided the two common traps for historical books: 1) being far too long and detailed to be accessible to the somewhat casual intellectual, and 2) getting caught up on a concept and forcing the historical facts to fit said concept. There's more than enough there to give you a good historical overview yet book flows quick enough to keep you interested. Buy it and read it.
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