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Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography

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When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first president of Turkey in 1923, he set about transforming his country into a secular republic where nationalism sanctified by science--and by the personality cult Atatürk created around himself--would reign supreme as the new religion. This book provides the first in-depth look at the intellectual life of the Turkish Republic's foun When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first president of Turkey in 1923, he set about transforming his country into a secular republic where nationalism sanctified by science--and by the personality cult Atatürk created around himself--would reign supreme as the new religion. This book provides the first in-depth look at the intellectual life of the Turkish Republic's founder. In doing so, it frames him within the historical context of the turbulent age in which he lived, and explores the uneasy transition from the late Ottoman imperial order to the modern Turkish state through his life and ideas. Shedding light on one of the most complex and enigmatic statesmen of the modern era, M. Sükrü Hanioglu takes readers from Atatürk's youth as a Muslim boy in the volatile ethnic cauldron of Macedonia, to his education in nonreligious and military schools, to his embrace of Turkish nationalism and the modernizing Young Turks movement. Who was this figure who sought glory as an ambitious young officer in World War I, defied the victorious Allies intent on partitioning the Turkish heartland, and defeated the last sultan? Hanioglu charts Atatürk's intellectual and ideological development at every stage of his life, demonstrating how he was profoundly influenced by the new ideas that were circulating in the sprawling Ottoman realm. He shows how Atatürk drew on a unique mix of scientism, materialism, social Darwinism, positivism, and other theories to fashion a grand utopian framework on which to build his new nation.


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When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first president of Turkey in 1923, he set about transforming his country into a secular republic where nationalism sanctified by science--and by the personality cult Atatürk created around himself--would reign supreme as the new religion. This book provides the first in-depth look at the intellectual life of the Turkish Republic's foun When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the first president of Turkey in 1923, he set about transforming his country into a secular republic where nationalism sanctified by science--and by the personality cult Atatürk created around himself--would reign supreme as the new religion. This book provides the first in-depth look at the intellectual life of the Turkish Republic's founder. In doing so, it frames him within the historical context of the turbulent age in which he lived, and explores the uneasy transition from the late Ottoman imperial order to the modern Turkish state through his life and ideas. Shedding light on one of the most complex and enigmatic statesmen of the modern era, M. Sükrü Hanioglu takes readers from Atatürk's youth as a Muslim boy in the volatile ethnic cauldron of Macedonia, to his education in nonreligious and military schools, to his embrace of Turkish nationalism and the modernizing Young Turks movement. Who was this figure who sought glory as an ambitious young officer in World War I, defied the victorious Allies intent on partitioning the Turkish heartland, and defeated the last sultan? Hanioglu charts Atatürk's intellectual and ideological development at every stage of his life, demonstrating how he was profoundly influenced by the new ideas that were circulating in the sprawling Ottoman realm. He shows how Atatürk drew on a unique mix of scientism, materialism, social Darwinism, positivism, and other theories to fashion a grand utopian framework on which to build his new nation.

30 review for Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Inna Zolotar

    Із хорошого - вступне слово Олександра Галенка, а також певне впорядкування хронології подій в Османській імперії-Туреччині наприкинці ХІХ - першій половині ХХ століття. Але добре виписаної біографії там нема. Є певні факти, та компліментарний для героя антураж. Майже нема проблемних питань, як то 1915-й з геноцидом вірмен. Тобто, що думав-говорив та як чинив Ататюрк у випадку таких проблем-викликів ми не дізнаємось. Майже не згадується про родинне життя Мустафи Кемаля, його стосунки з дітьми (п Із хорошого - вступне слово Олександра Галенка, а також певне впорядкування хронології подій в Османській імперії-Туреччині наприкинці ХІХ - першій половині ХХ століття. Але добре виписаної біографії там нема. Є певні факти, та компліментарний для героя антураж. Майже нема проблемних питань, як то 1915-й з геноцидом вірмен. Тобто, що думав-говорив та як чинив Ататюрк у випадку таких проблем-викликів ми не дізнаємось. Майже не згадується про родинне життя Мустафи Кемаля, його стосунки з дітьми (прийомними), і взагалі нічого про дружину. Словом, взяти щось корисне можна, але це не є біографія, як я розумію, вона має бути написана.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eressea

    這幾年台灣書市出了很多土耳其的書 但大多是伊斯坦堡城市史或遊記 鄂圖曼史只有一本被翻譯搞爛的奧斯曼的黃梁夢 反而沒人出民族救星凱末爾的傳記 等不及繁體出,有簡體傳記就先買來看了 這本書藉由傳主呈現土耳其由多民族伊斯蘭帝國 轉變為現代民族主義國家的過程 重點在思想變遷和社會變化 而不是傳主個人的生命細節 鑑於中文鄂圖曼史的書太少 這樣的寫法讓人一下知道好多以前不知道的事情 像是帝國歐洲領土出身的人被認為是出身高貴的菁英份子 比安那托利亞出身的人更受重用 所以近代歐洲領土喪失對帝國來說是很大的精神傷害 還有十九世紀中期改革以來 到一戰前夕已經養成一批十分西化的上層階級 帝國翻譯了幾乎所有歐陸思想家的各種著作 為民族救星的共和國打下了基礎 在我看來十九世紀中期開始的維新運動最後是非常成功的 雖然帝國在一戰後滅亡了 但是從這樣的改革中教出了凱末爾 讓土耳其成了唯一一個一戰戰敗國還能談到平等條約的國家 只是凱末爾全面的嚴厲改革畢竟還是無法深入民間 無論再怎麼西化歐洲也不接受土耳其是歐洲文化圈的一份子 而強人作風的後遺症便是救星沒後不滿百年而有艾爾多安 一樣的強人,卻要復興民族救星極力去除的舊帝國因素 連救星一手教出來的共和捍衛者軍隊都被大清洗 再無 這幾年台灣書市出了很多土耳其的書 但大多是伊斯坦堡城市史或遊記 鄂圖曼史只有一本被翻譯搞爛的奧斯曼的黃梁夢 反而沒人出民族救星凱末爾的傳記 等不及繁體出,有簡體傳記就先買來看了 這本書藉由傳主呈現土耳其由多民族伊斯蘭帝國 轉變為現代民族主義國家的過程 重點在思想變遷和社會變化 而不是傳主個人的生命細節 鑑於中文鄂圖曼史的書太少 這樣的寫法讓人一下知道好多以前不知道的事情 像是帝國歐洲領土出身的人被認為是出身高貴的菁英份子 比安那托利亞出身的人更受重用 所以近代歐洲領土喪失對帝國來說是很大的精神傷害 還有十九世紀中期改革以來 到一戰前夕已經養成一批十分西化的上層階級 帝國翻譯了幾乎所有歐陸思想家的各種著作 為民族救星的共和國打下了基礎 在我看來十九世紀中期開始的維新運動最後是非常成功的 雖然帝國在一戰後滅亡了 但是從這樣的改革中教出了凱末爾 讓土耳其成了唯一一個一戰戰敗國還能談到平等條約的國家 只是凱末爾全面的嚴厲改革畢竟還是無法深入民間 無論再怎麼西化歐洲也不接受土耳其是歐洲文化圈的一份子 而強人作風的後遺症便是救星沒後不滿百年而有艾爾多安 一樣的強人,卻要復興民族救星極力去除的舊帝國因素 連救星一手教出來的共和捍衛者軍隊都被大清洗 再無政變的能力了 雖然軍人干政也不是什麼值得一談的事情 但朝伊朗化邁進的土耳其也不是什麼好事吧

  3. 4 out of 5

    George Serebrennikov

    Excellent book, very well written and constructed. The life of Atatürk shows that it is after all possible, to transform large, backward country into modern society, and sustain such drastic transformation, despite all odds. The thing is that is not too many Atatürks lately… if ever.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Murtaza

    The abrupt transformation of the traditional world of the Ottomans into the modern one of the Turkish Republic is one of many such transformations that occurred in 20th century Asia. Ataturk was the prime mover of this break with the past in the Muslim world. Following his successful prosecution of the Turkish War of Independence, he was afforded a tabula rasa on which to create an entirely new vision of society. But Ataturk's unimpeachable military record contrasts with his very mixed legacy as The abrupt transformation of the traditional world of the Ottomans into the modern one of the Turkish Republic is one of many such transformations that occurred in 20th century Asia. Ataturk was the prime mover of this break with the past in the Muslim world. Following his successful prosecution of the Turkish War of Independence, he was afforded a tabula rasa on which to create an entirely new vision of society. But Ataturk's unimpeachable military record contrasts with his very mixed legacy as a statesman. He did "modernize" Turkey, but it was a very particular type of modernization that reflected the intellectual trends of that era in Europe. Fascist, pseudoscientific and racist theories of history and biology were a part of Ataturk's worldview and his plan to create a modern Turkey. He could not imagine a modernity that was not European, seeing it as many of his contemporaries did: a "universal civilization." While he did reform Turkey in certain positive respects it is questionable whether he needed to completely deracinate society to do so. As this book documents, the late Ottoman period was filled with competing reform trends, few of which advocated the outlandish measures that Ataturk pursued. This book is an excellent account of Ataturk's intellectual development and the world that shaped him. It's full of fascinating historical and contemporary anecdotes about the late Ottoman period and the still-enduring scientistic-nationalist religion of Kemalism that Ataturk gave birth to. While I was familiar with the broad narrative, the granular recounting of the minor episodes and individual stories of the time period was completely engrossing. Although the book is scholarly in style it is also legitimately funny, in part due to the pure absurdity of much of the history under examination. Ataturk was arguably the most consequential Muslim to have lived in the 20th century. He influenced his own society, and the world of Islam, in such a way that it will never be the same again. But for all his greatness he clearly suffered from a staggering inferiority complex, one that led him to desperately seek out racial theories and dubious Westwrn pseudoscientists to "prove" that Turks were truly a great race, on par with Europeans. The consequences of this ahistorical nationalism and the schizophrenic societies it birthed in the Muslim world are still with us. This is definitely one of my favorite Ataturk biographies, well written and full of entertaining historical anecdotes. Highly recommended for those interested in Turkey and 20th century Asian intellectual history in general.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Onur Zeyrek

    Kitabın amacı Atatürk'ün hayatını incelemekten ziyade Atatürk'le ilgili oluşmuş tek adam kültünü yıkmak. Dolayısıyla kitapta sürekli tekrar eden Atatürk bir ideolog değildi, fikirleri ve devrimleri orijinal değildi, Atatürk bir filozof değildi vb ifadeler bulmak mümkün. Yazarın Söylediklerinin büyük kısmına katılmakla beraber bence kitabın amacı Atatürk'ün mitleşen yüzünün ne kadar saçma olduğunu göstermek değil tam tersine bakir bir alan olan Atatürk'ün düşün dünyasını şekillendiren entellektüe Kitabın amacı Atatürk'ün hayatını incelemekten ziyade Atatürk'le ilgili oluşmuş tek adam kültünü yıkmak. Dolayısıyla kitapta sürekli tekrar eden Atatürk bir ideolog değildi, fikirleri ve devrimleri orijinal değildi, Atatürk bir filozof değildi vb ifadeler bulmak mümkün. Yazarın Söylediklerinin büyük kısmına katılmakla beraber bence kitabın amacı Atatürk'ün mitleşen yüzünün ne kadar saçma olduğunu göstermek değil tam tersine bakir bir alan olan Atatürk'ün düşün dünyasını şekillendiren entellektüeller ve kitaplar olmalıydı. Bir diğer eleştirimse zamanın ruhuna atıfların oldukça az olmasıydı. Yazar Kitapta Atatürkü ve yönetimini defalarca otoriter olarak tanımlarken aynı yıllarda avrupanın faşizm tarafından yutulmak üzere olduğunu neredeyse hiç dile getirmiyor. Kafatası ölçümlerinden ve bunların billim dışı olduğundan bahsederken avrupada aynı yıllarda Türkiye'deki ırk çalışmalarının 10 katının yapıldığına değinmiyor. Kısacası zeitgeist'ı devredışı bıkarıyor. Bence genel okuyucuları bu konuda bilgilendirmeliydi. Eğer bu konularda bilginiz yoksa bir anda karşınızda kafatasçı, otoriter, tek partici, darwinist, materyalist, islam karşıtı bir adam portresi buluyorsunuz. Ancak gene de kitabı okumanızı tavsiye ederim. Kitap daha önce çok az çalışılmış bir alanda yazıldığı ve belli konularda bana farklı bir bakış açısı kazandırdığı için 4 yıldızı hakettiğini düşündüm.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gregor Schafroth

    + Credibly summarises the most important Topics that occupied Atatürk + Some historical background for the time before him (Osman Empire) is given - Atatürk as a person and how he developed is barely covered. Specially after his rise to power this topic is totally ignored by the author - The book is not chronological and often gets lost in details that are not important for the reader. - The book is repetitive - The book does not at all talk about what happened after Atatürk died. I wanted to read th + Credibly summarises the most important Topics that occupied Atatürk + Some historical background for the time before him (Osman Empire) is given - Atatürk as a person and how he developed is barely covered. Specially after his rise to power this topic is totally ignored by the author - The book is not chronological and often gets lost in details that are not important for the reader. - The book is repetitive - The book does not at all talk about what happened after Atatürk died. I wanted to read this book in order to understand todays Turkey better. That is why I expect from the author that he also quickly mentions what follows after Atatürk. He omits to do so. Overall the information given are just about satisfactory.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Omar Taufik

    This book about Atatürk was different than the other books on his subject which are usually about the historical Mustafa Kemal Atatürk or the other category written from religious backgrounds demonizing him. It will also not fall in the category of the official or academic works turning him into sort of an icon/idol. The book will show Mustafa Kemal in contextual manner starting from birth in late Ottoman Salonica, his upbringing, his education, his Ottoman military/political career until the end This book about Atatürk was different than the other books on his subject which are usually about the historical Mustafa Kemal Atatürk or the other category written from religious backgrounds demonizing him. It will also not fall in the category of the official or academic works turning him into sort of an icon/idol. The book will show Mustafa Kemal in contextual manner starting from birth in late Ottoman Salonica, his upbringing, his education, his Ottoman military/political career until the end of the great war (WW1), the war of independence, the foundation of the modern republic of Turkey, the famous and controversial Kemalist reforms. The role of Mustafa Kemal in these events is seen in it's natural context and relating the intellectual impact which shaped his thought, beliefs and actions taken even many years later.. The author's effort in gathering such interesting and useful information regarding various thinkers/scientists/ political & social events and then relating it to the gradual intellectual development of Mustafa Kemal gives the reader a clearer picture and from a different perspective. A perspective to see him out of his famous historical military/national hero/ founder of the republic picture. A perspective to realize and understand that even the controversial religious reforms despised by the more religious side or the remarkable modernization praised by the more secular side .. are not something invented personally by Atatürk, but actually have roots in his own intellectual development formed in it's natural context .. and even deeper roots going back many decades before his birth ... A long going process where he actually did his role in his time as others did their role in their own time and context. A very good recommendation especially for readers interested in the intellectual aspect of the subject.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marie-aimée

    Une excellente surprise! J'ai pris cette biographie un peu au hasard en cherchant des infos sur Mustafa Kemal. L'objet de l'ouvrage n'est pas de casser le mythe d'Atatürk mais plutôt de remettre le personnage dans son contexte politique, social et intellectuel. L'auteur retrace par ordre chronologique les influences intellectuelles européennes ou non, ses expériences politiques, militaires (notamment sur le destin de la Salonnique, du Comité Union et Progrès). L'ensemble du personnage prend sens Une excellente surprise! J'ai pris cette biographie un peu au hasard en cherchant des infos sur Mustafa Kemal. L'objet de l'ouvrage n'est pas de casser le mythe d'Atatürk mais plutôt de remettre le personnage dans son contexte politique, social et intellectuel. L'auteur retrace par ordre chronologique les influences intellectuelles européennes ou non, ses expériences politiques, militaires (notamment sur le destin de la Salonnique, du Comité Union et Progrès). L'ensemble du personnage prend sens à la lumière de son temps. Et, de ce fait, on comprend beaucoup mieux l'optique de sa vision de l'Etat, sa relation à l'islam, au féminisme et à l'armée. C'est aussi un excellent exemple dans la réécriture de l'histoire au service de la nation, ici turque. Indispensable lecture pour comprendre la Turquie actuelle.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Magda

    Like all the biographies I have read, so is this one: they manage to create an atmosphere of melancholy (they usually remind me Paul Nizan's futility in Antoine Bloye!). Ataturk is one of the special individuals and great politicians of modern history, and, of course, many myths surround his figure. In this book, the author wants us to see this military and political man demystified, to follow his ideas, to see inside the books that he read, to note his marginal notes and create a new image, the Like all the biographies I have read, so is this one: they manage to create an atmosphere of melancholy (they usually remind me Paul Nizan's futility in Antoine Bloye!). Ataturk is one of the special individuals and great politicians of modern history, and, of course, many myths surround his figure. In this book, the author wants us to see this military and political man demystified, to follow his ideas, to see inside the books that he read, to note his marginal notes and create a new image, the intellectual background of Kemal's ideas, of his policies, of his decisions. I think that this is the plan, and it is completed with success. The personal views of the author does not come in to the way of facts and valuation, at least in the most part of the book which is written in an easy and readable way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    myra

    Outstanding. One of the most thought provoking biographies I've read. For a man of such grand stature, very little diversity is available in regards to his personal life. This absolutely shatters anything I've read about him before. Simply fantastic. Outstanding. One of the most thought provoking biographies I've read. For a man of such grand stature, very little diversity is available in regards to his personal life. This absolutely shatters anything I've read about him before. Simply fantastic.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dolf van der Haven

    Five years ago, I named two of my Turkey fowls Kemal and Atatürk, as a simple pun to their supposed origin (they both turned out to be female, by the way, and I never got round to finding a Turkey rooster that I could call Mustafa). Recently, both got eaten by foxes, so it was time to read up on the real Atatürk. I have read plenty about Turkish history, and visited the country many times. This book was a great refresher on specifically the rise of Atatürk and the profound impact he made on Turke Five years ago, I named two of my Turkey fowls Kemal and Atatürk, as a simple pun to their supposed origin (they both turned out to be female, by the way, and I never got round to finding a Turkey rooster that I could call Mustafa). Recently, both got eaten by foxes, so it was time to read up on the real Atatürk. I have read plenty about Turkish history, and visited the country many times. This book was a great refresher on specifically the rise of Atatürk and the profound impact he made on Turkey as a country and its place in the world today. Interestingly, the state-led idolatry cultivated since his death has nothing much to do with Atatürk's original ideas. This book doesn't deal so much with Atatürk as a person, but more with the historical context in which he lived and made Turkeha modern, westernised nation. Highly recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Oleksiy Kononov

    It is a second Ataturk`s biography I have read. If the reader wants to know more about Ataturk`s personality, military career, private life (especially his family and the short-lived marriage) Hanioglu`s book is not for you. The author dwells on Mustafa Kemal`s intellectual legacy (after all, the book`s title is very suggestive). The book masterfully describes the roots and origins of the movement subsequently called "Kemalism" stressing on intellectual movements and intellectual legacy of think It is a second Ataturk`s biography I have read. If the reader wants to know more about Ataturk`s personality, military career, private life (especially his family and the short-lived marriage) Hanioglu`s book is not for you. The author dwells on Mustafa Kemal`s intellectual legacy (after all, the book`s title is very suggestive). The book masterfully describes the roots and origins of the movement subsequently called "Kemalism" stressing on intellectual movements and intellectual legacy of thinkers in the former Ottoman Empire educated in the West and absorbing the ideas of European thinkers of the time long before Mustafa Kemal, foreign/Western ideas Kemal borrowed for his reforms. The latter, as the author points out, was a practitioner rather than a theorist, he acted, made it done no matter what. The book demonstrates (with a wonderful bibliography, excellent research) what Kemal used to substantiate his reforms, how successful and unsuccessful he was. But in general, the book is more boring to read compared to Mango`s "Ataturk".

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This book is part biography of Ataturk, and part analysis of his thought, the influences of early 20th century culture upon him, and part on his influence on modern Turkey. Although clearly a scholarly work, the book is readable for a general audience. He does a good job of systematically and dispassionately describing Ataturk's place in history. He also describes how Ataturk's thought fits in to nationalist thought of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and how scientific and pseudo-scientific i This book is part biography of Ataturk, and part analysis of his thought, the influences of early 20th century culture upon him, and part on his influence on modern Turkey. Although clearly a scholarly work, the book is readable for a general audience. He does a good job of systematically and dispassionately describing Ataturk's place in history. He also describes how Ataturk's thought fits in to nationalist thought of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and how scientific and pseudo-scientific ideas influenced Ataturk. The author's conclusion is that Ataturk developed a European consciousness within the Turkish people, but that he failed to convince the Europeans to accept the Turks as Europeans. I think this is generally accurate. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in modern Turkey, but also to anyone interested in the modern Balkans or Middle East.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    A Solid Academic Biography This is a short, well-written and researched intellectual biography of Mustafa Kemal, better known as Ataturk (literally "Father Turk"). He was a well-educated, probably but privately atheist, military leader who repelled a foolhardy British Invasion and created Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. He then transformed Turkey from an Near Eastern Islamic backwater into a modern, almost-but-not-quite European, secular state. Sadly, Erdoğan and his Islamist A Solid Academic Biography This is a short, well-written and researched intellectual biography of Mustafa Kemal, better known as Ataturk (literally "Father Turk"). He was a well-educated, probably but privately atheist, military leader who repelled a foolhardy British Invasion and created Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. He then transformed Turkey from an Near Eastern Islamic backwater into a modern, almost-but-not-quite European, secular state. Sadly, Erdoğan and his Islamist supporters appear to be bent on undoing many of Ataturk's reforms.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    I have long been a fan of Mango's biography but recently I wanted something more focused on the intellectual roots rather than the life story of Ataturks political theory and practice. This book fit the bill. Well balanced, even keel, and neither fawning nor overtly critical-it helped me flesh out the background of one of my favorite 20th century figures. I have long been a fan of Mango's biography but recently I wanted something more focused on the intellectual roots rather than the life story of Ataturks political theory and practice. This book fit the bill. Well balanced, even keel, and neither fawning nor overtly critical-it helped me flesh out the background of one of my favorite 20th century figures.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This ~200 page biography focuses on Ataturk as a product of the times and circumstances of the late 1800's-early 1900's. He is presented as a "doer", ambitious and focused on results; an executor of a plan to save and modernize a nation that almost wasn't; winning back land, and relevance in the "civilized" world. Ch 1 starts strong, putting us in the greater context of the late 1800's in cosmopolitan Salonica, place of his birth and an important port on the Western (Rumelian) half of the Ottoma This ~200 page biography focuses on Ataturk as a product of the times and circumstances of the late 1800's-early 1900's. He is presented as a "doer", ambitious and focused on results; an executor of a plan to save and modernize a nation that almost wasn't; winning back land, and relevance in the "civilized" world. Ch 1 starts strong, putting us in the greater context of the late 1800's in cosmopolitan Salonica, place of his birth and an important port on the Western (Rumelian) half of the Ottoman empire. From here, it progresses through the volatile times and schools of thought that influenced Mustafa Kemal's intellectual development and consequently the developments that gave rise to the Turkish Republic Ch 8: Nationalism and Kemalism was the slowest segment of an otherwise enlightening book, less imposing than the 600 page Mango authored biography and perhaps a good way to ease into the longer biography which offers what this one doesn't: deeper insights into Ataturk's life, maps, biographical reference / sketches of key personalities of the time and (perhaps most importantly) a Chronology (timeline). 4/5 as a historical reference, but clearly not in the sense of the enjoyment found in novels.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shane Hill

    Superb rendering on this giant....in particular Ataturk's interaction with Islam in a Turkish setting....the man had guts to say the least. Superb rendering on this giant....in particular Ataturk's interaction with Islam in a Turkish setting....the man had guts to say the least.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jalees Khan

    Absolutely fascinating. But not everyone’s book of course

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    4.5 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Reza Eskandary

    ترجمه و ویراستاری کتاب قطعا نیازمند بازنگری بود؛ اما به میانجی مرور زندگی و ایده‌های آتاتورک، خطوط تحلیلی جالب توجهی از تاریخ دوره‌ی پایانی عثمانی و آغاز جمهوری ترکیه رو به تصویر می‌کشید

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kostiantyn Shcherbachenko

    Читається на диво легко. Ататюрк - особистість та лідер, який змінив Туреччину. Деякі його реформи може сьогодні здаються смішними - заміна фесок на капелюхи, введення прізвищ - але насправді вони були важливими для того часу і тих обставин. А головне - перетворення Туреччини на світьску країну, перехід на "західний" календар, нова абетка. Підтримка націоналізму в Туреччині та мови (!). Мова для Ататюрка була "на часі". Спеціальні комісії відшукували турецькі слова та шукали в турецькій мові ана Читається на диво легко. Ататюрк - особистість та лідер, який змінив Туреччину. Деякі його реформи може сьогодні здаються смішними - заміна фесок на капелюхи, введення прізвищ - але насправді вони були важливими для того часу і тих обставин. А головне - перетворення Туреччини на світьску країну, перехід на "західний" календар, нова абетка. Підтримка націоналізму в Туреччині та мови (!). Мова для Ататюрка була "на часі". Спеціальні комісії відшукували турецькі слова та шукали в турецькій мові аналоги для слів, що прйшли з інших мов. Ататюрк зробив чимало для того, щоб громадяни Туреччини відчули себе європейцями. Хоча можливо не всі в Європі досі сприймають їх як європейців.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Flora

    If you have read some Turkish history, this book is a great way to understand the thinking underlying the politics and society when Turkey became a nation. Prior to the 1920s, Turks did not regard themselves as 'Turkish'. They were Anatolians (Eastern Turkey) or Rumelians (Western), neatly divided by the Bosphorus. This book gives me a better understanding of current events and the people of the Middle East. I didn't even know that Rumelia existed--it is the Western part of the former Ottoman Em If you have read some Turkish history, this book is a great way to understand the thinking underlying the politics and society when Turkey became a nation. Prior to the 1920s, Turks did not regard themselves as 'Turkish'. They were Anatolians (Eastern Turkey) or Rumelians (Western), neatly divided by the Bosphorus. This book gives me a better understanding of current events and the people of the Middle East. I didn't even know that Rumelia existed--it is the Western part of the former Ottoman Empire, most of which was parceled out to Greece and divided into various Balkan states. The book is short and to the point. You need to have a good dictionary while reading. For example, the term brachycephalic means a skull that is flat. But Ataturk's followers believed that "It was the fate of people with white color and brachycephalic cranium to rule the races." They used strange scientific arguments to include Turks in this category of superior human being--and to link Turkey with the West rather than Asia! That and other odd ideas contributed to the rise of Turkey and of Kemalism, the promotion of the cult of Ataturk. But it also helped me understand the profound impact that Ataturk's leadership had on modern Turkey.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    A worthwhile look into the intellectual (and often pseudo intellectual) influences of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, charting historical, demographic, educational factors which worked to shape his long-lived legacy in Turkey and the wider world. I found the information regarding Atatürk's relationship with religion quite useful and also found myself mostly agreeing with Şükrü Hanioğlu's approach to Mustafa Kemal's larger-than-life persona; rather than repeating the domestic refrain of Atatürk's superhum A worthwhile look into the intellectual (and often pseudo intellectual) influences of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, charting historical, demographic, educational factors which worked to shape his long-lived legacy in Turkey and the wider world. I found the information regarding Atatürk's relationship with religion quite useful and also found myself mostly agreeing with Şükrü Hanioğlu's approach to Mustafa Kemal's larger-than-life persona; rather than repeating the domestic refrain of Atatürk's superhuman impeccability, Hanioğlu lays out many of the contingencies which facilitated the dizzying array of reforms carried out under his rule. For Turkey's broader historiography, Hanioğlu's most significant apportation might be his reaffirmation that the Republican reforms, while no doubt radical in their scope and authoritarian execution, still represented to a great extent a continuation of Ottoman reform movements.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    An indispensable read for anyone interested in Ataturk or the founding of the Turkish Republic. The author does an excellent job putting present day Turkey into context. This quote sums it up best: "Although he was later idealized as a mythical harbinger of change, it is imperative to realize that Mustafa Kemal emerged from within a specific social milieu[...] Many of the radical ideas destined to become central planks in his reform program were widely held in intellectual circles at the turn of An indispensable read for anyone interested in Ataturk or the founding of the Turkish Republic. The author does an excellent job putting present day Turkey into context. This quote sums it up best: "Although he was later idealized as a mythical harbinger of change, it is imperative to realize that Mustafa Kemal emerged from within a specific social milieu[...] Many of the radical ideas destined to become central planks in his reform program were widely held in intellectual circles at the turn of the century."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    The author masterfully interprets Kemal's military and political careers through the lens of the his intellectual evolution, as he absorbed a broad range of ideas from Western Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Particularly fascinating is the author's analysis of Kemal's establishment of the first secular state in the region. The author masterfully interprets Kemal's military and political careers through the lens of the his intellectual evolution, as he absorbed a broad range of ideas from Western Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Particularly fascinating is the author's analysis of Kemal's establishment of the first secular state in the region.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yousuf Hafuda

    Interesting account of the intellectual underpinning of the founder of the Turkish Republic. Refreshingly devoid of the polemical aspects that often accompany such types of material given the cult of personality that surrounds Ataturk.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    This is a well written, concise book that provides a good overview of the influences and out workings of Ataturk's thinking that is accessible to a reader with only high level knowledge of Turkish history. This is a well written, concise book that provides a good overview of the influences and out workings of Ataturk's thinking that is accessible to a reader with only high level knowledge of Turkish history.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Harmeet

    Book is about influences and work of Mustafa Kemal, the founder of Turkey. This book does not get into his personal life. Net result is somewhat impersonal, but short and effective biography. A different style of biography than others i have read. I found it a refreshing change.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam Rajah

    Very pleasurable read, to understand Ataturk's ideas, and how they were influenced from European ideals, forming the Turkish state. Very pleasurable read, to understand Ataturk's ideas, and how they were influenced from European ideals, forming the Turkish state.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Edacheeky

    Really an eye-opening portrait of the real Ataturk in his time, a human that helped modernise Turkey, not the demi-god of his common mythological representation.

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