This biography of Ataturk aims to strip away the myth to show the complexities of the man beneath. Born plain Mustafa in Ottoman Salonica in 1881, he trained as an army officer but was virtually unknown until 1919, when he took the lead in thwarting the victorious Allies' plan to partition the Turkish core of the Ottoman Empire.
He divided the Allies, defeated the last Sultan and secured the territory of the Turkish national state, becoming the first president of the new republic in 1923. He imposed coherence, order and mordernity and in the process, created his own legend and his own cult.
Andrew Mango was born in Istanbul. He complemented his knowledge of Turkish by studying Persian and Arabic at the School of Oriental Studies in London. From 1947 to 1986 he worked at the BBC, retiring as Head of South European and French Language Services. During his retirement he continued to study and write on Turkish affairs. He died in 2014.