Donald Quataert is Professor of History at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He has published many books on the Middle East and Ottoman history, including An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914 (1994).
Born as a military frontier principality at the turn of the Fourteenth century, Turkey developed into the dominant force in Anatolia and the Balkans, growing to become the most powerful Islamic state after 1517 when it incorporated the old Arab lands. This distinctively Eastern culture, with all its detail and intricacies, is explored here by a pre-eminent scholar of Turkish history. He gives a striking picture of the prominence of religion and warfare in everyday life as well as the traditions of statecraft, administration, social values, financial and land policies. The definitive account, this is an indispensable companion to anyone with an interest in Islam, Turkey and the Balkans.
Moving past standard treatments of the subject, M. Sükrü Hanioglu emphasizes broad historical trends and processes more than single events. He examines the imperial struggle to centralize amid powerful opposition from local rulers, nationalist and other groups, and foreign powers. He looks closely at the socioeconomic changes this struggle wrought and addresses the Ottoman response to the challenges of modernity. Hanioglu shows how this history is not only essential to comprehending modern Turkey, but is integral to the histories of Europe and the world. He brings Ottoman society marvelously to life in all its facets--cultural, diplomatic, intellectual, literary, military, and political--and he mines imperial archives and other documents from the period to describe it as it actually was, not as it has been portrayed in postimperial nationalist narratives. A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the legacy left in this empire's ruins--a legacy the world still grapples with today.