Mustafa Kemal Atat rk was the founding father of the Turkish Republic. He transformed it from a battle-scarred ruin into a regional power and is still hailed as a hero today.
This biography of Atat rk aims to strip away the myth to show the complexities of the man beneath. Born plain Mustafa in Ottoman Salonica in 1881, he trained as an army officer but was virtually unknown until 1919, when he took the lead in thwarting the victorious Allies' plan to partition the Turkish core of the Ottoman Empire.
He divided the Allies, defeated the last Sultan and secured the territory of the Turkish national state, becoming the first president of the new republic in 1923. He imposed coherence, order and mordernity and in the process, created his own legend and his own cult.
Surely definitive ... I enjoyed every page and recommend this book highly - Simon Sebag Montifiore, Mail on Sunday
A fluent, thorough and enjoyable biography, which for comprehensiveness, balance and deftness of touch outclasses all the alternatives for the English reader - Mark Mazower, New Statesman
The best concise account I have ever seen of the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The narrative is gripping. It does not merely present all the facts of Ataturk's career but paints a credible picture of the whole man - Geoffrey Lewis
The profundity of Mango's analysis and his empathy with the years of national regeneration lift Ataturk to a higher level of biography than any previous account - Alan Palmer, Literary Review
Takes its place at the top - Norman Stone, Sunday Times
Andrew Mango was born in Istanbul. He complemented his knowledge of Turkish by studying Persian and Arabic at the School of Oriental Studies in London. From 1947 to 1986 he worked at the BBC, retiring as Head of South European and French Language Services. He has since been engaged full-time in the study of Turkish affairs. His next book, The Turks Today, will be published by John Murray in autumn 2004.