In response to yesterday’s post on books about the Ottoman empire, a number of readers wrote in to recommend Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire by Lord Kinross. I’ve read the Kinross book and it’s currently published in a big pulpy volume clearly intended to be a mainstay on bookstore shelves for decades to come. I will say that it is the best of the single volume histories on the subject that I’ve read. I just thought it was a bit heavy on political doings, recitations of Sultans (the achilles heel of Ottoman history writing), and just generally grade B history writing. But if you’re hunting around for a full-length single-volume history of Ottoman Turkey that’d probably be your best bet, though I still think the slender Itzokowitz book mentioned in the post below is a tour de force and the best place to start.
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