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About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407014975
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160
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The Bridge

A Journey Between Orient and Occident




The Bridge is a charming, learned and unique gem of a book by the author of the international bestseller In Europe.

Istanbul’s Galata Bridge has spanned the Golden Horn since the sixth century AD, connecting the old city with the more Western districts to the north. But the bridge is a city in itself, peopled by merchants and petty thieves, tourists and fishermen, and at the same time a microcosmic reflection of Turkey as the link between Asia and Europe.

Geert Mak introduces us to the woman who sells lottery tickets, the cigarette vendors and the best pickpockets in Europe. He tells us about the pride of the cobbler and the tea-seller's homesickness. And he describes the role of honour in Turkish culture, the temptations of fundamentalism and violence, and the urge to survive, even in the face of despair.

These stories of the bridge’s denizens are interwoven with vignettes illuminating moments in the history of Istanbul and Turkey and shedding light on Turkey’s relationship with Europe and the West, the Armenian question, the migration from the Turkish countryside to the city and the demise of the Ottoman Empire.

The Bridge is a charming, learned and unique gem of a book by the author of the international bestseller In Europe.

  • Pub date: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407014975
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160

About the Author

Geert Mak

Geert Mak is a journalist and historian, and the internationally acclaimed author of In Europe, Amsterdam and The Bridge. He is one of the Netherlands’ bestselling authors, has twice been awarded Historian of the Year and his books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Also by Geert Mak

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Praise for The Bridge

“This gem of a history book is slim enough to squeeze into the smallest piece of carry-on luggage but contains a wealth of stories about Istanbul's famous Galata bridge”

Sunday Telegraph

“Geert Mak introduces us to the city's denizen and history, stressing the symbolic importance of the bridge to a nation that sees itself as the meeting place between Europe and Asia”

London Review of Books

“part history lesson, part cultural essay, The Bridge's slender size does not diminish it's riches'”

Viola Fort, Guardian


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