George W. Gawrych. The Young Atatürk: From Ottoman Soldier to Statesman of Turkey. London: I. B. Tauris, 2013. xiv + 267 pp. $35.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-78076-322-4.
Reviewed by James N. Tallon (Lewis University)
Published on H-War (September, 2014)
Commissioned by Margaret Sankey
Atatürk, Intellectual and Strategist
Many biographies and histories have been published about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, including several recent ones in English and dozens in Turkish. The Young Atatürk: From Ottoman Soldier to Statesman of Turkey incorporates a slightly different approach from the rest. George W. Gawrych states that his work offers insights into Atatürk’s early career, roughly covering 1880-1923; he delivers on this promise. In doing so, Gawrych effectively uses Atatürk’s notebooks and synthesizes many recent works in English and Turkish. Additionally, he makes excellent use of archival material including documents from the Askeri Tarih ve Stratejik Etüt Başkanlığı (Military History and Strategic Studies Directorate), Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (Prime Ministry Ottoman Archive), Başbakanlık Cumhuriyet Arşivi (Prime Ministry Republican Archive), and Türk Tarih Kurumu Arşivi (Turkish Historical Society Archive). These materials add a great deal to this work and allow it to go in new directions.