The Grand Turk: Sultan Mehmet II-Conqueror of Constantinople and Master of an Empire

I’d like to visit Istanbul and see the Golden Horn, the Haghia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace so I’m preparing by reading up on the Ottoman Empire, starting with the Terror of Europe, the Sultan Mehmet II, who ended the Byzantine Empire and Christian domination of the city by taking Constantinople in 1453, sparking three crusades aimed at restoring Christian rule of the city. An American scholar who has spent his life producing volume after volume on Turkey, its history and sights, John Freely knows his stuff and shares it, spinning a fascinating (if sometimes a little dry) story of a young Ottoman leader whose audacious goal was nothing short of first carving out an empire in the Anatolia, then converting Europe to Islam by fire and sword if necessary. He accomplished the first and came closer to the second than you might expect.
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What Karl's reading

After three years preparing The Triumph of William McKinley by reading very little but books, letters, articles and newspapers from the Gilded Age, I’m trying to get back into my regular routine, which I’ll chronicle here with an occasional review of what I’ve read.


Are you a political junkie who loves campaigns?  Fond of reading history? 


This is a powerful telling of America’s story on the day of the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center


Hemingway, a senior editor at The Federalist, and Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network


In the 1930’s at the height of The Great Depression, thousands of Americans journeyed to the Soviet Union, lured by the promise of jobs, prosperity and a new life in the Utopia created by Stalin’s Communist Party. 

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