The Ottoman Endgame

  • by Sean McMeekin
  • Narrated by Richard Poe
  • 19 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An astonishing retelling of 20th-century history from the Ottoman perspective, delivering profound new insights into World War I and the contemporary Middle East.
Between 1911 and 1922, a series of wars would engulf the Ottoman Empire and its successor states, in which the central conflict, of course, was World War I - a story we think we know well. As Sean McMeekin shows us in this revelatory new history of what he calls the "wars of the Ottoman succession", we know far less than we think. The Ottoman Endgame brings to light the entire strategic narrative that led to an unstable new order in postwar Middle East - much of which is still felt today. The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East draws from McMeekin's years of groundbreaking research in newly opened Ottoman and Russian archives. With great storytelling flair, McMeekin makes new the epic stories we know from the Ottoman front, from Gallipoli to the exploits of Lawrence in Arabia, and introduces a vast range of new stories to Western listeners. His accounts of the lead-up to World War I and the Ottoman Empire's central role in the war itself offers an entirely new and deeper vision of the conflict. Harnessing not only Ottoman and Russian but also British, German, French, American, and Austro-Hungarian sources, the result is a truly pioneering work of scholarship that gives full justice to a multitiered war involving many belligerents.
McMeekin also brilliantly reconceives our inherited Anglo-French understanding of the war's outcome and the collapse of the empire that followed. The book chronicles the emergence of modern Turkey and the carve up of the rest of the Ottoman Empire as it has never been told before, offering a new perspective on such issues as the ethno-religious bloodletting and forced population transfers that attended the breakup of empire, the Balfour Declaration, the toppling of the caliphate, and the partition of Iraq and Syria - bringing the contemporary consequences into clear focus.
Every so often, a work of history completely reshapes our understanding of a subject of enormous historical and contemporary importance. The Ottoman Endgame is such a book, an instantly definitive and thrilling example of narrative history as high art.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

WWI from a different perspective

I've listened to a lot of WWI related books over the years so maybe I'm a bit overloaded and that isreflected in my rating. There's a lot about the Ottoman Empire and what has become the modern nation of Turkey that may be new to some, but there wasn't enough new to me to rate higher. The most intriguing aspect was the way some critical events of the war were perceived from the Ottoman point of view. I also appreciated the latter few hours providing detail on the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
"The Making of the Modern Middle East" seems an overplayed description. There just isn't enough about the countries other than Turkey to really earn that title.
The narration was very good, but didn't engage me as deeply as some.
I would look positively on this narrator in the future.
I would recommend this book to someone who either isn't familiar with the role of the Ottomans in WWI, and also for anyone who is a total WWI geek and wants to fill a gap in their studies.
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- Michael L Krogh

Evenhanded history

The best history I've read of the Ottoman dissolution between 1870 and 1923. excellent use of recently acquired materials.
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- Niny Pagan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-13-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books