Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World

Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World

by Hugh Pope
     
 

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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

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585676415
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
05/28/2005
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.44(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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