Enthusiasm for Istanbul, the book and the city, carried the day at the last meeting of our book club. Consequently, it was decided that we would continue to read and discuss this fascinating topic into December as well. Both this lengthy (over 800 pages) and compelling tome as well as the tantalizing sagas it reveals are well worth our continued attention.
For those who are new to the book, in it author “Hughes (the historian who wrote The Hemlock Cup among many other books) investigates the nature of the city and relates the story not just of its emperors, sultans, caliphs, and viziers, but of the poor and the voiceless, of the women and men whose aspirations and dreams have continuously reinvented Istanbul. Call it Byzantium, Constantinople or Istanbul, the city was, for much of its history, the very center of the world, and the capital at various times of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. Istanbul is not just a city, but a global story. In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey from the Neolithic to the present, exploring how, through its many incarnations, Istanbul’s influence has spun out to shape the wider world.”
The book for January 2019(!) will be Milk! A 10,000-Year Fracas by Mark Kurlansky.