Top 10 Books on the Ottoman Empire

 

The Ottoman Empire has had a fascinating history of growing from the dust to the largest empire in the world. As such it has been the subject of various historical explorations and inspired many historians and writers to bring out its rich history before the masses.

 

Osman’s Dream: The History of Ottoman Empire

In this masterpiece, author Caroline Finkel presents a description of the Ottoman Empire, right from its beginning till its very end in WW1. She covers the Ottoman Empire during the days of glory and its ultimate decline.

Read it For:
This book will give you deeper information about the Ottoman Empire apart from just that part which is covered by its last and bloodshed full thrones.
Don't Read it For:
This book covers 6 centuries worth of history in about 550 pages, so it naturally is not as complete as it could have been. Certain parts have been left out, which if you have knowledge about the Ottoman Empire, you will not like.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book has been written after extensive research of the Ottoman Empire as is visible from the flawless writing of the author.

Lords of the Horizon

Goodwin in this novel discusses the rise and decline of the Ottoman Empire, but not in a regular way. He discusses how it thrived during the first 300 years and how it somehow managed to survive the last 300 before its final downfall in WW1.

Read it For:
This book presents a very interesting approach to the study of the rise of the Ottoman Empire from nothing to the largest empire and its gradual decline from there on, and its attempts to avoid the decline.
Don't Read it For:
The book is not just a compilation of historical facts, but there are a lot of baseless opinions and anecdotes the relevance to which has not been made clear.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book, a worthy mention on the list of books on the ottoman empire, unlike other books on the Ottoman Empire takes a thematic approach to discuss the events rather than a chronological approach.

The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922

This account examines the major issues in the Ottoman Empire, the gender issues and such which existed during the later years and its ultimate decline.

Read it For:
This is a short but informative compilation about the major issues of the later years of the Ottoman Empire.
Don't Read it For:
This is not an extensive research work but rather an introduction. If you are trying to find out about all events, this is the wrong book.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book stands out because it did not try to cover everything about the Ottoman Empire but rather took one portion of its history and covered that effectively.

The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650

In this book, the author studies in detail the power institutions of the Ottoman Empire like the taxation system and other important institutions from the 14th to the mid-17th century.

Read it For:
This book is very informative and written in a very smooth flowing narrative style, unlike most history books which make it easier to read and understand.
Don't Read it For:
Though written in detail, this book often seems to be lacking important details about the Empire.
What makes this book stand out?:
The author gives a new perspective on the life of the Ottoman Empire which is worth reading.
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Peace to end all peace

This book focused majorly on the period from 1914-1922 when the Allies drew borders on an otherwise united empire. Why they did that and how it altered not only the geography of the region but also the politics.

Read it For:
This book deals not only with majors parts of the Middle East like Egypt, Palestine, and Israel but also informs about the happenings in Central Asia and Afghanistan which often go unnoticed.
Don't Read it For:
There are a lot of details, so it might not be of interest to everyone, but then again it is one of the best books on the ottoman empire.
What makes this book stand out?:
This is a very thought-provoking and challenging novel. It will not only inform but also challenge the current understanding of the reader.

The Ottoman Centuries

In this work, Lord Kirnoss explored different aspects of the Ottoman Empire, not just the rise and fall but even the social and economic order. The lavishness with which the emperors lived and the sheer ruthlessness with which they dealt with their subjects at times.

Read it For:
This is a wonderfully written book by a remarkable historian who has taken upon himself to explore even the lives of those who lived under the Ottoman Empire.
Don't Read it For:
The problem in this book lies with the illustrations, maps, and references for the most part.
What makes this book stand out?:
In this book, the author covers the different Sultans that ruled and described them and the empire during their reign in detail.

The Ottoman Empire and Early

The fact that the Capital of the Ottoman Empire and one-third of its territory fell within the borders of Europe has been a reason why the Europeans have been ever so interested in the study of the empire. In this book, the author aims at bringing to light the barbaric nature of the Ottoman Empire.

Read it For:
This book is a great depiction of the barbarity of the empire that has otherwise been seen as a lavish and glamorous one. This book brings out the dark side to light.
Don't Read it For:
This book is more suited for academics and people who have a great interest in the subject. Might not interest unfamiliar readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
The writing style and descriptions of the empire have been put forward in a free and easy to understand manner.

A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire

In this book, the author examines broader events taking place in the Empire rather than individual events. He examines the period from 1789-1918 which were a turbulent time in the Ottoman history giving us one of the best mentions on the list of 10 best-selling books on the Ottoman Empire.

Read it For:
This book brings out various facets of the Ottoman life during this period including social, economic, military, political and even literary.
Don't Read it For:
The author has skipped over some very important events like the American Genocide that took place. He has quickly brushed over the topic and not provided sufficient information about it.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book presents the life and functioning of the Ottoman Empire as it was and is great for anyone trying to gain information about the empire.

The Decline and Fall of Ottoman Empire

This book deals with the gradual decline of the largest empire in the world starting from its failure in the invasion of Vienna to the final overthrowing of the Sultanate in 1922.

Read it For:
This book will inform the readers about the main and recurring problems in the empire that ultimately became a good reason for its fall.
Don't Read it For:
This book while well written can be dull and boring at times.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book contains some great information and brings out important names that are often left out.

The Ottoman Age of Exploration

This book deals with the Ottoman struggle to make the empire as large as possible. The various invasions it undertook and the expansion of the empire as a whole.

Read it For:
This is a very well researched book and contains a lot of important information and facts about the Ottoman expansion.
Don't Read it For:
There is no such downside to this book thereby making it the best of best popular books on the Ottoman Empire.
What makes this book stand out?:
Through this book, the author has presented the events and major characters of the Ottoman Empire in a new light that will change your perception of them.

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