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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 would come to view 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.
A leading historian of his generation, Alan Mikhail, Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Yale University, has reforged our understandings of the past through his previous three prize-winning books on the history of Middle East.
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