Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires 1908-1918

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires 1908-1918

Article excerpt

Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires 1908-1918. By Michael A. Reynolds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 324 pp. $90 ($31.99, paper).

Shattering Empires traces the course of foreign relations between the Ottoman and Russian empires from the Young Turk Revolution of 1 908 to the end of World War I. Reynolds of Princeton University examines Russia's policies toward eastem Anatolia and highlights the way interstate competition shaped local identities and politics through the introduction of the concept of the national state.

Reynolds aims to show how the confrontation between the Ottoman and Russian states contributed to the collapse of both empires and to the birth of a new kind of politics in the region. He recounts the rivalry between the two empires and their downfall between 1908-18. Thebookis thematically rather than chronologically arranged; about one-third concerns the prewar years, and the rest is evenly divided between the period of 1914-16 and the remaining war years.

The author argues that "geopolitical competition and emergence of a new global interstate order provide the key to understanding the course ofhistory in the Ottoman-Russian borderlands in the twentieth century. …

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