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The Ottomans

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781473695733

Price: £25

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A book as sweeping, colorful, and rich in extraordinary characters as the empire which it describes – Tom Holland

The Ottoman Empire has long been depicted as the Islamic-Asian antithesis of the Christian-European West. But the reality was starkly different: the Ottomans’ multiethnic, multilingual, and multireligious domain reached deep into Europe’s heart. In their breadth and versatility, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans.

Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic and Byzantine heritage; how they used both religious toleration and conversion to integrate conquered peoples; and how, in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the dynasty’s demise after the First World War. Upending Western concepts of the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the Reformation, this account challenges our understandings of sexuality, orientalism and genocide.

Radically retelling their remarkable story, The Ottomans is a magisterial portrait of a dynastic power, and the first to truly capture its cross-fertilisation between East and West.

(P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Limited


A book as sweeping, colorful, and rich in extraordinary characters as the empire which it describes
Tom Holland, author of Dominion
A compellingly readable account of one of the great world empires from its origins in thirteenth century to modern times ... Blending the sacred and the profane, the social and the political, the sublime and the absurd, Baer brings his subject to life in rich vignettes. An outstanding book
Eugene Rogan, author of The Fall of the Ottomans
Baer's colourful, readable book is informed by all the newest research on his massive subject. In showing how an epic of universal empire, conquest and toleration turned into the drama of nationalism, crisis, and genocide, he gives us not only an expansive history of the Ottomans, but an expanded history of Europe.
James McDougall, University of Oxford
Marc David Baer's The Ottomans is a scintillating and brilliantly panoramic account of the history of the Ottoman empire, from its genesis to its dissolution ... It challenges and transforms how we think of 'East' and 'West,' 'Enlightenment,' and 'modernity,' and directly confronts the horrors as well as the achievements of Ottoman rule
Peter Sarris, University of Cambridge
Expertly captures the undercurrents of Ottoman history ... There's no study more masterful
Library Journal
A superb, gripping and refreshing new history - finely written and filled with fascinating characters and analysis - that places the dynasty where it belongs: at the centre of European history
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs and Jerusalem
A thrilling history of one of the world's largest empires
All About History
Provocative and engaging, this book is a refreshing new study of the Ottoman Empire and its legacy . . . Populated by vivid characters and descriptions of events this book is well-paced, rich and beautifully executed. Essential reading not only for those interested in the history of the Middle East, but also for those interested more broadly in the history of Europe, the history of Empire and the politics of genocide
Katherine Pangonis
A wildly ambitious and entertainingly lurid history
James Barr, The Times
A winning portrait of seven centuries of empire, teeming with life and colour, human interest and oddity, cruelty and oppression mixed with pleasure, benevolence and great artistic beauty
Sunday Times
Highly readable . . . Baer's fine book gives a panoramic and thought-provoking account of over half a millennium of Ottoman and - it now goes without saying - European history
An epic, sweeping history of the Ottoman Empire . . . It's absolutely fabulous
Alex Churchill, History Hack podcast
[Baer's] enlightening forays into the side alleys of Ottoman history make this book very enjoyable . . . splendid
Literary Review
Forceful history
New Yorker
A fuller, fresher view of the dynasty that ruled an empire for 500 years and helped shape the West . . . A major achievement
Anthony Sattin, Spectator
Magnificent . . . Like a swift Ottoman caique cutting through the Sweet Waters of Asia, Baer's taut prose splices stereotypes and makes us think twice about long-held assumptions . . . [An] important and hugely readable book - a model of well-written, accessible scholarship
William Dalrymple, Financial Times
[A] fascinating, thought-provoking book that wears its learning lightly. It asks us not only to rethink the Ottomans, but also to consider what exactly constitutes being European.
Roger Crowley, Aspects of History
Baer's portrait teems with life and colour
The Sunday Times