Lords of the Horizons A History of the Ottoman Empire

Jason Goodwin




Trade Paperback

368 Pages


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Since the Turks first shattered the glory of the French crusaders in 1396, the Ottoman Empire has exerted a profound, lasting pull on the Western mindset. For six centuries, it swelled and declined, by turns advancing and almost collapsing. Lords of the Horizons explores the strange, dynamic, polyglot empire that sprang from the Balkans, the Black Sea region, and the Middle East: its faith Islamic, its ceremony Byzantine, its dignity Persian, its wealth Egyptian, and its letters Arabic.

In this dazzling and sweeping evocation of an empire's political and cultural power, Jason Goodwin explores how the Ottomans rose and how, against all odds, they lingered on. In doing so, he also looks back to the origins of problems that now plague the Kosovars and Serbs.


Praise for Lords of the Horizons

"A work of dazzling beauty . . . the rare coming together of historical scholarship and curiosity about distant places with luminous writing."—The New York Times Book Review

"Jason Goodwin's deftly written and beguiling history of the Ottoman Empire is particularly pertinent today, when the cauldron of ancient hatred once more boils over, but his prose would be welcome at any time."—The Boston Globe

"May be read with pleasure and profit by everyone, not least the traveler headed east of Vienna and west of Baghdad."—The Wall Street Journal

"A fascinating read . . . Jason Goodwin balances the sweep of great events with a host of revealing details. He has a knack of catching the prevailing mood of the Empire during all its phases, which makes the book a perfect companion for anyone who visits Turkey and wants to make sense of it."—The Times (London)

"A delightfully picaresque history, brimming with memorable anecdotes and outrageous personalities."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Jason Goodwin

  • Jason Goodwin books include On Foot to the Golden Horn, A Time for Tea and Greenback. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler. He lives in Cambridge, England, with his wife and children.

  • Jason Goodwin Jerry Bauer