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on 4 October 2010
As a Historian and avid reader , you often find books on history written in a style quite rigid and and academic where the authors are constantly trying to prove their intellect.These books I find extremely disappointing and dont usually finish them.However David Brewer has written brilliantly on a topic extremely difficult and quite contraversial in perspective,Greece under Turkish- Ottoman rule. Very well researched,in a very readable conversational style I enjoyed every chapter and was eager to finish the book.Balanced perspectives were presented from a large cross-section of primary and secondary sources, and all aspects of Greek life were tackled (social,economic,education,class ,religion etc )not limiting his research to primarily political issues. I liked the fact that details such as health ,dress, and daily activities were discussed ,attention was given to the different regions -mainland Greeced and the islands ,giving the reader an excellent perspective of what happened during these 400 years . What a wonderful book with an effort of genuineness and honesty about the times!
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on 24 November 2010
A very authoritative, well-written history of Greece in the middle ages.

Given the paucity of original source material, it was great to read a book that was so well researched and brought all the parts together in a fascinating narrative.

Highly recommended for anyone with any interest in this less well-travelled part of Greek history.
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on 25 August 2011
It is obvious that many Greeks including some reviewers on cannot abide any work that attempts to contradict or challenge the official Greek view of the Ottoman occupation period as one where the Ottomans were slave driving imperial Moslem demons, and the Greeks were a put down people heroically fighting to preserve Hellensim under the Turkish yoke for 400 years until the 'Great Victory' of 1821... Yes I grew up with that as well...

Well thank God for David Brewer, who I have communicated with on Greek issues. He is a very honourable man, a Classics graduate so he can read Greek, a staunch philhellene, but not uncritical. Contrary to the emotional outburst of 'Derivative' from the reviewer Eleni, I can confirm that his research was both original and unique and that he was aware of the response his work might provoke in Greece. He has the courage to go behind the rhetoric and propaganda. My understanding of his basic arguments is as follows;

1. The Tourkokratia was not as oppressive as made out because the Ottomans were pragmatic admistrators.
2. That the Greeks after Byzantium and intervening medieval Frankish and Italian invasions were a wretched population, basically ignorant and superstitious, and many Greeks in business and commerce actually thrived under conditions of Ottoman stability.
3. Greeks in 1821 were barely capable of mounting a revolution, certainly required both foreign help and Great Good Fortune to succeed in one and that 1821 to quote Wellington about Waterloo was a 'damn close run thing'. Greeks needed Westerners to tell them about their distant past having no idea of what the ruins were about at all.

The book is an eye opener for those with open minds and a thirst for Real History!

Thank you David Brewer for a wonderfully enjoyable, and superbly and courageously enlightening work.
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on 22 September 2015
Well researched and good academic read-Disappointment was that -maybe because of lack of evidence-there was relatively little about Greeks and Greek life and too much about Ventetians et al
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on 24 February 2015
As indicated in the sales blurb - a closely argued account of the Ottoman in what we now call Greece. Myth-busting? Probably. And readable, given the complexities of the topics.
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on 18 July 2010
I am Cypriot and have learned history as taught at my Greek school. I always wanted more but never got it. I always wanted the facts as they were but never got them UNTIL I read David Brewer's Book. What a breath of fresh air! So good to get the real facts than the school "cooked" facts. Every Cypriot, Greek, and Turk should read this book if we are all to learn what really happened.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 October 2012
I study Greek history and certainly have several books about it, this oine though covers a period I didn't know too much about detail wise.Over it's pages this is a revelation of facts, both good mixed with some pretty aweful information, in the sense of the way battles and retrobution are carried out.Here we see the Turks,the Venicians and the Albanians giving the people of Greece a very tough time as their land was fought over, their way of life,education,the way they despersed to other coutries, the way they lived,what they fought for,the price paid.The key that islands like Cyprus and Crete played throughout the camlaigns.
This truly is so well written,not a stodgy text book but a flowing story of a period of history that I believe had a vast effect on the whole of europe even into today.
In the cover notes on this book it's clear that writer David Brewer has exploded many of the myths about Turkish rule in Greece.He puts the whole story in a much wider context and brings fresh insight to this whole period beginning in 1453 with the fall of Constantinolble to 1821 and the war of Independance.It truly is so well written it brings to life the period covered,the people,the leaders, and its effect on history over a very long space of time.
It's not often you get in books on history one that's wriiten with a movinbg and such flowing narrative, a book I know I'll ciome back to and read again and again.
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on 1 July 2010
This is the first book I have read on this subject so I can't comment on any bias or omissions but I found it to be very well researched, very well presented and easy and entertaining to read. It covers a lot of ground without feeling as if it is skimming over details or getting bogged down in them.

Many history books try to be overly complicated to the point of being tedious or difficult to read - this is certainly not one of them.

I would recommend this book and will also continue to read more around the subject.
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on 19 May 2013
I got what I expected. I enjoy reading the book. Although I am to some extent familiar with the topic because I have read some books in Hungarian about this period.
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on 7 November 2014
I will not lower myself to such a level as to write an exhaustive critique of this terrible work of history. Brewer's aim throughout the book is to create the false impression of a 'tolerant Ottoman empire' and a 'tolerant Islam' while downplaying the deprivations of the Greeks during the period. Brewer gets lost in his own little fantasy world trying desperately, for example, to minimise any differences between religions and peoples, quite simply butchering history in his effort to fashion a story closely aligned with his own philosophical outlook and agenda. The author makes numerous scandalous blanket statements, often contradicts himself, and formulates a number of bizarre (mostly unsourced) claims throughout. The book is nothing other than a criminal advertisement for neo-Ottomanism.
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