PRINCETON, N.J. — Talaat Pasha (1874–1921) led the triumvirate that ruled the late Ottoman Empire during World War I and is arguably the father of modern Turkey. He was also the architect of the Armenian Genocide, which would result in the systematic extermination of more than a million people, and which set the stage for a century that would witness atrocities on a scale never imagined. Here is the first biography in English of the revolutionary figure who not only prepared the way for Atatürk and the founding of the republic in 1923, but who shaped the modern world as well.
In the explosive book, Talaat Pasha, Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide, Hans-Lukas Kieser provides a mesmerizing portrait of a man who maintained power through a potent blend of the new Turkish ethno-nationalism, the political Islam of former Sultan Abdulhamid II, and a readiness to employ radical “solutions” and violence. From Talaat’s role in the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 to his exile from Turkey and assassination — a sensation in Weimar Germany — Kieser restores the Ottoman drama to the heart of world events. He shows how Talaat wielded far more power than previously realized, making him the de facto ruler of the empire. He brings wartime Istanbul vividly to life as a thriving diplomatic hub, and reveals how Talaat’s cataclysmic actions would reverberate across the twentieth century.
In this major work of scholarship, Kieser tells the story of the brilliant and merciless politician who stood at the twilight of empire and the dawn of the age of genocide.
Kieser is associate professor in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle in Australia and adjunct professor of history at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. His many books include Nearest East: American Millennialism and Mission to the Middle East, World War I and the End of the Ottomans: From the Balkan Wars to the Armenian Genocide, and Turkey beyond Nationalism.
According to Taner Akçam, author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, “This is an extremely important book that not only fills a large gap in the existing scholarship but also introduces new perspectives on the Armenian Genocide. It is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand late Ottoman history and the Committee of Union and Progress, which organized the genocide against the Christians during First World War.”