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A History of the Ottoman Empire

Book description

Covering the full history of the Ottoman Empire, from its genesis in post-Mongol Eurasia to its dissolution after the Great War in Europe, this textbook takes a holistic approach, considering the Ottoman worldview - what it was, how it came together, and how it fell apart. Douglas A. Howard stresses the crucial role of the Ottoman sultans and their extended household, discusses the evolution of the empire's fiscal model, and analyzes favorite works of Ottoman literature, emphasizing spirituality, the awareness of space and time, and emotions, migration, violence, disease, and disaster. Following how people spent their time, their attitudes towards authority, how they made their money, and their sense of humor and sense of beauty, this illustrated textbook is an essential resource for graduate and advanced undergraduate, courses on the history of the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East, Islamic history, and the history of Eastern Europe. The book includes over eighty illustrations, maps and textboxes.


'At last - a survey of Ottoman history that covers the entire 600-plus years of the empire’s history, written by a true expert with command of both primary and secondary sources, yet designed as an accessible textbook. In lucid, often lively, prose, Douglas Howard treats not only the Ottoman Empire’s political history but social, economic, religious, and intellectual developments, as well, incorporating imperial capital and provinces, elites and commoners, dispassionate analysis and telling anecdotes. The maps, illustrations, lists of rulers and 'box' features make this book particularly user-friendly. This is the Ottoman history textbook many of us have been waiting for.'

Jane Hathaway - Ohio State University

'Using 'ruins' as a metaphor, Doug Howard takes us on a fascinating journey through the political, spiritual and literary world of the Ottomans, heirs to ancient civilizations and steeped in the sense of the divine. Amply illustrated with maps and photographs, many taken by the author, this compelling narrative should become a classroom standard.'

Virginia Aksan - McMaster University, Ontario

'Douglas Howard’s scholarly and engaging history presents the sprawling Ottoman Empire in all its complexity. Of particular value is his use of the voices of Ottoman poets and chroniclers to detail the religious rhetorics and spiritual sensibilities that animated the Ottoman imperial imagination.'

Palmira Brummett - Brown University

'Howard’s The Ottoman Empire offers an innovative approach that should appeal to general as well as academic audiences. Its unique organization, with each chapter taking up one century by the Islamic calendar, places emphasis on the shifting temperament of the times. Intertwined with the usual politics, economy, and war are spiritual concerns, poetic sensibilities and off-beat stories of individuals.'

Leslie P. Peirce - New York University

'This is a beautiful book, not just a history of the Ottoman Empire from beginning to end, but a history of the Ottomans themselves. Without omitting political chronology, institutional evolution, or socio-economic developments, Howard humanizes the Ottomans by foregrounding issues of culture, religion, and identity. He makes them accessible to students and general readers, providing generous translations from Ottoman texts, illustrations, maps, and references. Based on Ottoman sources and a wide selection of recent scholarly research, the book counters stereotypes about terrible Turks, harems, forced conversion, and decline, and introduces a cast of famous and lesser-known characters, their deeds and motivations. It doesn't do everything … but what it does, it does superbly well. At last we have a history of the Ottoman Empire than can be assigned in the classroom without apology or regret.'

Linda Darling Linda Darling - University of Arizona

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