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Atatürk: The Rebirth Of A Nation

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  461 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War came the emergence of new nations, chief among them Turkey itself. It was the creation of one man, the soldier-statesman Mustafa Kemal, who dragged his country from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, and in defeating Western imperialists inspired 'the cause of the East'. Lord Kinross writes of the int ...more
Paperback, 542 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1965)
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MY Turk but born in Thessaloniki, belonged Ottoman Empire at this time.
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Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nick by: Ozlem Moore
Shelves: history
How many people do you know who have
- defeated a super-power
- established themsleves a superior military tactician
- removed a corrupt imperial power
- revitalised education and the language
- reformed the writing system by changing scripts
- replaced a religon-based legal system with a modern secular constitution and set of laws
- revived national, civic and architectural pride
- negotiated the peaceful transfer of the popoulations of two major regions without further loss of life
- established a rep
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I read this book many years ago, yet it has stuck with me as one of the best biographies I've ever read. He dragged Turkey, kicking and screaming, into the modern era, and tried his darnedest to get it to embrace parliamentary democracy before kicking the bucket himself at an early age, unfortunately, from cirrhosis of the liver. In a sense, he was their version of George Washington, as someone once put it, trying to provide some perspective for an American. But Ataturk wasn't a founding father ...more
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In the İstanbul bookstore where I bought this book, I also found a newer biography of Atatürk written in 2000 by Andrew Mango. I stood there for at least 15 minutes browsing through the two books, deciding which one to buy. Eventually I chose the Kinross version, even though it was written more than 40 years ago. It had a personal familiarity with both the man and his age that was extremely compelling, in a way that Mango's very precisely analytical -- and therefore rather sterile -- volume lack ...more
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it
A revealing account of the life of one of the most interesting(and overlooked in the West) men of the past century.

Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, who built a modern nation out of a medieval backwater by what amounted to sheer force of will, was a truly amazing giant of history.

Kinross clearly has a great admiration for the man, and I worried at first that the text would be little more than hero worship. But he isn't afraid to show that Ataturk, while being brilliant, progressive
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a distressing sameness to most biographies: They begin with their subject's birth, follow him or her through a (mostly) promising youth, until the apogee is reached. From there, it is all downhill. So it is with Lord Kinross in Ataturk. Its subject, Mustafa Kemal, a.k.a. Kemal Ataturk, is the re-inventor of Turkey. What in his youth was a decrepit and moribund empire, he turned into a foward-looking republic (with the overtones of a benign dictatorship) that still reveres him some sixty ...more
Ayse Sen
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atatürk'ü böylesine tarafsız anlatan kitap hala Türk yazarlarımız tarafından yazılmamış sanırım. Çok kapsamlı bir çalışma olmuş. Ayrıca Osmanlı Tarihi kitabının da kütüphanenizde bulunmasında fayda var. Bu iki kitap ansiklopedi niteliğinde. Herkesin okumasını tavsiye ederim.
Goksel Bacak
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atatürk`ün hayatini, orta cagdan kalma bir ulkeyi ve yillarca cahil birakilmis halkini nasil dirilttigini anlatan okudugum en objektif ve dili itibariylede oldukca akici bir kitap. ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A truly enlightening book for me, such an amazing leader, with such foresight and skill, I wonder why so little is know of him when his contribution was so significant. Personally I would have like the author to have given more attention to his political and reforming years, section three of the book. His reforms were very far reaching and I would have liked to have learned more of this era of his life.
Rick  Blasiak
A little hard to get into because of the numerous place-names that I was unfamiliar with and because this was my first reading of the ottoman -- turkish republic era. Kemal presents lots of contradictions and it seems hard to decipher how he came to hold all of the contraary views at the same time. A womanizer who did a lot for the emancipation of women. Someone who advanced the republic and democratic ideals but was ruthless with a political purge of opponents. Someone who apparently loved Turk ...more
Terry Quirke
Enjoyable and informative, but dated. The book is roughly 50+ years old now and is reflected in some of the areas it skims over probably due to lack of access and information at that time (such as the Armenian genocide), but it still provides a good primer to how modern Turkey cam to be and the influence Ataturk had upon its creation and culture. I'd like to try and get a more modern and up-dated version of this story now as it is quiet an interesting area and whatever his faults, Ataturk had a ...more
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
When Turkey was born, Mustafa Kemal was the founding father. A political and military genius, alcoholic, and much more. To understand modern-day Turkey, one must start with Ataturk.
Robert Bram
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be a highly compassionate view of Atatürk's life.

Patrick Kinross’ narration is insightful and reads like a story; very different from a dry historical text presenting fact after fact. He draws a rich picture of the life of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in terms of the changing political, religious and social landscape of his country in the first quarter of the 20th century. Atatürk literally created the nation of Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire as World War 1 re-drew th
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting read, bogged down with Orientalism and always written under the assumption of its basic premise: that Atatürk was by and large an admirable and great, if flawed, man.

Would like to read again.
Omar Taufik
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-challenge
This was a book I really enjoyed reading !
An autobiography of the life of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founder of the republic of Turkey, a history of the last half century of the Ottoman empire and first two decades of the Turkish Republic.
The book is a journey starting with the birth of Mustafa Kemal in late Ottoman Salonica going through his bringing up, his Ottoman military career, war of independence, establishment of the republic .. ending on his deathbed in Dolmabahçe palace Istanbul November 1
Ioannis Papagiannis
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great overview and reasonably well written. Definitely worth the time.
That said, I wish it was written by a modern day historian instead.
Earl Grey Tea
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biography
This red behemoth sat on my night stand much longer that I had anticipated. Carrying this tome in my backpack along with other supplies for work doesn't really help back problems when you already have a couple of disks a bit too close to each other. I was on a bit of a Netflix binge the autumn season, but I feel that phase is starting to pass and I'm concentrating more on the books on my shelves.

There was a lot in this book about Kemal Atatürk from his early childhood up until the death. I was a
Apr 12, 2008 rated it liked it
When you travel in Turkey it seems that every square, every schoolyard has a statute to Ataturk who first gained fame in the battle of Gallipoli where he commanded the Turkish troops on that first day and checked the British advance which hemmed in the British on the beaches and led to a Turkish victory. He seized power after the first world war after the Ottoman empire had been stripped of much of its territory. The greeks invaded and had penetrated deeply into the interior when Ataturk won a h ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkey, biographies
This is a fascinating account of a fascinating character. The first quarter of the book (before he comes to prominence) is a little slow, but after that, I could not put it down. It amazes me how he had a vision, and then exhibited the leadership skills to make his vision happen. True, he was a "dictator", but if there ever was a benevolent dictator, he is it. I was especially fascinated how such minor changes forced on the people (like getting rid of the fez, and introducing more traditional ha ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After WWI the Ottoman Empire was facing collapse due to the Allies breaking it apart and by doing so ruining its economy. Ataturk had to revive Turkey from the ashes and make it a modern nation once again, but changing the way a whole country works will be difficult. This book portrays Ataturk's efforts to westernize Turkey and to free it from Allied control. It shows him from being a soldier to becoming Turkey's greatest hero.

This was a very informative book. I feel like if I had read this two
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
It was an easy biography, full of nice anecdotes that try and give a picture of a fairly enigmatic man who's character I just never fully understood. There was a lot of emphasis on Ataturk's leadership in battle and his military victories so if that's what you're into, great! Unfortunately less so on state building but a lot of interesting tales of international diplomacy. Also, the book seems like it was written by Ataturk's best friend so at times, he's not very critical and the entire thing r ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
A fascinating man treated in a rather pedestrian way. Something about the style rubbed me slightly the wrong way and I kept getting confused with the names - while historically accurate, the author's use of only the first names (last names for most of the Turks came later) made it hard to juggle the supporting cast. Still, even as Kinross clearly thinks Kemal was a great man and his opinion is evident, he makes no effort to conceal his faults - leading to a well-rounded, objective telling of a h ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Tarif edecek sözcük bulamıyorum. Atatürk önderliğinde milletimizin neleri başarabildiğini kanıtlayan harika bir kaynak. Atatürk'e ne kadar çok şey borçlu olduğumuzu ve milletimizin tipik özelliklerini bir kez daha gözler önüne süren bir kitap. Özellikle de bir yabancı tarafından derlenerek yazıldığı düşünülürse, kendisine bir teşekkür az kalır.
Edacheeky (Eda D)
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
I had to skim-read this book because of the sheer length, but I liked the narrative-like manner it described Ataturk's story in, which made it engaging and easier to read. Kinross clearly has great admiration for Ataturk, a nice example of the typical positive view of Ataturk in historiography. This is one of the must-read biographies on Ataturk.
Ahmed Amir Neihoum
An excellent biography on a great man in history. Ataturk saved his nation from the grasps of the Allies and set the building blocks for the modern Turkey of today. Kinross also shows what is happening in and around the world of Kamal Ataturk and the changing political landscape as the Ottoman Caliphate comes slowly to its knees.
Yaşar Asal
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Çok tarih kitabı okumadım ama okudukça yazarın yaptığı araştırmaya hayran kaldım. Bu zaten kitabın önsözünde adı geçen kişi ve kurum katkılarından anlaşılıyor. Ayrıca bazılarının dediği gibi övme ve yağlama kitabı da değil. Özellikle sonlara doğru okuyucuya yanlış giden şeyleri çok güzel belirtiyor.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on a controversial but benevolent soldier statesman whose legacy is currently threatened by the rise of political islam. Well written but, especially in the earlier chapters, myth and fact are not easily distinguishable. In view of current events and after reading this boom one wonders whether secular dictatorships could sometimes be preferable to democratic Islamisation.
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atatürk üzerine yazılan belkide en gerçekci biografi...
Atatürk ve o zaman yaşanan olaylar hakkında hiç bir yerde duymadığınız şeyleri bu kitaptan öğrenebilirsiniz.

Kitab bize Atatürk'ünde bir insan olduğunu. Ama bir insanında neler başabileceğini çok gerçekci bir şekilde anlatıyor.
Shawkat Kamal
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book, learned a lot from the life of one of my heroes. The activities after the Turkish war of independence became more mundane and as a result less interesting. Despite that, overall impression is one of amazement and fulfillment.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Better written than Mango's similar tome, but ultimately somewhat disappointing, as Kinoross seems to lack proper distance from the subject matter. The result is a bunch of overstated claims that make Ataturk seem omniscient at times and which are refuted often in Mango's book.
Kinross's style could be more readible but his treatment of this remarkable leader is very thorough and, so far as I can tell, remarkably balanced. Despite a full account of Kemal's darker side, I came away with even greater conviction that he was arguably the greatest leader of the 20th Century.
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John Patrick Douglas Balfour, 3rd Baron Kinross (1904–1976) was a Scottish historian and writer noted for his biography of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and other works on Islamic history.

He studied at the University of Oxford.
In 1938, he married Angela Mary Culme-Seymour, daughter of George Culme-Seymour and Janet (née Orr-Ewing) and former wife of the artist John Spencer-Churchill. They were divorced in
More about John Patrick Douglas Balfour...

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“Greatness consists,’ he said, ‘in deciding only what is necessary for the welfare of the country, and making straight for the goal. … In the belief that you are not great, but small and weak, and expecting no help to reach you from any quarter, you will in the end surmount all hindrances. And if any man, after that, calls you great, you will simply laugh in his face.” 1 likes
“Sooner or later indignation against such oppression and its accompanying corruption was bound to flare up into revolt.” 0 likes
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