Read Turkey: A Short History by Norman Stone Online


A virtuoso performance by historian Norman Stone, who has lived and worked in the country since 1997, this concise survey of Turkeys relations with its immediate neighbours and the wider world from the 11th century to the present day. Stone deftly conducts the reader through this story, from the arrival of the Seljuks in Anatolia in the eleventh century to the modern repubA virtuoso performance by historian Norman Stone, who has lived and worked in the country since 1997, this concise survey of Turkeys relations with its immediate neighbours and the wider world from the 11th century to the present day. Stone deftly conducts the reader through this story, from the arrival of the Seljuks in Anatolia in the eleventh century to the modern republic applying for EU membership in the twenty-first. It is an historical account of epic proportions, featuring rapacious leaders such as Genghis Khan and Tamerlane through the glories of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent to Kemal Atatürk, the reforming genius and founder of modern Turkey. At its height, the Ottoman Empire was a superpower that brought Islam to the gates of Vienna. Stone examines the reasons for the empires long decline and shows how it gave birth to the modern Turkish republic, where east and west, religion and secularism, tradition and modernity still form vibrant elements of national identity. Norman Stone brilliantly draws out the larger themes of Turkeys history, resulting in a book that is a masterly exposition of the historians craft....

Title : Turkey: A Short History
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780500290385
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Turkey: A Short History Reviews

  • Saskia Watson
    2019-01-24 17:35

    I'm going to be one of those annoying people and give 2,5 stars, something I've never resorted to. I really had to struggle through the first half of the book. At first I thought it was because I didn't know many names and a lot of the information was new for me (hence the reason I read this in the first place). After a while, some things started to annoy me. First here's the constant references to the ethomology of words. Normaly I find this facinating, but since I don't speak Turkish I could not see/hear the simularities in the words. Maybe they were bad examples, I can't tell, but I can say that for a 'short history' where every page counts because it must be hard to shorten such a rich history, there were too many. With that said, the author often offers small snippers of information that feel redundant. Like how the Russian Tsar apparently murdered his son and liked to eat Borscht, only to never mention that Tsar again.I guess some were kind of funny, but most of them didn't do it for me. However the fall of the Ottoman empire and the road to modern Turkey was enjoyable to read and before I knew it I finished the book. It felt however that it lacked 2 chapters, since it's the history of Turkey, not just the Ottoman empire. The book left me wanting more, so that gives it its' half star extra. Glad to have read it, gave an introduction, however it could have been better.Lastly, I wanted to touch on a more sensitive, but important point.What greatly angered and saddend me is how the writer literally denied the Armenian Genocide. A disgrace!

  • Thom Kaife
    2019-02-14 12:13

    I read this to get a very basic, overall look at the Ottoman Empire up to the current state of the Turkish Republic. To that end, this book was great. However, it was hard to read, too much information, not enough time and space for critical analysis and deeper understanding on certain moments and periods on the history. This led to the book seeming incredibly one-sided on a number of periods particularly around the Armenian Genocide and the Balkan and Greek wars.

  • Jaime Fernandez
    2019-02-04 16:13

    He leído la versión española. Libro útil para entender a grandes rasgos la historia turca, de la cual desconoZco casi todo. Baja puntuación porque no es muy ameno, con alguna parte farragosa, las referencias históricas de los países que conozco (España) son muy desacertadas, el tema del genocidio armenio lo tarta en un solo párrafo y las conclusiones finales se están probando erróneas (Erdogan)

  • Hemant
    2019-01-20 12:39

    I had only heard about Ottoman empire and Ataturk before getting this book and wanted to know more about them. Norman Stone tells about these at a very good pace which doesn't let reading be boring. So if you are interested in History or planning to visit Turkey and want to understand more about it quickly, then this is the book for you. Very concise history.

  • Jacob
    2019-02-04 12:33

    Pervasive copy editing oversights, obnoxious tangents, and sweeping and elementary analysis of extremely important events and periods. Also, the author denies the Armenian genocide and covers the event in a single page. One would expect a book to provide a bit more insight into the slaughter of 1.5 million of its subject's citizens.

  • SarahLouise
    2019-01-26 13:40

    In a word: tedious.Decided to step out of my comfort zone and read something less familiar and boy do I regret it. My aim was to take the book and become engrossed in the rich and diverse culture, passion and history of turkey and its people. Instead, I feel like i was beaten around the head with jargon, monotone facts, sweeping statements and complexity. Reader be no way is this 'a short history' of a great nation, although I have to say I admire the authors clear passion and dedication to the topic which really shines through at the turn of each page. Having said that, for me personally it was just too heavy, very analytical and just did not grab my attention like most other historical/political books do. The objective was to learn more and broaden my horizon but to be honest it just felt too foreign and drew no connection for me, instead i found myself racing through the lines just to finish the page and move swiftly on to the next one. The style is hyper-analytical and may suit someone looking for a more depth exploration of the topic having already read around the past of Turkey. Rookie move on my part I feel...wouldn’t recommend for someone like me who is just starting out with their introduction to that regions rich history.

  • Werner Goos
    2019-01-24 16:41

    thoroughly enjoyed it. as a 'non initiate' in Turkish culture and Turkish history this was a great book. It's more than a mere introduction, it gives true flavour to the country and to Istanbul in particular. Halfway through reading it I visited Istanbul and that made the book all the more worthwhile as it gave interesting and relevant information about how it came to reach this point. Highly recommend the book for first time Turkey enthusiasts

  • Gani Sultanov
    2019-01-21 17:16

    ИМХО, какая-то сжатая и неинтересная книга. Если в книге есть слово "краткая", но не так кратко же надо писать. Очень мало информации. Но автор интересно подает противоречия, которые всегда сопровождали Турцию между исламом и сторонниками реформ. Автор мило обходит вопросы геноцида армян, греков и других народностей. Но для общего развития почитать можно.

  • Ainsley
    2019-01-27 18:40

    Well constructed, very readable.

  • Monty Milne
    2019-02-05 18:40

    This is a good introduction to Turkey written in a lively style. It is sympathetic to its subject, and a necessary corrective to those like me whose attitude to Turkey has been conditioned by a host of negative stereotypes from the likes of Byron, Gladstone, T E Lawrence, et al. The big contentious issue is that of the Armenians. Stone doesn't describe the massacres as a Genocide, for which he has been much criticised. When I was a boy, a Turkish architect lived with us for a year, as he was working for my father. I asked him about the Armenian massacres, and he told me many Turks denied that they had ever taken place. "But I know they did", he said, "because before he died, my Grandfather said 'don't believe it if anyone tells you the massacres didn't take place - they did - I know - I took part' ". Stone does discuss the atrocities against the Armenians, and concedes that they took place on a wide scale, and in the 19th century as well as the first world war. He also discusses the atrocities against the Greeks, both during the war of independence and at Smyrna in 1922. He does not excuse or condone - how could anyone? - but he gives us some valuable context - the atrocities against Turks by Greeks, the long history of Armenian terrorism, and the prosecutions by Turkey of those of its officials who participated in atrocities against the Armenians. The real story is more nuanced than some have claimed, and there were many non-Turks inside Turkey who enjoyed privileged status. Sadly, the massive loss of territory after 1918 had the effect of making Turkey into a nation state that was overwhelmingly ethnically Turkish, which the Ottoman Empire never was. (A wonderful photograph of an Istanbul crowd on the Golden Gate bridge taken pre-WWI gives some idea of the Empire's ethnic and cultural mix). Stone has a distinctive style, which is crisp, pungent: I like it, but like the rest of the book, it will not be to everyone's taste.

  • Patrick
    2019-01-31 16:21

    I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.The challenge of a "short history" or "concise history" is it often tackles sweeping periods of history. Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire takes six volumes. The history of Turkey is no less daunting, and Norman Stone takes on the challenge with verve, reducing centuries of economics, war, rise, decline, and so on to less than 200 pages. Of necessity, much is skimmed or skipped. Suleyman's siege of Vienna is mentioned. Mehmet II's capturing of Constantinople takes but a couple of paragraphs (where in Caroline Finkel's purposively larger history, Osman's Dreams, the final days of Byzantine Constantinople takes pages upon pages). The question inevitably becomes: Has Stone covered the right stuff? I think he has. He even occasionally states that the material is of interest mostly to specialists (while a bit of an exaggeration--I'm not specialist but I do have an interest--it's generally on the mark). Stone captures the broad rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the republic well. He may skim the siege of Vienna but he discusses the rivalry between the Ottomans, Spaniards, and Venetians and quickly cuts through the mass of materials to the core of both their wars and their own slow declines…a shifting of power from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic (i.e., France, England, and Holland).Stone's style is easygoing, and he avoids jargon but has colorful asides and comparisons. He references how Turkish words and phrases have filtered into other languages and transformed over time, creating connections with Turkey that many of us never really know.The book is an excellent introduction to Turkey, but for those with significant reading already in Turkish history, much will not be new here.

  • Skeetor
    2019-01-30 15:29

    I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. This is a scholarly book that is great as a refresher or reference on the history of Turkey. I found that the author’s wit dispersed throughout the book served to enhance the historical facts and lighten the text. However, the book itself is more concise than I desired. In an effort to present a lot of information in a short text, some sentences were a little too long with too many clauses. Several times I had to slowly reread sentences to understand the information correctly.This book is packed with tons of information in a way that is somehow concise yet still includes all the pertinent information and characters. There is also a great presentation of a list of books for further reading that is extremely helpful.

  • Daniel
    2019-02-09 17:43

    A worthwhile and enjoyable history that isn't boring to read. Norman Stone is opinionated and isn't afraid to let you know if he thinks people were smart or dumb, wise or foolish. He cannot tolerate ignorance and stupidity. He effectively draws together a thousand strands of history as they relate to Turkey, the various peoples, and wars, etc so that you get a feel for its place in the world since they emerged from Central Asia. The linguistic examples he uses are useful and important- given language is so central to a people's identity. Another good companion history is 'The Turks In World History' which focuses especially on the early centuries of the Turkic peoples.

  • Dan Shonka
    2019-02-06 14:24

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. Norman Stone does a fine job of summarizing the complex, complicated history of Turkey. It's relatively difficult to keep up with all the players, and Professor Stone's writing is often complicated with too many parenthetical remarks. That being said, his book holds a wealth of information about Turkey, and he illuminates how this pivotal country fits in with their European, Asian, and African neighbors in the present day. Ultimately, Stone's love of this diverse country shines through.

  • Keith
    2019-02-03 12:26

    I was travelling to Turkey for my honeymoon and wanted a book that would fill me in on the history of that region. I had already read the book "Crescent and Star", and while that book was interesting, it really didn't give me that much insight into the actual history of the book. This book actually the historical events I was hoping to learn about. There were some dry parts, but that can't be avoided in these types of books.

  • Pepe González
    2019-02-05 10:17

    El libro se deja leer a duras penas. Stone parte del supuesto de que el lector tiene conocimientos mínimos del contexto geográfico, político e incluso histórico del país que aborda. De ser así, imagino que la lectura puede resultar grata. Si no (como fue mi caso) es necesario hacer constantes visitas a la enciclopedia para ahondar en personajes y datos relevantes. El estilo, si bien no es difícil de seguir, dista mucho de ser amigable.

  • Mark
    2019-01-22 12:29

    This is a very accessible book that covers a very long period of history. Norman Stone presents events in a way that is continually interesting. Although major time periods are covered in a very summarised level, we still get the opportunity to learn about some of the key characters and characteristics that are unique to Turkey. This book is a good stepping stone into studying further on the key events and people of this country.

  • Janice
    2019-01-16 14:35

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was concise, providing a good picture of Turkey past to present. The author has a wry sense of humor that he uses appropriately and keeps the reading enjoyable. I would have liked a little more on Ataturk but realize the book is "A Short History." Highly recommend the book to history buffs who want to know more about this part of the world. This was a first reads giveaway.

  • Ricardo
    2019-01-16 12:43

    Conciso. Demasiado factico. Es ante todo una historia politica. Por momentos se va del tema que esta tocando para detenerse en anecdotas puntuales que bien podrían haber sido una nota a pie de pagina. No le falta sentido del humor. La edición española de Akai viene con lindas ilustraciones en el inicio de cada capitulo pero un solo mapa sin mayores precisiones.

  • Ege
    2019-01-26 17:16

    A fun read, with its humorous and humane approach. Informative in its well-rounded, concise interpretations and the illuminating connections it makes between different aspects of events. Thanks to Prof. Stone for a good introduction that holds the lay reader's hand in their wandering through this challenging subject.

  • رناتا
    2019-02-16 14:35

    Demasiado breve para mí y muy enfocado a datos anecdóticos más que a generales. Esperaba que se centrase más en la época republicana y sin embargo da muy pocos datos acerca de la misma. Es una pena que en castellano haya tan poco disponible sobre Turquía y creo que hay otras obras de Norman Stone u otros autores que merecerían también ser traducidos al castellano.

  • Mikhail Novoselov
    2019-01-24 16:42

    Pretty boring, and filled with lots and lots of pro-Turkish ideological stances. You won't learn much about history (the author often skips or overlooks quite important facts while sticking to some unnecessary and even completely irrelevant details), but you are sure to get complete immersion into Stone's world of Armenian genocide denialism.

  • Ruhat Çelik
    2019-01-31 10:34

    Bazı yerleri çok kısa geçmiş ancak daha detay kitapları okumadan evvel başlangıç kitabı olabilir

  • Aurora
    2019-01-25 17:13 won this from Goodreads Firstreads program

  • Philip
    2019-02-04 14:41

    Good primer for Turkish history and starting to understand the complex history of the country and its people.