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The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (New Approaches to European History #24)
Despite the fact that its capital city and over one third of its territory was within the continent of Europe, the Ottoman Empire has consistently been regarded as a place apart, inextricably divided from the West by differences of culture and religion. A perception of its militarism, its barbarism, its tyranny, the sexual appetites of its rulers and its pervasive exoticis ...more
Published May 6th 2002 by Cambridge University Press
(first published April 24th 1998)
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May 16, 2017 Luke rated it liked it
Overall an excellent book. However, the author's goal is to place the Ottoman Empire in European history. Unfortunately, he does not take the time to define Europe, elaborate on its parameters, or explain what makes European history "European." Claiming that the Ottoman Empire was "European" in 1600 does not offer much mean because we have not exactly established what "Europe" is.
Feb 23, 2010 Victoria rated it liked it
Not terrible, but raises more questions than it answers. Argues that the Ottoman Empire played a significant role in the development of Europe, that it was not marginalized, that Orientalism per se did not exist in the 16th and 17th centuries, that what has been characterized as "decline" (which teleologically points to the end of the Empire in the 20th century) actually only points to crisis and development in another direction than Europe followed, and that it was, after all, far more European ...more
Goffman looks at the Ottoman Empire as a key player in the affairs of early modern Europe rather than as an alien force on the edge of Christendom. He notes that in the 16th and 17th centuries, a huge proportion of Ottoman territory was in southeastern Europe, and that Ottoman trade relationships in the Mediterranean and into eastern and central Europe were extensive and deep. The book sometimes overstates the similarities between Ottoman political economy and the West and very much understates ...more
Goffman argues that Ottoman Turkey had more in common with Europe than differences -- not entirely persuasively. The rest of the book looks like pretty solid social-institutional history. There is an excellent 10-page, annotated bibliography at the end.
Introduced a different perspective to the presence of the Ottoman Empire: one that isn't as prevalent in contemporary history. Definitely sparked my interest in learning more about the relationship between Christian and Islamic Europe. Also a relatively short read.
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