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Ataturk: Lessons in Leadership from the Greatest General of the Ottoman Empire

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Muslim visionary, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey. The West knows him best as the leading Ottoman officer in World War I’s Battle of Gallipoli—a defeat for the Allies, and the Ottoman empire’s greatest victory. Gaining fame as an exemplary military officer, he went on to lead his people in the Turkish War of Independence, abolishing the Ottoman Sultanate, emancipating women, and adopting western dress. Deeply influenced by the Enlightenment, Atatürk ...

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Overview

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Muslim visionary, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey. The West knows him best as the leading Ottoman officer in World War I’s Battle of Gallipoli—a defeat for the Allies, and the Ottoman empire’s greatest victory. Gaining fame as an exemplary military officer, he went on to lead his people in the Turkish War of Independence, abolishing the Ottoman Sultanate, emancipating women, and adopting western dress. Deeply influenced by the Enlightenment, Atatürk sought to transform the empire into a modern and secular nation-state, and during his presidency, embarked upon a program of impressive political, economic, and cultural reforms. Militarily and politically he excelled at all levels of conflict, from the tactical, through the operational, to the strategic, and into the rarified realm of grand strategy. His ability to integrate the immediate with the ultimate serves as an important lesson for leaders engaged in the twenty-first century’s great military struggles. He became the only leader in history to successfully turn a Muslim nation into a Western parliamentary democracy and secular state, leaving behind a legacy of modernization and military and political leadership.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Lively…poignant…Bay’s short, crisp, and readable book ably surveys Atatürk’s military career.”—New Criterion

"A timely new biography . . . [a] fascinating book." — Clifford May, The National Review

"Bay makes the case that the father of Turkish democracy was also a military genius." —MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

"In a changing world there is always something new to say about the authors of change throughout history. Austin Bay has widened our understanding of Mustafa Kemal, the general who founded and shaped the Turkish Republic, by showing convincingly that the choices made by Atatürk validate and are in turn validated by modern military doctrine. This is one reason for recommending his succinct account of Atatürk's life and achievements. His book justifies Atatürk's inclusion in the series of the world's great military leaders."—Andrew Mango, author of Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey

"This book is a clear, concise and fast-paced account of Ataturk's military triumphs and rise to power.  It brings him vividly to life and highlights the qualities that allowed him to become the most successful revolutionary of the 20th century."—Stephen Kinzer, author of Crescent and Star and Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future

“Military historian, columnist, and veteran Austin Bay in concise fashion explains the inexplicable of how modern Turkey, Phoenix-like, suddenly rose amid the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, with its friends defeated and impotent, its enemies multifold and ascendant—through the extraordinary army career of Kemal Ataturk. Bay's sympathetic military biography is as original as it is now timely, given that Ataturk's singular achievement stands in stark contrast to the current climate of rising Islamist dominance in a once secular Turkey.”—Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture and The Father of Us All

"This is the first genuine military biography of M. Kemal Ataturk ever written by anybody anywhere, including Turkey. As such, it fills a long neglected void and it is an important work of original scholarship. Colonel Austin Bay lays a solid foundation for helping us understand the military career of this great commander. Well-researched and very readable - it is an essential read for those interested in this era or in the art of command."—Edward J. Erickson, Associate Professor, Marine Corps Command & Staff College

"Turkey is very much in the news these days, and soldier, scholar and columnist Austin Bay provides us with a biography of Kemal Ataturk, the brilliant soldier and politician who created modern secular Turkey—and whose achievements are now being challenged. Anyone who wants to know more about Turkey should read this book."—Michael Barone, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute, senior political analyst, Washington Examiner, and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics

"Kemal Ataturk is one of the great figures of the twentieth century.  Austin Bay's delightfully written history reminds us why that is, and why we will soon keenly miss Ataturk's influence."—Glenn Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee, and author of the weblog Instapundit

 

"Bay's well-written book weaves the military, political, and personal strands of Ataturk's actions into an important story that has much to tell us about leadership.  One of the compelling aspects of Bay's approach is that we see the world from Ataturk's point of view so that even a familiar event, like Gallipoli, appears in a new and fascinating way."—Betty Sue Flowers, author, editor of The Power of Myth

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230107113
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Series: World Generals Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and coauthor of A Quick & Dirty Guide to War. He has written extensively on current military affairs, and has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, Fox News, C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Nightline. Bay writes a weekly international affairs column for Creators Syndicate, is a contributing editor at StrategyPage.com and appears weekly on PJTV's National Security Review. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and other publications. Bay served most recently with Headquarters, Multi-National Corps in Iraq in 2004. He was on active duty during Operation Desert Storm and served in Germany in the 1970s. A graduate of Rice University, he has a PhD from Columbia University. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Maps vi

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword General Wesley K. Clark xi

Introduction: Winning Time 1

1 Rumelia 13

2 Young Turks 23

3 First Assignments, First Revolts 31

4 Counterrevolution, Army of Action, and Its Aftermath 43

5 The Turco-Italian War of 1911-1912 51

6 The Balkan Wars 69

7 The Great War Erupts 85

8 Gallipoli 95

9 Eastern Front, 1916, to Palestine, 1918 113

10 Anatolia Surrounded 133

11 The War of Independence 141

12 Ataturk at War in the Twenty-First Century 159

Notes 169

Bibliography 189

Index 195

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