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Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    The paradox of modern Turkey.

    No country in the world could hold the key to successful relationships for the US with the Middle East and East Asia than Turkey. Stephen Kinzer helps readers sort out the challenges, failures and successes of Turkey's modern history and helps to untangle the paradox of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the modernist Islamist and perhaps the most important figure in Turkey since Ataturk.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a good book, but the author hasn't thought seriously enough about Ataturk's actions in post-World War I Turkey.

    I liked the book, which gives an awful lot of information on modern Turkey. However, it seems to me that the author doesn't question received wisdom as much as he should. Our world currently lauds Ataturk for bringing his people out of the medieval darkness that Turkey was suppposed to have been in before his takeover. However, no one asks if it was really good for Ataturk to unilaterally impose not only changes in the Turkish script but also changes to things as basic and personal as the clothes people were allowed to wear. To me, Ataturk was a dictator pure and simple, and the fact that he imposed some good things on Turkey and also saved his country's territorial integrity, doesn't change that. The author of this book seems to have a habit of admiring other questionable people as well, if I remember correctly; it seems to me that he has a book out which extols President Kagame of Rwanda. I sincerely hope that President Kagame is a good man, but he's recently been attacked for showing dictatorial tendencies himself. However, in the main this is a good book, and the author does admit that Ataturk did some things wrong, though in general he describes him as a great hero. In any case, it would be a shame for people to refuse to read this book just because its author may have one somewhat objectionable political position. Turkey has been so little written about in the English-speaking press that any books on it at all are highly welcome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2005

    Good for starters

    Crescent & Star is ok for starters; if you have a pretty good background information on Turkey your time and money are probably better spent on another book. Even starter books are often very good, providing perspectives, profiles and vignettes not found elsewhere; but this one fails here. For a man who lived in Turkey Kinzer delivers surprisingly little in this regard. The most frustrating part for me was Kinzer¿s lapses into a repetitive preaching which seemed meant to fill up pages. His editor could have done better there. Still, it isn¿t bad at all for starters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    A wonderful look on modern Turkey and where it may head.

    This book is one of the best I've ever read. It tells how Turkey was formed and how it has come to our day. It shows in detail the troubles and problems Turkey has and has to overcome and also the good and positive parts of Turkey. It tells of the recent past of Turkey and gives an idea of where it may head in the future. It shows that Turkey is a country to be watched. It also shows how the people of Turkey can overcome their troubles. The author of this book tells the reader about daily life in diffrent parts of Turkey. This is definitely a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

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