Friday, June 18, 2010


A review of Stephen Turnbull’s The Ottoman Empire 1326-1699 (2003)
Part of the Essential Histories Series #62

(Rating 2 of 5)

The Ottoman Empire was the strength of the east for centuries. This was the empire the conquered Constantinople, which as a consequence wiped the last trace to the ancient Roman Empire off the face of the Earth. The Ottoman Empire at its height was one of the most powerful civilizations in the world. However, it went through a long dying period where it was ‘the sick man of Europe’ that finally ended when the empire was dissolved after World War I.

This book by Stephen Turnbull deals with Ottoman Empire from 1326-1699; unfortunately, it is a book that is less a hundred pages long. Try to imagine writing a book about the United States of America from 1776-2010, and you have ninety-four pages to do it.  The chances of you doing the subject justice are slim to none. I realize this book is about military history but still I have a tough time imagining a book that goes from the American Revolutionary War to the ‘War of Terror’ that could cover the subject with any real reason. The Ottoman Empire was one of the world’s most complex and interesting civilizations and this work does hardly scratches the surface.

The book does have some nice maps and imagery but not enough to actually save it.

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