The history of the Ottoman Empire spanned more than seven centuries. At the height of its power, it stretched over three continents and produced marvels of architecture, literature, science, and warfare. When it fell, its collapse redrew the map of the world and changed the course of history. Shadow of the Sultan’s Realm is the story of the empire’s dissolution during a tumultuous period that climaxed in the First World War. In its telling are battles and campaigns that have become the stuff of legend—Gallipoli, Kut, Beersheeba—waged by men who have become larger than life: Enver Bey, the would-be patriot who was driven more by ambition than by wisdom; T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), the enigmatic leader of an irregular war against the Turks; Aaron Aaronsohn, the Jewish botanist-turned-spy who deceived his Turkish and British allies with equal facility; David Lloyd George, the prime minister for whom power meant everything, integrity nothing; Mehmet Talaat, who gave the orders that began the Armenian massacres; Winston Churchill, who created a detailed plan for the Gallipoli campaign, which should have been the masterstroke of the Great War; Mustafa Kemal, a gifted soldier who would become a revolutionary politician and earn the name Atatürk; Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary who would promise anything to anyone; and Edmund Allenby, the general who failed in the trench warfare of the western front but fought brilliantly in Palestine. Daniel Allen Butler weaves the stories of the men and the events that propelled them into a compelling narrative of the death of an empire. Its legacy is the cauldron of the modern Middle East.
Daniel Allen Butler
Brand: Potomac Books Inc.
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great and deep book on a long period and, let me say, quite unknown by the people in general. It is, I would say. a mandatory reading to understand why and how did things in Middle East developed. Important to see the depth of the reality in that geographic area of the world. Impressive writting exhalating strngth and going right to the points without leaving anything to be told in order to deduct the facts that came aftermath. It takes time reading this book to assimilate the huge number of events that gave way to the facts. A very good book.
This overview of history of Middle East includes some reasons why events occurred and suggests what would likely have happened if some of those events did not occur or different decisions had been made.
I feel compelled to defend this book after reading the negative review. This is an easy read, designed to be an overview--not a detailed study of the Ottoman Empire's history. There are plenty of studies about that in print and available to the curious. Mr. Butler deliberately narrowed his focus for the sake of brevity, highlighting what he felt important without bogging down in a lot of background story. I felt the author's judgements on the principle characters were fair, pointing out the good along with the bad. Sorry if the bad out weighed the good in some cases-- notably the trio of young turks who selfishly ran the empire into the ground in the 20th century. I found some of the author's views intriguing, notably the opportunity for the Ottoman's at the end of the Gallipoli fiasco, to end their war with the allies ( whom they had fought to a standstill overall) and embrace a more positive future for their empire. But this chance was thrown away. Overall, I think this is a...
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