Despite the fact that its capital city and over one third of its territory were within the continent of Europe, the Ottoman Empire has consistently been regarded as a place apart, inextricably divided from the West by differences of culture and religion. Aperception of its militarism, its barbarism, its tyranny, the sexual appetites of its rulers, and its pervasive exoticism has led historians to measure the Ottoman world against a western standard and find it lacking. In recent decades, a dynamic and convincing scholarship has emerged that seeks to comprehend and, in the process, to de-exoticize this enduring realm. Daniel Goffman provides a thorough introduction to the history and institutions of the Ottoman Empire from this new standpoint, and presents a claim for its inclusion in Europe. His lucid and engaging book – an important addition to New Approaches to European History – will be essential reading for undergraduates.
DANIEL GOFFMAN is Professor of History at Ball State University. His publications include Izmir and the Levantine world, 1550–1650 (Seattle, WA, 1990), Britons in the Ottoman Empire, 1642–1660 (Seattle, WA, 1998) and The Ottoman Citybetween East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul, with Edhem Eldem and Bruce Masters (Cambridge, 1999). He is currently editor of the Middle East Studies Association Bulletin.