Istanbul by Bettany Hughes
A Tale of Three Cities

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

The author’s history teems with individuals and events, sometimes overwhelming her usually lively narrative, especially once she focuses on the Ottoman Empire and its roiling succession of rulers. A panoramic cultural history of a fascinating place.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Istanbul has long been a place where stories and histories collide, where perception is as potent as fact.

From the Koran to Shakespeare, this city with three names--Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul--resonates as an idea and a place, real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between East and West, North and South, it has been the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was the very center of the world, known simply as "The City," but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a global story.

In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey from the Neolithic to the present, through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities--exploring the ways that Istanbul's influence has spun out to shape the wider world. Hughes investigates what it takes to make a city and tells the story not just of emperors, viziers, caliphs, and sultans, but of the poor and the voiceless, of the women and men whose aspirations and dreams have continuously reinvented Istanbul.

Written with energy and animation, award-winning historian Bettany Hughes deftly guides readers through Istanbul's rich layers of history. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate, and authoritative--narrative history at its finest.
 

About Bettany Hughes

See more books from this Author
Bettany Hughes is a cultural and social historian, writer, and television presenter. She received degrees in ancient and medieval history at Oxford University and has carried out research in the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor. She has presented numerous documentaries and historical series for the BBC, PBS, and the Discovery Channel, and also writes pieces on popular history for several newspapers and magazines.
 
Published October 3, 2017 by Da Capo Press.
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Istanbul
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 27 2017

The author’s history teems with individuals and events, sometimes overwhelming her usually lively narrative, especially once she focuses on the Ottoman Empire and its roiling succession of rulers. A panoramic cultural history of a fascinating place.

Read Full Review of Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Thomas McClung on Sep 11 2017

This is a large tome of 800 pages, including index. Do not expect to read it in one sitting. Spend considerable time and thought ruminating on the influence that such a venue has had on world and human history in particular.

Read Full Review of Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Thomas McClung on Sep 11 2017

This is a large tome of 800 pages, including index. Do not expect to read it in one sitting. Spend considerable time and thought ruminating on the influence that such a venue has had on world and human history in particular.

Read Full Review of Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Jon Sobel on Dec 26 2017

The book does make it easy to believe, though, that should human civilization persist another thousand years, Istanbul – by whatever name it may go at that time – is likely to remain central to its region, and even the world.

Read Full Review of Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities | See more reviews from Blog Critics
×