In 1853 Tsar Nicholas I famously described the Ottoman Empire as ‘the sick man of Europe’. That was on the eve of the Crimean War, when the sick man helped Britain, France and the Kingdom of Sardinia (Italy in embryo) defeat the tsar’s empire. Today, Lord Patten of Barnes, former European commissioner for external relations and currently chairman-in-waiting of the BBC Trust, argues that Turkey is a role model for other Islamic societies, striving to accommodate democracy, civil liberties, the rule of law, an open economy, pluralism and religion. As a member of the European Union, the Turkish Republic, shaped by its founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, would add to the EU a new dimension of enormous historic importance, Patten says. Putin’s Russia, on the other hand, is not usually considered as a role model for ex-Communist countries. Two books, both written by academic historians, but utterly different in style and approach, help us understand where Turkey stands today and how it has achieved its present stature.
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'The bar is set high at the outset, and readers are primed to wonder if Mikhail can make his case.'
Does Alan Mikhail's new life of the Sultan Selim I really overturn 'shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium'? Caroline Finkel investigates.
'Shopkeepers even cut out their names from shop paper bags and pasted them onto their books’ endpapers to feign wealth and gain cultural capital, as seen in a book owned by William Straw, a grocer.'
@laurenohagan91 on the Edwardian bookplate fashion.
Thank you to Timothy Ryback @TheIHJR - for his generous review of #Burningthebooks in this month's @Lit_Review - I LOVE the cover too!! Confess I have bought a print copy to frame ... Bonfires of Reason | Literary Review | Issue 489 https://literaryreview.co.uk/bonfires-of-reason