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Ataturk: An Intellectual Biography [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first president of Turkey in 1923, he set about transforming his country into a secular republic where nationalism sanctified by science--and by the personality cult Atatürk created around himself--would reign supreme as the new religion. This book provides the first in-depth look at the intellectual life of the Turkish Republic's founder. In doing so, it frames him within the historical context of the turbulent age in which he lived, and explores the uneasy transition from ...

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Ataturk: An Intellectual Biography

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Overview

When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first president of Turkey in 1923, he set about transforming his country into a secular republic where nationalism sanctified by science--and by the personality cult Atatürk created around himself--would reign supreme as the new religion. This book provides the first in-depth look at the intellectual life of the Turkish Republic's founder. In doing so, it frames him within the historical context of the turbulent age in which he lived, and explores the uneasy transition from the late Ottoman imperial order to the modern Turkish state through his life and ideas.

Shedding light on one of the most complex and enigmatic statesmen of the modern era, M. Sükrü Hanioglu takes readers from Atatürk's youth as a Muslim boy in the volatile ethnic cauldron of Macedonia, to his education in nonreligious and military schools, to his embrace of Turkish nationalism and the modernizing Young Turks movement. Who was this figure who sought glory as an ambitious young officer in World War I, defied the victorious Allies intent on partitioning the Turkish heartland, and defeated the last sultan? Hanioglu charts Atatürk's intellectual and ideological development at every stage of his life, demonstrating how he was profoundly influenced by the new ideas that were circulating in the sprawling Ottoman realm. He shows how Atatürk drew on a unique mix of scientism, materialism, social Darwinism, positivism, and other theories to fashion a grand utopian framework on which to build his new nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hanioglu (Near Eastern studies, Princeton Univ.; A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire) takes on the task of "demythologizing" Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. Cutting through years of writings filled with admiration for this charismatic leader and a popular sentiment close to hero worship, Hanioglu performs a skillfull analysis, focusing on the ideas and intellectual movements that shaped the statesman, rather than recounting Atatürk's personal life. An early education in secular and military schools, distrust of dogma, and adherence to scientism, labeling "religion as the major obstacle to human progress," created a president determined to make Turkey a modern, secular, Western-leaning nation (an effort still seen today in Turkey's bid to join the European Union). Hanioglu does a stellar job highlighting the scientific trends Atatürk used to validate his Turkish national ideal. Racial anthropology, historic linguistics, and other ideas of sometimes dubious merit were all tools to proclaim the superiority of the Turkish and bolster a country crushed by Western Europe in World War I. VERDICT This is an insightful intellectual biography of one of the 20th century's most fascinating statesmen. Highly recommended for scholars of Atatürk, Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and the Middle East.—Veronica Arellano, California, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400838172
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 296
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

M. Şükrü Hanioğlu is the Garrett Professor in Foreign Affairs in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His books include "A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire" (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables ix
A Note on Transliteration and Personal and Place Names xi
Turkish Pronunciation Guide xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction 1
Chapter 1. Fin-de-siècle Salonica 8
Chapter 2. Das Volk in Waffen: The Formation of an Ottoman Officer 31
Chapter 3. The Scientism of the Young Turks 48
Chapter 4. From Wars to the Great War: A Hero Is Born 68
Chapter 5. Muslim Communism? The Turkish War of Independence 86
Chapter 6. The Secular Republic 129
Chapter 7. Nationalism and Kemalism 160
Chapter 8. Turkey and the West 199
Conclusion 226
Bibliography 233
Index 255
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