5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very Readable, not enough maps,
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This review is from: The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans and the Battle for Europe (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, which focuses (reasonably enough in my view) on the Vienna siege of 1683 rather than Islam vs Christianity in general. There is interesting background about both Ottoman and Habsburg rulers, though it's not a social history so no anecdotes about what it was like to work in the Sultan's laundry. After a gripping description of the siege itself the last quarter of the book takes a whistlestop tour of the subsequent decline of the two empires right up to the outbreak of WW1. This section felt like a bit of an afterthought, though it does shed light on more recent Balkan conflicts.
My only complaint is the lack of good maps and idiosyncratic choice of largely 19th Century paintings, reproduced in black and white, as illustrations. Since so much of the book revolves around events in Edirne, Graz and others, it would be nice to know where they were, while a large scale map of Vienna and its fortifications would seem essential to follow what's going on. (I eventually found and printed one on the internet).
Definitely worth reading.