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Healing the Nation

Prisoners of War, Medicine and Nationalism in Turkey, 1914-1939

Yucel Yanikdag

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Explores how the Great War influenced the construction of identity and nationalism in the Ottoman Empire

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Contents

Acknowledgements
Author’s note on usage
List of maps and figures
List of tables INTRODUCTION
1. THE OTTOMAN GREAT WAR AND CAPTIVITY IN RUSSIA AND EGYPT
2. IMAGINING COMMUNITY AND IDENTITY IN RUSSIA AND EGYPT: A COMPARISON
3. SAVIOUR SONS OF THE NATION: INSIDE THE PRISONERS’ MINDS
4. PRISONERS AS DISEASE CARRIERS: CASES OF PELLAGRA AND TRACHOMA
5. WAR NEUROSIS AND PRISONERS OF WAR: WARTIME NERVOUS BREAKDOWN AND THE POLITICS OF MEDICAL INTERPRETATION
6. DEGENERATIONIST PATHWAY TO EUGENICS: NEURO-PSYCHIATRY, SOCIAL PATHOLOGY AND ANXITIES OVER NATIONAL HEALTH
EPILOGUE: THE SEARCH FOR A USEABLE PAST: PRISONERS OF WAR, THE OTTOMAN GREAT WAR AND TURKISH NATIONALISM
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Yücel Yanıkdağ is Associate Professor of History at the University of Richmond. Born in Istanbul, he received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. A Fulbright-Hays scholar, his research interests include: social and cultural history of the Great War, social history of medicine, and Turkish nationalism. His articles have appeared in Journal of Contemporary History, Middle Eastern Studies, and The First World War as Remembered in the Countries of the Mediterranean.

Reviews

This highly original and impeccably researched study helps us understand not only the workings of the Ottoman military establishment but also the state formation in the late Ottoman Empire and the influence of German theories of medicine, psychiatry and eugenics in this complex process.
- M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Princeton University

"The original sources and new insights offered by Healing the Nation gives scholars of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and the modern Middle East much to consider. Few, if any, works preceding this study have considered the history and legacy of wartime internment, thus adding considerably to the breadth of our understanding of World War I."

- Ryan Gingeras, The American Historical Review

'Healing the Nation is a very important, well-researched, and original contribution to the literature and should inspire new studies on the topic.'

- M. Alper Yalcinkaya, The Historian
'beginning with tracing Turkish nationalism among POWs and following with the analysis of the reports of medical doctors, Yanıkdağ creates a unique and untraditional approach to point out the trajectory of the emergence of Turkish nationalism among POWs…the author’s approach is a methodologically creative way to discuss the Ottomans’ role in the Great War. Consequently, the medical publications, the bibliography, and above all the prisoners’ literature, including prison-camp newspapers, poems, folk songs, and cartoons that the author unearthed, make the book a real gem for scholars.'
- Haldun Yalçinkaya, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara, War in History

'Yanikdag (Univ. of Richmond) has written a fascinating book about Ottoman prisoners of war during WW I and the development of the Republic of Turkey and Turkish identity...A very valuable study for all interested in military and medical history as well as the development of nation-states.'

- R. W. Zens Le Moyne College , Choice

"Weaved together in a comprehensive work with inquisitive reasoning and clever writing style, [Healing the Nation] deserves a warm welcome to historiography."

- Sanem Güvenç Salgırlı, Insight Turkey

`Yanıkdağ’s skill and craft as a social historian shines brightly in this account of Ottoman soldiers who were not heroes, as he tells us two stories at once: the tale of those who were silenced and that of those who did the silencing...His work is a must read for any scholar or interested observer who would like to go deeper into the ethics of military heroism as it has been embraced by Turkish national official and mundane, at the expense of untold stories of what war really does to us all.`

- Associate Professor, Nergis Canefe (York University, Toronto), Turkish Review

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