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Ataturk
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About the Author

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).

Reviews

Although there is no shortage of information on Mustafa Kemal Atatrk in Turkish, no comprehensive biography has appeared recently in English. Mango's new book fills that gap in superlative fashion. Mango, born in Istanbul and fluent in Turkish, has published numerous articles and three other books on Turkey. Now more than ever, Atatrk is a controversial figure in Turkey, so new sources on him continue to appear, on which Mango relies heavily. Almost unknown in the West in 1919, when he became the leader of the Turkish nationalist movement, Atatrk had already accomplished much and set his course long before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. English readers are fortunate that Mango could distill what took place in Atatrk's life up to the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923. This is a balanced and exhaustively researched account of the influential life of one of the most complex and controversial figures in 20th-century world history. Given its scholarly nature, it is highly recommended for academic and special Middle East or military collections and for larger public libraries.--Ruth K. Baacke, Whatcom Cty. Lib. Syst., Bellingham, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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 Cahners Business Information.

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