THE LAND AND PEOPLE OF TURKEY by William Spencer

THE LAND AND PEOPLE OF TURKEY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This new edition of a 1972 book, in a series that has been a curriculum mainstay for decades, takes a close look at the geography, ethnography, and history of a border country where Asiatic, Middle Eastern, and European cultures have clashed and combined since ancient times. As in the other ""Land and People"" books, geographical and cultural surveys sandwich a historical summary, and the text is salted with proverbs, anecdotes, and illuminating side essays. Spencer writes in an impersonal style, making general comments about Turkish ""character"" and behavior and taking a Eurocentric point of view from his first words: ""Turkey begins at Istanbul."" Throughout, he emphasizes that Turkey has looked to the West for political and economic inspiration in the last century. His voice also has an official ring: he claims that the opium trade is completely under control and makes a determined attempt to be unbiased in describing the massacres and relocations of the once-large Armenian population. (He does point out that, though it claims that genocide was not intended, the Turkish government has been reluctant to open its records on the subject.) On the other hand, Spencer's portrait of Ataturk, one of this century's most effective political leaders, is clear and penetrating. There is a short concluding chapter on art, literature, and especially architecture. A long-overdue revision, welcome despite its flaws. Lengthy, annotated list of books and other media; index and illustrations not seen.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1990
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Lippincott