In this major new biography of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and the first to appear in English based on Turkish sources, Andrew Mango strips away the myth, to show the complexities of one of the most visionary, influential, and enigmatic statesmen of the century. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was virtually unknown until 1919, when he took the lead in thwarting the victorious Allies' plan to partition the Turkish core of the Ottoman Empire. He divided the Allies, defeated the last Sultan, and secured the territory of the Turkish national state, becoming the first president of the new republic in 1923, fast creating his own legend.
Andrew Mango's revealing portrait of Atatürk throws light on matters of great importance today-resurgent nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and the reality of democracy.
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Andrew Mango was born in Istanbul. He wrote his first article on Turkey for the Political Quarterly in 1957. Since then he has published dozens of articles, as well as two general introductions to Turkey. He is the author, most recently, of Turkey: The Challenge of a New Role (1994).From Publishers Weekly:
In 1923, reports Mango, a satirical magazine ran a cartoon showing the three faces of Turkey--the nation, the assembly and the government. All were identical: the features were those of Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938), an army officer who had salvaged the core of defeated Turkey after the 1914-1918 war to create a secular republic. A decade later, still trying to structure an identity for what remained of the polyglot, ramshackle Ottoman Empire, he decreed--as virtual dictator of a nation now largely populated by Muslims--that inhabitants had to take surnames. For himself, he adopted Ataturk, literally Father Turk. Mango (a retired BBC expert on Turkey and author of three previous books on the country) gives this man, one of the least-known nation-builders of the last century, full treatment, from his earliest days to his ascension to power and his death, from cirrhosis at the age of 57. Few leaders have so modernized an ancient society, instituting radical changes in dress, religion, government, education--even the alphabet. Ataturk abolished the monarchy, divided WWI's victors bent on partitioning all of Turkey, defeated rapacious Greeks intent on expanding their expatriate communities in Asia and destroyed or co-opted his domestic rivals. That so much of his legacy survives is evidence of his success. Mango's admiration for Ataturk doesn't keep him from displaying the dictator's arrogance, ruthlessness and authoritarianism; his Turkish expertise enables him to flesh out Ataturk's complex life via sources he translated himself. Mango gives a rounded, finely detailed portrait of the man who created modern Turkey. B&w photos. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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