Historians clash in battle of the sales figures

Historians in the News

Historian Norman Stone has been drawn into a battle of Amazon rankings after his latest outing was dismissed as "a farrago of errors, half-truths, fantasies, non sequiturs and irrelevancies" by a reviewer.

Reviewing Stone's book, Turkey: A Short History, for the Times Literary Supplement, historian Colin Imber wrote that "Norman Stone lives in Turkey, but this does not necessarily qualify him to write a history of the country", going on to list a range of "errors [which] typify the book". "Professor Stone asserts that 'Mehmet II had already captured the enormous rock fortress overlooking Lake Van ... in the course of his campaign into Iraq'," says Imber, author of The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650. "Elsewhere in the book, there is no mention of Mehmet II's 'campaign into Iraq', which is just as well, since it exists only in the author's imagination." Imber concludes by saying that "although the quality of this book should have been apparent to any competent editor, it has appeared under the imprint of a respectable publishing house. Let's hope that Thames and Hudson recognise it as a mistake not to be repeated."

Stone, a former speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher and professor of modern history at Oxford now at Turkey's Bilkent University, has hit back at what he calls Imber's "enraged review"....

comments powered by Disqus