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“Timely . . . brilliant . . . hugely enjoyable, magnificently researched and deeply absorbing.”—Jason Goodwin, New York Times Book Review At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock. Yet in Istanbul—an ancient crossroads and Turkey's largest city—people were looking toward an uncertain future. Never purely Turkish, Istanbul was home to generations of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, as well as Muslims. It welcomed White Russian nobles ousted by the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik assassins on the trail of the exiled Leon Trotsky, German professors, British diplomats, and American entrepreneurs—a multicultural panoply of performers and poets, do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells. During the Second World War, thousands of Jews fleeing occupied Europe found passage through Istanbul, some with the help of the future Pope John XXIII. At the Pera Palace, Istanbul's most luxurious hotel, so many spies mingled in the lobby that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish their seats to paying guests. In beguiling prose and rich character portraits, Charles King brings to life a remarkable era when a storied city stumbled into the modern world and reshaped the meaning of cosmopolitanism.
For more than two millennia Istanbul has stood at the crossroads of the world, perched at the very tip of Europe, gazing across at the shores of Asia. The history of this city—known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, now Istanbul—is at once glorious, outsized, and astounding. Founded by the Greeks, its location blessed it as a center for trade but also made it a target of every empire in history, from Alexander the Great and his Macedonian Empire, to the Romans and later the Ottomans. At its most spectacular, Istanbul was re-founded by Emperor Constantine I as New Rome, the capital of the eastern Roman Empire. He dramatically expanded the city, filling it with artistic treasures, and adorning the streets with opulent palaces. Constantine built new walls around it all—walls that were truly impregnable and preserved power, wealth, and withstood any aggressor—walls that still stand for tourists to visit. From its ancient past to the present, we meet the city through its ordinary citizens—the Jews, Muslims, Italians, Greeks, and Russians who used the famous baths and walked the bazaars, and the rulers who built it up and then destroyed it, including Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the man who christened the city "Istanbul" in 1930. Thomas Madden's entertaining narrative brings to life the city we see today, including the rich splendor of the churches and monasteries that spread throughout the city. Istanbul draws on a lifetime of study and the latest scholarship, transporting readers to a city of unparalleled importance and majesty that holds the key to understanding modern civilization. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital."
From the Kurdish question to economic policy, from Turkey's role in Iraq to its quest for EU membership, the author illuminates the past and present of this unique and predominantly Muslim country. Simultaneous. Hardcover available.
In his first novel since Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières creates a world, populates it with characters as real as our best friends, and launches it into the maelstrom of twentieth-century history. The setting is a small village in southwestern Anatolia in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone there speaks Turkish, though they write it in Greek letters. It’s a place that has room for a professional blasphemer; where a brokenhearted aga finds solace in the arms of a Circassian courtesan who isn’t Circassian at all; where a beautiful Christian girl named Philothei is engaged to a Muslim boy named Ibrahim. But all of this will change when Turkey enters the modern world. Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, Birds Without Wings is an enchantment. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The definitive biography of the father of modern Turkey, a powerful figure in the still-unfolding drama of the Middle East. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War came the emergence of new nations, chief among them Turkey itself. It was the creation of one man, the soldier-statesman Mustafa Kemal, who dragged his country from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, and in defeating Western imperialists inspired 'the cause of the East'. Lord Kinross writes of the intrigues of empires, the brutalities of civil war, personal courage - showing us Ataturk, the incarnation of glory - as well as of Kemal's youthful ambition, and his problems with his wife.
Evliya Celebi was the 17th century's most diligent, adventurous, and honest recorder, whose puckish wit and humor are laced throughout his ten-volume masterpiece. This brand new translation brings Evliya sparklingly back to life. "This superb selection from the 'Seyahatname' introduces Evliya Celebi, who witnessed history, recorded ethnological facts scrupulously, and allowed his mind to range freely into the realism of the fabulous providing us with an insider's depiction of the Ottoman worldview."-Henry Glassie, Professor Emeritus of Turkish Studies at Indiana University. "Celebi's writings provide a fascinating and unmatched picture of his world, and this volume finally makes his journeys available to an English-speaking audience."-Choice

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