SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE
‘Magnificent . . . Important and hugely readable’ William Dalrymple, Financial Times
‘A wildly ambitious and entertainingly lurid history’ James Barr, The Times
‘Highly readable . . . Baer’s fine book gives a panoramic and thought-provoking account of over half a millennium of Ottoman and – it now goes without saying – European history’ Guardian
‘A winning portrait of seven centuries of empire, teeming with life and colour, human interest and oddity, cruelty and oppression mixed with pleasure, benevolence and great artistic beauty’ Sunday Times
‘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 book as sweeping, colorful, and rich in extraordinary characters as the empire which it describes’ Tom Holland
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’ multi-ethnic, multilingual, and multireligious domain reached deep into Europe’s heart. Indeed, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans. Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, historian Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic, and Byzantine heritage. The Ottomans pioneered religious toleration even as they used religious conversion to integrate conquered peoples. But in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the empire’s demise after the First World War.
Upending Western accounts of the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration and the Reformation, The Ottomans vividly redefines the dynasty’s enduring impact on Europe and the world.