Despite the fact that its capital city and over one third of its territory was within the continent of Europe, the Ottoman Empire has consistently been regarded as a place apart, inextricably divided from the West by differences of culture and religion. A perception of its militarism, its barbarism, its tyranny, the sexual appetites of its rulers and its pervasive exoticism has led historians to measure the Ottoman world against a western standard and find it lacking.
In recent decades, a dynamic and convincing scholarship has emerged that seeks to comprehend and, in the process, to de-exoticize this enduring realm. Dan Goffman provides a thorough introduction to the history and institutions of the Ottoman Empire from this new standpoint, and presents a claim for its inclusion in Europe. His lucid and engaging book--an important addition to New Approaches in European History--will be essential reading for undergraduates.