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Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World

Overview

The definitive, world-encompassing account of the history and culture of the Turkish people by one of the world's most acclaimed experts. Hugh Pope has traveled the world to encounter and assimilate the many facets of this complex and fascinating ethnic group, distilling the essential qualities shared by all people of Turkish descent. Rich with stories and legends stretching back centuries - from the pre-Ottoman days of tribal militarism to the era of the Great Game and beyond - Sons of the Conquerors is a ...
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Overview

The definitive, world-encompassing account of the history and culture of the Turkish people by one of the world's most acclaimed experts. Hugh Pope has traveled the world to encounter and assimilate the many facets of this complex and fascinating ethnic group, distilling the essential qualities shared by all people of Turkish descent. Rich with stories and legends stretching back centuries - from the pre-Ottoman days of tribal militarism to the era of the Great Game and beyond - Sons of the Conquerors is a compellingly readable account of a profoundly neglected subject that brings readers into closer contact with a culture that has shaped history.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Uncertain Future of the Turkic World may have been a more apt subtitle for this book, as economic stagnation and totalitarian governments plague many of the countries in question. Pope (Istanbul news bureau, the Wall Street Journal; Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey) examines the ties that bind together the various Turkish-speaking regions of the world, and finds that relationships are often strained or practically nonexistent. The interests of more powerful nations loom large, for example, often overshadowing relationships between countries with large Turkish populations. Interesting vignettes and glimpses of past grandeur ornament Pope's account, but the present lack of substantial relationships among the countries he examines cannot help but translate into a volume that seems to be cobbled together out of disparate, unrelated narratives. Perhaps best described as a travelog with higher aspirations, the book does vividly portray what it is like to live in diverse corners of the Turkic world. Readers more interested in historical dimensions may want to examine Carter Vaughn Findley's The Turks in World History. Most libraries can safely forgo this title.-Sean Michael Fleming, Lebanon P.L., NH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Once a fighter, always a fighter: or, never rule out the tenacity of a descendant of the Golden Horde. If the aftermath of WWI made hash out of the Ottoman Empire, the fall of communism helped revive the notion of a Turkic polity: in the 1990s, apart from Turkey, there were five new nations with a Turkic majority: Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. This should not be seen as a bad thing, suggests long-time Istanbul-based reporter Pope. Turkey, with an army of 600,000, is the second largest force in NATO, and since the days of Kemal Ataturk it has supported secularism against theocracy, making it a welcome stabilizing force in the Middle East, one largely friendly to American interests. The other nations are similarly inclined, at least for the moment. No widely embraced pan-Turkic movement seems to be on the horizon to advance the notion of a "Turkic bloc from the Great Wall of China to the Adriatic Sea," so imperial ambitions are unlikely to complicate events: "A dream of a greater Turkic world is all very well," Pope notes, "but Turks everywhere are pragmatists." The collapse of communism brought a massive exodus of ethnic Turks from the Balkans into Turkey itself and some movement of populations in other Turkic states, not least when the head of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, decided that he needed to be worshipped as Turkmenbashy, or "Head of the Turkmen," a position strengthened by the fact that "he controlled the fifth biggest gas reserves in the world." Some of the other Turkic leaders were no more democratically inclined, but Turkmenbashy is a special kind of monster, and his pull has made neighboring China, with its large population ofTurkic Uygurs, just a touch nervous lately. As perhaps it should, for year by year Turkic peoples are exercising more influence in the region, thanks in large measure to the oil beneath their feet. A solid work of history, cultural geography and reportage, opening a view onto a world too few in the West even know exists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585676415
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Orders cut iron : the army's grip on Turkey 23
2 Infidel pigs : conquerors turn refugees in the Balkans 41
3 Bloody Black Mountain : Azerbaijan's baptism of fire 50
4 Merchant warriors : the new Turkish entrepreneurs sally forth 66
5 Raki and the republic : Kemal Ataturk, icon of the secular Turkish revolution 81
6 The cult of Turkmenbashy : the method in Turkmenistan's mad tyranny 95
7 Gray wolves : nationalists prevail in Azerbaijan 110
8 Oil, minerals, democracy! : a new khan finds riches, but craves respect 124
9 The ghost of Isa Beg : knight-errant of Turkestan 141
10 The ant and the elephant : the Uygur struggle to survive China 157
11 Of yurts and yogurt : the primordial Turkic life of the steppe 172
12 Iran and Turan : the age-old antagonists of Eurasia 188
13 Bear hug : breaking Russia's long embrace 195
14 The golden apple : the Turks follow their lucky star to Germany 210
15 Cursed souls no more : a Turkic fable in the backwoods of Virginia 221
16 In the land of Babur : Islam and Central Asia's struggle for identity 233
17 An empire of the mind : Turkish pragmatism outflanks Iranian theocracy 245
18 Rumi's legacy : the Turks adopt a kinder Allah 260
19 Euroturks : a Muslim island in Holland's Christian sea 282
20 Hurricane hydrocarbons : the Caspian oil boom 291
21 White gold : a lust for cotton strangles the Aral Sea 300
22 Silk Road shake-downs : corruption as a way of life 312
23 Midnight espresso : the Turkic problem with human rights 327
24 Step-sons of Tamerlane : the grim determination of Uzbekistan 339
25 To the city : the second Turkish conquest of Constantinople 350
26 All change at Essen : now Germany is not enough 361
27 Forever young Turks : a new horizon in America 369
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