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A Traveller's History of Turkey (Traveller's History)

3.1 of 5 stars 3.10  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A Traveller's History of Turkey offers a full and accurate portrait of the region from Prehistory right up to the present day. Particular emphasis is given to those aspects of history which have left their mark in the sites and monuments that are still visible today.
Published May 1st 2011 by Haus Pub. (first published March 1st 1996)
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Turkey's location guaranteed that it would have a complex and fractured history, but the modern visitor (especially to Istanbul) will find most of it covered over with a thick layer of Ottomanic Islam. I mean this both literally -- e.g. the horrid mustard-yellow plaster with which the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia were erased -- and figuratively, in the sense that the sultans appeared to have not the slightest interest in preserving any remnants of the past. I got the sense from visiting that mode ...more
There have been so many cultures and empires and peoples over such a long period of time that have played a role in the history of the part of the world now known as Turkey that those without a PhD in Near-Eastern Studies really need a book that lays them all out in chronological order with sufficient background description to stick in memory.

This is that book.

It's not a great work of art, but it is eminently serviceable, and the only really weak part is the description of modern Turkey in the l
I was having a hard time getting through this, and I thought it was really dry. I'm not a big non-fiction reader, though, so I was willing to keep plowing through it. Part way through, I lent it to my mom, who reads almost exclusively non-fiction. She said that it was dull beyond belief.

That's when I decided that I didn't need to finish it.
Read in preparation for a trip to Turkey (which never came off). The Traveller's History series never disappoints - not great literature, but a straightforward way to ground yourself in the history of a country you're about to visit. Just academic enough to be honest and balanced, but not so much as to be tedious.
This book was sooooo dry. I was relieved when I was finally finished. I was looking for a concise history of Turkey to prepare for our vacation this fall. This turned out to be a fairly complete history but too many lists of battles and rulers and not enough color to make it interesting.
Alberto Neto
This book is intended to be an introduction to the history of Turkey and does it well. Without going into details, it paints the roots of current issues as well as explaining the origins of modern Turkey. Easy to read, it is Definitely worth as an introductory book on the subject.
Kelly Hogan
It was very useful in order to understand the complex history of Turkey. Agreed it was a bit dry, but gave me context when visiting the diverse ruins and historical sites of huge differences in timeline on my two week trip to Turkey.
Dry, dry, dry..... at least for the non-historian!
Good for a quick, no-nonsense (by "nonsense" I mean "flavor") review of the historic timeline.
Chris Lira
The slant seemed to be towards ancient history and I was more interested in the 1400's on, but it was still a good introduction for my upcoming trip.
I found this a very useful and quick overview of a complex history while on a whirlwind one visit to Turkey.
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Richard Stoneman is Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Exeter, and the author of numerous books. He lives in Devon, UK.
More about Richard Stoneman...

Other Books in the Series

Traveller's History (1 - 10 of 35 books)
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  • Japan (Traveller's History of Japan)
  • A Traveller's History of China
  • A Traveller's History of India
  • A Traveller's History of England
  • A Traveller's History of Spain
  • A Traveller's History of Scotland
  • A Traveller's History of Russia
  • A Traveller's History of Mexico
  • A Traveller's History of Oxford
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