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Monday, November 20, 2006 CE

Book Review Number 1: The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire by Alan Palmer

Click at the picture to find book at Amazon.com


I just finished this book. I think it is well written, easy to follow. I perceived at some times the attempt to mimic Gibbon’s style, however, I believe that author wanted to keep it simpler than that.

The book gives the idea of an Ottoman Empire constantly in decline from the seventeenth century onwards, which is probably true. It places the pinnacle of the Ottomans at the siege of Vienna in 1683. It shows the multiple attempts and failures of ”westernization” within the Empire and the challenges the Empire had to govern the outer provinces.

This is not said, but one can obtain as a conclusion that the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment reversed the balance of power that existed between Europe and the Ottomans between 1453 and 1683.

**** 4 stars out of 5

6 Comments:

Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Marco,

If you like this book, and it sounds like you do, you might also like "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" by Kennedy.

It reviews the decline and complete fall of many civilizations.

Kenndy's position is that a nation is either advancing in knowledge (not to be confused with wisdom) or it is declining.

He builds a pretty strong case...

Q

8:52 PM  
Blogger Alanita said...

Only you would enjoy such a book! You are such a history buff. I hope to become one someday...but not too buff. Just a little buff.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Q,

I will take the recommendation. Sounds really interesting.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Alanita,

History is pleasure itself

10:13 PM  
Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Marco,

It really is good. It is referenced frequently and cited by many as a source.

One of the things I have learned from reading good history books is that it is just as hard to prove the past as it is to prove the future (impossible).

I should have known this long ago. My dad told me that if you have 10 witnesses to an indident you have 10 different versions of what happened if you go into enough detail. Everybody develops patterns that affect how they perceive reality. Our patterns can actually be so strong as to eliminate data that doesn't fit our expectations.

Q

11:34 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Q,

True, we are all biased in our own way. The scientific method is the fight against bias. To minimize is the goal. To eliminate it is the wish

8:40 PM  

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