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God’s Shadow

Alan Mikhail

An explosive global history of Sultan Selim I and how he changed the course of global history.

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Date Published
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A Times Literary Supplement and History Today Book of the Year

‘An astonishing and thrilling story.’ Stephen Greenblatt

The Ottoman Empire was a hub of flourishing intellectual fervour, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. At the helm of its ascent was the omnipotent Sultan Selim I (1470–1520).

Alan Mikhail centres Selim’s Ottoman Empire and Islam as the very pivots of global history, redefining such world-changing events as Christopher Columbus’s voyages, the Protestant Reformation, and the transatlantic slave trade. Mikhail’s ground-breaking account vividly recaptures Selim’s life, radically reshaping our understanding of a world we thought we knew.

Critic Reviews

Fascinating . . . Gripping.

The Times
Critic Reviews

Compellingly readable.

Critic Reviews

Mikhail makes it his mission to demonstrate how this utterly compelling leader helped define his age. And he succeeds with a flourish.

Justin Marozzi, Spectator
Critic Reviews

Always interesting . . . The highest praise for a history book is that it makes you think about things in a new way

Ian Morris, New York Times Book Review
Critic Reviews

Alan Mikhail is a very original and inventive historian.

Orhan Pamuk
Critic Reviews

Captivating . . . A terrific guide to the Ottomans during a period of profound change.

Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

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. In writing God’s Shadow, he has drawn on Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and French sources.

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