❮Reading❯ ➶ The Ottomans: Dissolving Images Author Andrew Wheatcroft – Lectinshield.co.uk

The Ottomans: Dissolving Images files The Ottomans: Dissolving Images, read online The Ottomans: Dissolving Images, free The Ottomans: Dissolving Images, free The Ottomans: Dissolving Images, The Ottomans: Dissolving Images 271dd75d0 The Ottomans Elude Us, As Mysterious Now As They Have Been For Four And A Half Centuries Were They The Bloodthirsty Savages Of One Legend, Spitting Babies On Their Swords, And Enslaving All Who Crossed Their Path Or Were They Sybarites, With An Eye Only For A Fine Silk Robe, A Unique Black Tulip, A Beautiful Circassian The Ottomans Were All And None Of These In This Book The Author Teases Out Those Qualities Which Were Uniquely Ottoman Not Turkish, Not Middle Eastern, Nor Even A Shadowy Echo Of The West For The Ottomans, Born Warriors From The Steppes Of Central Asia, Became A Unique Urban Culture, The Successors Of Rome In A Political Sense But Quite Unlike Any Culture Before Or Since Yet It Is Wrong To Talk Of The Ottomans In The Past Tense, For Their Legacy Is Alive In The Middle East And In Parts Of Europe To This Day And No Country Has To Live In So Ambivalent A Relationship To Its Ottoman Past As Turkey Itself The Great British, Russian, German And Austro Hungarian Empires Are Gone For Long They Despised The Ottomans, The Sick Man Of Europe And Yet The Ottomans Outlasted All Of Them And Today, The Pervasive Influence Of The Ottoman Style Is Still Present Throughout The Middle East Four Hundred Years Of A Culture Cannot Be Extinguished At The Stroke Of A Pen Or Some Notional Redrawing Of Boundaries On The Map This Book Focuses On The Inner Life Of The Ottoman World As Seen Through Western Eyes It Asks How It Was That The Ottoman Way Flourished And Survived Over So Many Centuries, Even As The Imperial Power Crumbled, And Suggests That Being An Ottoman Is An Attitude Of Mind For Than Ten Years Andrew Wheatcroft Has Been Collecting And Interpretingevidence From The Old Empire Much Of His Work Has Been With The Subject Peoples Of The Ottomans, So He Sees Less The Sick Man Of Europe , So Prevalent In Western Accounts, And The Terrible Turk , Which Was The Experience Of Muslims And Christians Alike He Now Seeks To Repres

10 thoughts on “The Ottomans: Dissolving Images

  1. says:

    Beautiful trees, but not the forestAndrew Wheatcroft opens his book by saying that he does not wish to write a full blown history of the Ottoman Empire, as these already exist, mentioning Lord Kinross book The Ottoman Centuries as an example Indeed that is a first class history Rather, Wheatcroft continues, he wants to write about the idea of the Ottomans and how in the West that idea became so completely divorced from the reality I am not sure that THE OTTOMANS represents a successful attempt at doing that, but it is a very interesting book, well worth reading for anyone with a desire to spend some hours thinking about the Turkish past.The two last chapters, on the lustful Turk and the terrible Turk , truly delve into the construction and propagation of these commonly held European images of the Ottomans, images that have not yet quite died off Elsewhere, Wheatcroft occasionally remarks on or talks briefly about such images as they grew, but his work is like a very interesting tour of some aspects of Ottoman life and history His fine descriptions of battles and sieges the initial siege and fall of Constantinople, the battle of Mohacs, the sieges of Vienna in 1529 and 1683 do not really fit into his theme The full chapter spent on telling how the proud, corrupt and troublesome janissaries were finally destroyed provide a fascinating story, but are not about the idea of the Ottomans While describing Ottoman institutions like the harem or army and the city of Stamboul itself, we can look through European eyes to some extent, thus coming closer to the theme, and the process of change, discussed in Chapter 6, called Dreams from the Rose Pavilion the Meandering Path of Reform , also involves European interpretations of the need for reforms and European estimations of their success One of the highlights of THE OTTOMANS is the fine collection of pictures done by European artists definitely a European view of the Turkish past Not as much is made of these as could be they might have been the center of the whole book I liked Wheatcroft s constant attempt to make readers consider the exaggerations of the past, to make Western readers realize that the Ottoman Empire, despite its faults, was one of the major political entities of the world for over 500 years For much of that time it had institutions that rivalled or outshone those of the West Even when the Industrial Revolution and the concomitant rise of modern warfare tilted the scales of power towards the West, many European opinions of Turkish cruelty, corruption, or lack of cleanliness neglected European shortcomings in identical areas If Westerners are ever going to accept Turkey as a member of the European community or merely as an equal ally and partner, a realization of these centuries of propaganda is a must If you are looking for an academically useful book on the Ottoman Empire, this is probably not it If, on the other hand, you just want a fascinating, well illustrated book that is clearly written and lucid, giving you details of a fascinating sweep of history, you will enjoy THE OTTOMANS It could be the jumping off place for wider readings in Ottoman history and culture And it helps set the record straight.

  2. says:

    IMHO, best chapter was the first conquest of Constantinople

  3. says:

    In attempting to do two things, give a detailed look at selected particulars of Ottoman history and engage in moral judgment, Andrew Wheatcroft is successful at the first but a failure at the second His glimpses of selected historical events, such as the fall of Constantinople and the dissolution of the Janissaries, provide thorough surveys of the turning points in the Ottoman Empire that do well in the accompaniment of wide ranging histories of the Empire Read this volume alongside Kinross, and the reader will learn a lot.But the attempts at moralizing fizzle into irrelevancy It is a quarter of a century now since Wheatcroft wrote his book And, for that time it was written, the early 1990s, the hypocrisy of the West as judged against other cultures, was much in vogue as it still is But Wheatcroft was faced with a bit of a dilemma How to fit the Ottoman Turks into that narrative How to sympathize How to appreciate He fails because, instead of appreciating, he becomes ingratiating Two examples First, the role of women He is at some pains to show that the treatment of Ottoman women was not so bad as the West portrayed in what Wheatcroft thinks was propaganda and prejudice So he introduces the writing of Western women visiting the Empire to prove his point Those Western women find much appealing and even superior, they claim, in Ottoman institutions that give women freedom at home and in the street the latter through the anonymity of dress All of which brings up the question if Ottoman women were so much freer than Western women, then we should certainly be able to see examples of Ottoman women visiting the West and writing of such Where is the Ottoman counterpart of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu upon whom Wheatcroft so relies Perhaps there is a counterpart But I don t know it from reading this book Wheatcroft was obligated to show us the same emancipated Ottoman woman free to comment and compare the Empire to the West.The second example is sexuality You can almost see Wheatcroft attempting to touch all the bases of hypocrisy without getting himself in trouble But alas for the author so concentrated on moral hypocrisy, the passage of time often is not kind Thus when once again explaining Western hypocrisy, this time regarding homosexuality, Wheatcroft engages in negative hypocrisy That is, he believes both the Ottomans and the West were morally undermined by sexual perversion of an equal nature Some twenty five years later Mr Wheatcroft, meet LGBTQ.This is the danger in moralizing history Just describe and explain That works well enough Even compare That works well, too But to rely on comparing only morals simply means time and shifting attitudes will date your arguments and weaken them Wheatcroft wants sympathy for the Ottomans and national redemption for the Turks He should have let his historical narratives either make the case or not Special pleading, here, weakened it, instead Kinross was much clever in his historical argumentation he simply used narrative scissors to advance his preferred storyline And because of that, Kinross book on the Ottomans continues to be accepted and read Wheatcroft, unfortunately, left his volume too much set in the attitudes of the early 1990s It has become a period piece whose interpretations seem too much trapped by the fashion of his times.

  4. says:

    The structure of this book is topical, compared to the usual chronological nature of some others I read It touches on the many aspect of Ottoman culture, and largely aims to explain the distorted images often associated to the Ottomans though his style is very much open to cynicism Being a mere 250 pages the rest are notes and illustration , it does not cover much on history, and assumes prior knowledge on the subject It jumps from one sultan to another and not into much detail on factual occurrence, but rather commenting on the attitudes of the people based on the voices of the historians Despite attempting to balance and sometimes correctly the views of Westerners on the Ottoman culture, the apparent imbalance of sources perhaps due to plain lack of them between the Orientalists and the Ottomans is disheartening Perhaps most evident at the start, he goes on to elaborate the savageness of the army from the perspective of the contemporary Christians in Costantinople who understandingly would inflate the injustice, them being the defeated force without balancing it with an opposing view The tone grow milder as the book progresses as he pointed out neutral sources and explained the possibility of exaggerated views and hypocrisy That being said, nothing much can be gained factually aside from the belief that something is right in the Empire in the midst of many wrongs, but we re not very sure what.All in all it is an insight into Orientalists view of the Ottomans, contemporary and recent ones, with a style of writing not too dry as some historical narration can be.

  5. says:

    I thought this book was good for getting a general idea about the history of the Ottoman Empire however, I thought that it could have been improved with better organization The book follows thematic chapters that are mostly chronological but not always This made it difficult for me to follow the stream of Ottoman history and to see the overarching themes in their history Making matters worse was the fact that the book is unclear about which Ottoman images are being dissolved In some instances, situations in the book seem to reinforce rather than dissolve common images of the Ottomans.

  6. says:

    This is an excellent book that outlines the military history of the Ottoman Empire and also analyses European attitudes to the Ottomans There was too much military detail for me to be honest, but it is always readable and fascinating Most interesting is the way that the author looks at European attitudes to particular elements of Ottoman practice and then turns the tables by looking at what was going on in Europe at the same time especially with regard to executions and attitudes to women.

  7. says:

    This book was well written and set a steady pace that I, as the reader, did not find difficult I felt like the author had two objectives in this book One was to tell the basic story of the Ottoman Empire from Constantinople to Lawrence of Arabia, all be it with a limited scope The other objective was to explore the structure of viewpoints that Europeans and Ottomans held of one another These two objectives were put together in an odd manor, but the read was still worth while.

  8. says:

    This is the second best book I ve read on the subject The best was Lords of the Horizons I mean in terms of fast paced action that you can get through in a couple of sittings The account of the siege is brilliant and leaves you tingling with excitement and wanting .

  9. says:

    A good primer on the Ottomans.

  10. says:

    A well written book on the intriguing Ottomans, and a goo0d introduction to the subject.

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