Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire

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9780312420666: Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire

For six hundred years, the Ottoman Empire swelled and declined. Islamic, martial, civilized, and tolerant, it advanced in three centuries from the dusty foothills of Anatolia to rule on the Danube and the Nile; at its height, Indian rajahs and the kings of France beseeched the empire's aid. In its last three hundred years the empire seemed ready to collapse, a prodigy of survival and decay. In this striking evocation of the empire's power, Jason Goodwin explores how the Ottomans rose and how, against all odds, they lingered on. In doing so, he also offers a long look back to the origins of problems that plague present-day Kosovars and Serbs.

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Jason Goodwin, a young English journalist, writes history as if it were today's breaking news, and with Lords of the Horizon, he delivers an anecdote-filled and breezy account of the long, troubled career of the Ottoman Empire. That empire endured for nearly 600 years and embraced not only a large territory--stretching, at one point, from the border of Iran to the gates of Vienna--but also hundreds of ethnic groups and three dozen nations. United under the banner of a tolerant form of Islam, the Ottoman Turks forged a culture that, Goodwin writes, "was such a prodigy of pep, such a miracle of human ingenuity, that contemporaries felt it was helped into being by powers not quite human--diabolical or divine, depending on their point of view."

Drawing on memoirs by European visitors as well as standard histories of the era, Goodwin traces the Ottoman Empire from its origins in the 14th-century collapse of the Byzantine state to its centuries-long decline and final collapse at the end of World War I. Along the way, he writes of the Ottomans' addiction to wealth (and to hiding their gold in fabulous hoards), the pleasure they took in holding picnics in their lush cemeteries, and the prowess of their elite military both in battle and in organized crime. ("The janissaries were magnificent extortionists," Goodwin notes. "People paid them not to burn their homes and business, then they paid them to come and put the fires out.") Full of vivid detail, Goodwin's narrative makes for an enjoyable introduction to this historically influential, but little understood, culture. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

JASON GOODWIN is the Edgar Award–winning author of the Investigator Yashim series. The first five books―The Janissary Tree, The Snake Stone, The Bellini Card, An Evil Eye, and The Baklava Club―have been published to international acclaim, alongside Yashim Cooks Istanbul, a cookbook of Ottoman Turkish recipes inspired by the series. Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge and is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, among other award-winning nonfiction. He lives with his wife and children in England.

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First.. Language: English . Brand New Book. For six hundred years, the Ottoman Empire swelled and declined. Islamic, martial, civilized, and tolerant, it advanced in three centuries from the dusty foothills of Anatolia to rule on the Danube and the Nile; at its height, Indian rajahs and the kings of France beseeched the empire s aid. In its last three hundred years the empire seemed ready to collapse, a prodigy of survival and decay. In this striking evocation of the empire s power, Jason Goodwin explores how the Ottomans rose and how, against all odds, they lingered on. In doing so, he also offers a long look back to the origins of problems that plague present-day Kosovars and Serbs. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780312420666

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