Cover image for God's shadow : Sultan Selim, his Ottoman empire, and the making of the modern world
God's shadow : Sultan Selim, his Ottoman empire, and the making of the modern world
Mikhail, Alan, 1979- author.
First edition.
Physical Description:
479 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm
Part one. Prince (1470-87) -- Part two. Governor (1487-1500) -- Part three. The Ottoman (1492) -- Part four. Enemies near and far (1500-1512) -- Part five. Selim's world wars (1512-18) -- Part six. Final frontiers (1518-20) -- Part seven. Descendants (after 1520).
"An explosive global history that redefines the historical origins of the modern world through the life of Sultan Selim I and his Ottoman Empire. Long neglected in accounts of world history, the Ottoman Empire was a hub of flourishing intellectual fervor, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. At the helm of its ascent was the omnipotent Sultan Selim I (1470-1520), who, with the aid of his extraordinarily gifted mother, Gülbahar, hugely expanded the empire, propelling it onto the world stage. Aware of centuries of European suppression of Islamic history, Alan Mikhail centers Selim's Ottoman Empire and Islam as the very pivots of global history, redefining such world-changing events as Christopher Columbus's voyages-which originated, in fact, as a Catholic jihad that viewed Native Americans as somehow "Moorish"-the Protestant Reformation, the transatlantic slave trade, and the dramatic Ottoman seizure of the Middle East and North Africa. Drawing on previously unexamined sources and written in gripping detail, Mikhail's groundbreaking account vividly recaptures Selim's life and world. An historical masterwork, God's Shadow radically reshapes our understanding of a world we thought we knew"-- Provided by publisher.


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Book 0357366 DR504 .M55 2020 Central Campus Library

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Long neglected in world history, the Ottoman Empire was a hub of intellectual fervor, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. At the height of their authority in the sixteenth century, the Ottomans, with extraordinary military dominance and unparalleled monopolies over trade routes, controlled more territory and ruled over more people than any world power, forcing Europeans out of the Mediterranean and to the New World.Yet, despite its towering influence and centrality to the rise of our modern world, the Ottoman Empire's history has for centuries been distorted, misrepresented, and even suppressed in the West. Now Alan Mikhail presents a vitally needed recasting of Ottoman history, retelling the story of the Ottoman conquest of the world through the dramatic biography of Sultan Selim I (1470-1520).Born to a concubine, and the fourth of his sultan father's ten sons, Selim was never meant to inherit the throne. With personal charisma and military prowess--as well as the guidance of his remarkably gifted mother, Gülbahar--Selim claimed power over the empire in 1512 and, through ruthless ambition, nearly tripled the territory under Ottoman control, building a governing structure that lasted into the twentieth century. At the same time, Selim--known by his subjects as "God's Shadow on Earth"--fostered religious diversity, welcoming Jews among other minority populations into the empire; encouraged learning and philosophy; and penned his own verse.Drawing on previously unexamined sources from multiple languages, and with original maps and stunning illustrations, Mikhail's game-changing account "challenges readers to recalibrate their sense of history" (Leslie Peirce), adroitly using Selim's life to upend prevailing shibboleths about Islamic history and jingoistic "rise of the West" theories that have held sway for decades. Whether recasting Christopher Columbus's voyages to the "Americas" as a bumbling attempt to slay Muslims or showing how the Ottomans allowed slaves to become the elite of society while Christian states at the very same time waged the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, God's Shadow radically reshapes our understanding of the importance of Selim's Ottoman Empire in the history of the modern world.

Table of Contents

List of Mapsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Prince (1470-87)
1 Perfume of the Worldp. 15
2 Empire Boysp. 31
3 An Ottoman Abroadp. 43
Part 2 Governor (1487-1500)
4 Learning the Family Businessp. 63
5 Power at the Edgep. 77
Part 3 The Ottoman (1492)
6 Columbus and Islamp. 89
7 Columbus's Crusadep. 103
8 New World Islamp. 123
9 Christian Jihadp. 136
10 The Taino-Muslims of Hispaniolap. 148
11 Finding Ottoman Jerusalemp. 165
Part 4 Enemies Near and Far (1500-12)
12 Heresy from the Eastp. 185
13 Enemies Everywherep. 197
14 Summer in Crimeap. 210
15 Bound for Istanbulp. 224
16 One and Only Sultanp. 235
Part 5 Selim's World Wars (1512-18)
17 "Their Abode Is Hell"p. 249
18 Fraternal Empiresp. 270
19 Conquering the Navelp. 283
20 Conquering the Worldp. 303
Part 6 Final Frontiers (1518-20)
21 Empire Everywherep. 323
22 Fulcrum of the Atlanticp. 335
23 Eternityp. 354
Part 7 Descendants (After 1520)
24 Selim's Reformationsp. 369
25 American Selimp. 385
Coda: Shadows Over Turkeyp. 399
Acknowledgmentsp. 407
Chronology: Selim and his Worldp. 411
Notesp. 417
Illustration Creditsp. 457
Indexp. 461