A major new history of the six-hundred-year dynasty that connected East to West as never before.
The Ottoman Empire has long been depicted as the Islamic-Asian antithesis of the Christian-European West. But the reality was starkly different: the Ottomans' multiethnic, multilingual, and multireligious domain reached deep into Europe's heart. In their breadth and versatility, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans.
Recounting the Ottomans' remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic and Byzantine heritage; how they used both religious toleration and conversion to integrate conquered peoples; and how, in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the dynasty's demise after the First World War. Upending Western concepts of the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the Reformation, this account challenges our understandings of sexuality, orientalism and genocide.
Radically retelling their remarkable story, The Ottomans is a magisterial portrait of a dynastic power, and the first to truly capture its cross-fertilisation between East and West.
A book as sweeping, colorful, and rich in extraordinary characters as the empire which it describes -- Tom Holland, author of Dominion
A compellingly readable account of one of the great world empires from its origins in thirteenth century to modern times ... Blending the sacred and the profane, the social and the political, the sublime and the absurd, Baer brings his subject to life in rich vignettes. An outstanding book -- Eugene Rogan, author of The Fall of the Ottomans
Marc David Baer's The Ottomans is a scintillating and brilliantly panoramic account of the history of the Ottoman empire, from its genesis to its dissolution ... It challenges and transforms how we think of 'East' and 'West,' 'Enlightenment,' and 'modernity,' and directly confronts the horrors as well as the achievements of Ottoman rule -- Peter Sarris, University of Cambridge
Baer's colourful, readable book is informed by all the newest research on his massive subject. In showing how an epic of universal empire, conquest and toleration turned into the drama of nationalism, crisis, and genocide, he gives us not only an expansive history of the Ottomans, but an expanded history of Europe. -- James McDougall, University of Oxford
Expertly captures the undercurrents of Ottoman history ... There's no study more masterful -- Library Journal
A superb, gripping and refreshing new history - finely written and filled with fascinating characters and analysis - that places the dynasty where it belongs: at the centre of European history
-- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs and Jerusalem
A thrilling history of one of the world's largest empires -- All About History
About the Author
Marc David Baer is professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of five books, including Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe, which won the Albert Hourani Prize.