Item description for The Revolution of 1908 in Turkey (Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia, No 58) by Aykut Kansu...
This is a detailed account and an excellent narrative history of the often neglected period 1906-1908 in Turkey, in which the prelude and aftermath of the revolution and elections of 1908 took place. The year 1908 opened a new era of representative government and the social and political developments leading to the overthrow of the ancien regime are carefully and fascinatingly given. Historians and general readers will find The Revolution of 1908 in Turkey a thought-provoking book, which will resound in the discussion of the validity of Kemalist or quasi-Kemalist historiography and therefore provide a major contribution to the field.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Revolution of 1908 in Turkey (Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia, No 58)?
On the Way to Understand the Turkish History Dec 16, 2003
This is a detailed study of the revolution of 1908 in the Ottoman Empire. The first major opposition to the monarch regime. Leading to a parliament and a considerable shrink of the powers of the Sultan. It's also meaningful that the opposition made to a very strong, powerful sultan, Abdulhamid II, and lead to the resignation from the throne. For that reason it's considered to be the major part of the evolution of regime in Ottoman State which is adressed as "Turkia" after the event by many europian historians.
Ideas are supported with references. This is an academic work which is a PhD thesis submitted to MIT.
Though it is academic, written in a way accesible to the non expert reader.
Unfortunately the book has one serious drawback, the price is very high. I recommend the turkish translation which appeared in "iletisim yayinlari" for a turkish reader, which costs 15$.
Anyway it worths buying, since the reader will be able to read a scientific research which is away from any ideological influences.
Excellent Study Sep 21, 2003
As a curious reader, I have found this book very excellent and significantly different from other books I read so far on Turkish politics and history. It is certainly not a dry history-writing, rather it successfully applies a lively "political economy" to the investigation of its historical subject matter. That's why, surely, the whole dissertation this book is a part of which, had lead to a PhD degree in MIT-Political Science.
Demolishing the Myths Sep 18, 2003
No matter you agree or disagree with some of the arguments of the author, 1908 Revolution, in terms if its historical depth and academic quality, overshadows many other books on Ottoman-Turkish history and provides a refreshing and thought-provoking account. Challenging both the methodologies and central arguments of conventional studies of Turkish politics, which were highly dominated by ultra-conservative modernization school, this book is of special importance not only for the students of the late Ottoman period, but also for all of the the students of Turkish politics.
The Revolution of 1908 in Turkey. Jul 31, 2001
In an ambitious attempt to rewrite the interpretation of twentieth-century Turkish history, Kansu argues that the key event was not what he disdainfully refers to as "coup d'état of 1923" that brought Atatürk to power, but the revolution "in the fullest sense of the term" that took place in 1908 when the Young Turks took power from the Ottoman monarch and his bureaucracy, giving it instead "to representatives of the citizens with a view to establish the political as well as the economic supremacy of a new class." It's an interesting thesis, but it fails to withstand scrutiny. Kansu's massive pedantry (this book constitutes just one-fifth of his doctoral dissertation!) chronicles some aspects of 1908's events in new detail, without establishing his point about the significance of those events, much less the insignificance of 1923. His study presents a one-sided argument, and so resembles a lawyer's brief more than a balanced historical inquiry searching out the truth.
Kansu also displays the arrogance of the freshly-minted scholar who believes himself smarter than all his precursors. Their work he dismisses as "mistaken" and "unsatisfactory" and he even casts aspersions on their motives with accusations that they try to "maintain" fictions and "mispreresent facts of tremendous importance." In contrast, the author flatters his own conclusions with terms like "absolute certainty" and "painfully clear." Kansu's conceit is particularly galling when one realizes that he repeatedly mischaracterizes the work of his predecessors, and hasn't even bothered to use the most important recent study on his own subject.