Ataturk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey

( 11 )

Overview


In this major new biography of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the first to appear in English based on Turkish sources, Andrew Mango strips away the myth, to show the complexities of one of the most visionary, influential, and enigmatic statesmen of the century. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was virtually unknown until 1919, when he took the lead in thwarting the victorious Allies' plan to partition the Turkish core of the Ottoman Empire. He divided the Allies, defeated the last Sultan, and secured the territory of the ...
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Ataturk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey

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Overview


In this major new biography of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the first to appear in English based on Turkish sources, Andrew Mango strips away the myth, to show the complexities of one of the most visionary, influential, and enigmatic statesmen of the century. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was virtually unknown until 1919, when he took the lead in thwarting the victorious Allies' plan to partition the Turkish core of the Ottoman Empire. He divided the Allies, defeated the last Sultan, and secured the territory of the Turkish national state, becoming the first president of the new republic in 1923, fast creating his own legend.

Andrew Mango's revealing portrait of Atatürk throws light on matters of great importance today-resurgent nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and the reality of democracy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585673346
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 539
  • Sales rank: 216,301
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.85 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2001

    Disappointment

    A classic British-style biography - overly detailed, no context, no drama. By the end of the book you'll know every speech he ever made, every meting he ever had, but you will have no sense of the man, no sense of his legacy, no sense of his impact on his times.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Father of the Turks....,

    I am 65, yet I still find the book interesting for anyone in love with history. <BR/><BR/>Ataturk achievements are living up to date. His ideas were greeted enthusiastically all the way in the new Turkey. <BR/>Atatuk believed that `progress' begins with the language, and he gave point to changes in new Turkish `Alphabet' (`Latin-based'), that was feted and cheered by the large masses of the people. <BR/>A symbol of the `decaying' Ottoman Empire was the fez and `sherwaal', both were banned and Turkish people were encouraged to wear European dress. All traditional Islamic clothing were abolished and virtually outlawed and revisited dress codes were introduced. <BR/><BR/>Ataturk was a resistance fighter. He organized the `revolutionists' who protected the fatherland from being `devoured' by the `Allies' when they began to dismantle the `sick man of Europe'. <BR/><BR/>Fifteen years holding the reign were not enough for the Father of the Turks to accomplish all his aspirations to better standard of living, and cultural reforms to his people. <BR/>He died pretty young, at 57.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    A Man, A Vision, A Country

    Andrew Mango first gives his readers an excellent introduction to the declining Ottoman Empire so that they better understand where Mustapha Kemal Atatürk was coming from. The Ottoman Realm, though modernizing slowly, no longer had the means to live up to its ambitions and was shrinking fast under pressure of competing empires and nascent states at the end of the nineteenth century. Furthermore, the Ottoman State was undermined internally by increasingly restive minorities that no longer accepted their subservient condition, as well as, by part of the elite that was dissatisfied with the perceived backwardness and incompetence of the Ottoman ruling class. Born in Salonica in today¿s Greece around 1880 in a Muslim, Turkish-speaking and middle-class family, Atatürk early on made up his mind to join the westernizing army and thereby discard the external signs of oriental life. Mango narrates with mastery the steady progress that Atatürk, a successful and popular student, made during his military education. Work was all that mattered to Atatürk. Atatürk became a politically savvy professional soldier while studying hard during his years of military education in Istanbul, the imperial capital. After his admission to the prestigious Staff College at 21, Atatürk kept in touch with his military friends who were assigned elsewhere, a circle that would reveal its greatest usefulness in the accession of Atatürk to the highest post of Modern Turkey two decades later. Because of his subversive political activities, Atatürk was assigned not to Europe but to the Near East after finishing his studies in 1904. Mango does a great job in giving background information, which helps readers understand the environment in which Atatürk was bound to as a soldier while he actively remained involved in politics through his connections in the empire before, during and after WWI. In 1908, the Society of Union and Progress, of which Atatürk became a member, served as the launching path for the Young Turks in their successful military coup. Atatürk understood very fast that the Young Turks, even with the help of Germany later on, were not up to the task to save the empire from its ultimate downfall after the end of WWI. Atatürk was still too junior to play a key role in the new administration. As usual, Atatürk was critical of the new ones on top because he alone deserved to be leader. From 1911, Atatürk, still an obscure officer, progressively rose to preeminence. Atatürk first tried to quell rebellions in the disintegrating empire before WWI. Atatürk then illustrated his military superiority when he decisively helped ruin the allied venture at Gallipoli in 1915. After a new promotion in 1916, Atatürk, very resentful of the Germans for continuously meddling into military operations from the beginning, spent two agitated years in the Near East where he did what he could to slow down the advance of the allies until the end of WWI. Officers who ultimately played a key role in the War of Independence were placed under his command during these two years. After the armistice in 1918, Atatürk proved to be the most effective of all Ottoman officers who refused the diktats of the victorious allies and thwarted their efforts to carve up the territory of Modern Turkey into pieces. Mango clearly explained how with the help of other nationalist officers, Atatürk turned Anatolia into a redoubt of resistance while accommodating the decadent rule of the sultan in the short term. Atatürk also progressively centralized all military and political levers of power in his hands through shrewd maneuvering. Mango is brutally honest about the enlightened despotism of Atatürk. Modern Turkey needed a strong regime to impose its legitimacy both internally and externally. It took Atatürk and his army several grueling years before they could finally defeat the Greeks militarily and thereby commanding the grudging respect of the remaining divided alli

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Dry

    Lots of information but dry. One thing Ataturk was not was dry. He was colorful. This book does not do him justice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2004

    Ataturk

    Ataturk is the real founder of Turkey...If he,his friends and all of the Turkish people at that time weren't there to fight , maybe Turkey ( Turkiye ) can't be here at this time...And of course world must know to learn every right things at the right times.Ataturk's life and things all he made aren't known very well by everyone...I hope to see most of the people know Ataturk in the near future with these kinds of books and others...

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2002

    A Great Point of Origin . . .

    For anyone looking to gain an understanding of Turkey, it's people, and it's greatest Leader. This book is a must. The author provides only substantiated insight, preferring to avoid the majority of hear-see that has been revealed since Ataturk's death. It's a great place to start your journey into a man, his people, and his country.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Author is not objective. This book draws a portrait of an alcoho

    Author is not objective. This book draws a portrait of an alcoholic, woman chaser, overambitious man whose achievements were the strokes of luck. This is not Ataturk. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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