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The Doenme


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About the Author

Marc David Baer is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. His first book, Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe (2008), won the Albert Hourani Prize from the Middle East Studies Association.


"Marc David Baer vividly describes how this ancient, secret sect of Jews, about which little has been written until now, fit into the Islamic world without being found out." - Jewish Book World "The book is clearly written and provides much data and analysis on the cultural, social, economic, and political life of the Donme ... This is a major study of a community that contributed greatly to the growth of Salonika and to the emergence of modern Turkey." - Rachel Simon, AJL "In Baer's hands, the story of the Donme becomes ... a rather familiar modern morality play - a story of strangeness annihilated by the pressure of sameness." - Adam Kirsch, The New Republic "Baer is dealing with an extremely important and sensitive topic. That the followers of Rabbi Shabbattai Tzevi did not really convert, but continued to practice their religion in secret, continues to be a widespread belief in Turkey. This unique book is of great relevance and significance to modern Turkey in understanding the fate of the many communities that were caught in between the transition from empire to nation state in the Middle East." - Resat Kasaba, University of Washington, editor of Cambridge History of Modern Turkey, Vol. 4 "At last, an engaging yet non-sensationalized history of the Donme that places their history in the broader context of the later Ottoman empire and emergent Turkish Republic, showing how this group - so vital to the Empire's many later gains, its transition to a republic, and its 'cosmopolitan' character - ended up largely erased from the historical record." - K. E. Fleming, author of Greece - a Jewish History

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