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Shattering Empires


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The high politics of anarchy and competition; 2. Troubles in Anatolia: imperial insecurities and the transformation of borderland politics; 3. Visions of vulnerability: the politics of Muslims, revolutionaries, and defectors; 4. Out of the pan, into the fire: empires at war; 5. Remastering Anatolia: rending nations, rending empires; 6. Brest-Litovsk and the opening of the Caucasus; 7. Forced to be free: the geopolitics of independence in the Transcaucasus; 8. Racing against time; Epilogue.

Promotional Information

A pioneering study of the causes and consequences of the rivalry and collapse of the great Ottoman and Russian empires.

About the Author

Michael A. Reynolds is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.


"A first-class work of history ... an impressively clear and highly original account of the complex events in the Russian and Ottoman empires" - Financial Times Financial Times
'Shattering Empires is a pioneering study that brilliantly illuminates the entangled crises of the Ottoman and Russian states. In this timely and well-written book, Reynolds skilfully shows how the confrontation between these two states contributed to the collapse of both empires and to the birth of a new kind of politics in the Middle East and the Caucasus.' Robert D. Crews, Stanford University
'Michael Reynolds has written an important and original book. He relates a complex story with remarkable clarity and admirable rigor. His balanced and nuanced account is based on wide research and is a major addition to the literature on Russian and Ottoman history, and to the history of the First World War.' Peter Holquist, University of Pennsylvania
'Michael Reynolds combines a deep understanding of Russia and Turkey to produce an outstanding book that illuminates both historical and contemporary questions.' Stephen Rosen, Harvard University
'Shattering Empires is a fine book ... it makes a valuable contribution not only to the history of Russian-Ottoman relations but also to our understanding of the intersection of nationalism and geopolitics in the age of imperial downfall.' The Times Literary Supplement
'This fine, provocative book asks important questions: about the alleged anachronistic nature of empires; about nationalism as a driving force to explain the modern historical narrative; about the quest for security and its costs and consequences. It deserves a wide and serious reading.' The Journal of Military History
'This very well-written study is an invaluable addition to literature on WWI, borderland studies, and analyses of the Armenian question. Highly recommended.' Choice
'... original, fresh, and insightful ...' Paul W. Werth, The Journal of Modern History
'Shattering Empires is the fruit of a rising scholar's scrupulous archival labours ... required reading for everyone who wishes to become properly acquainted with Russia's Great War.' David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, The Russian Review

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