"Hugely enjoyable, magnificently researched, and deeply absorbing." Jason Goodwin, New York Times Book Review
At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock.
Yet in Istanbulan ancient crossroads and Turkey's largest citypeople were looking toward an uncertain future. Never purely Turkish, Istanbul was home to generations of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, as well as Muslims. It welcomed White Russian nobles ousted by the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik assassins on the trail of the exiled Leon Trotsky, German professors, British diplomats, and American entrepreneursa multicultural panoply of performers and poets, do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells. During the Second World War, thousands of Jews fleeing occupied Europe found passage through Istanbul, some with the help of the future Pope John XXIII. At the Pera Palace, Istanbul's most luxurious hotel, so many spies mingled in the lobby that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish their seats to paying guests.
In beguiling prose and rich character portraits, Charles King brings to life a remarkable era when a storied city stumbled into the modern world and reshaped the meaning of cosmopolitanism.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Charles King is a professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University. A frequent media commentator on global issues, he is the author of Gods of the Upper Air, Odessa, Midnight in the Pera Palace, and other books. He lives in Washington, DC.
Table of Contents
Author's Note xiii
Grand Hotel 11
The Gray Fleet 29
Moscow on the Bosphorus 89
"The Post-War World Was Jazzing" 133
"The Past is a Wound in My Heart" 153
Modern Times 177
Beyond the Veil 199
Living Like a Squirrel 217
Island Life 233
Holy Wisdom 265
Shadow Wars 287
Paper Trails 315
At The Gate of Felicity 343