'Essential reading for anyone interested in Turkey and its future' Literary Review
'Essential reading full stop' Peter Frankopan
'It is a must' The Times
Who is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and how did he lead a democracy on the fringe of Europe into dictatorship? How has chaos in the Middle East blown back over Turkey's borders? And why doesn't the West just cut off Erdogan and his regime?
Offering extraordinary, eye-opening insight into a country that often hides its cards, Hannah Lucinda Smith combines a history of modern Turkey with close-up studies of its mercurial leader, its tumultuous politics and the broader political currents playing across Europe.
Hannah Lucinda Smith is The Times' correspondent in Turkey, where she has covered conflicts, a coup attempt and the rise of controversial president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During her time in the country, she has also reported from inside rebel-held Syria, on the front lines of the battle against Isis in Iraq, and joined the mass movement of migrants on their journey to Europe in 2015.
'A brilliant guide, filled with insights ... Not only essential reading for those wanting to understand contemporary Turkey, its politics and those of the wider region; essential reading full stop.' Peter Frankopan
'An engagingly written and factually scrupulous portrait ... She captures his essence: the charisma and the paranoia, the skill of the political natural ... Smith's narrative has an empathetic and fair-minded grasp of Turkey's colliding narratives ... Full of dazzling cameos and incidental delights.' Financial Times
'A comprehensive and nuanced account of Erdogan's rule and the way he has ridden the tides of politics. For anyone interested in Turkey it is a must, but it also roams widely through the study of power and populism, full of revealing detail ... Smith has a subtle intelligence; she deftly weaves the blowback from the collapse of Syria into her contemporary story ... She writes very well, with an engaging mix of personal anecdote, acute observation, interviews and well-informed research; there's no fat on this book and never a dull page.' Times
'Fascinating ... Much more than just a political biography ... Essential reading.' Literary Review
'Does a brilliant job of revealing what has been going on in Turkey ... Written in a lively and inviting style, her book records journeys throughout Turkey and its borders in search of those who can help to explain, or at least illuminate, Erdogan's years in power.' TLS
'A fine book showing an aptitude to look way beyond the surface, and an eye for telling details which comes from her being an accomplished journalist based in Turkey' Independent
'One should begin by applauding Smith's courage and determination in remaining in both Syria and Turkey during their upheavals and keeping her cool as a journalist ... Could not be timelier ... Excels in explaining elements of recent Turkish history.' New Statesman
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