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Stephen Kinzer offers an intimate report on Turkey today, pulling aside the veil that has long hidden its wonders from the outside world.
Posted March 29, 2012
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.
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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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2005
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2004
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 21, 2013
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Posted March 31, 2011
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