The Enemy at the Gate

  • by Andrew Wheatcroft
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1683, an Ottoman army that stretched from horizon to horizon set out to seize the "Golden Apple", as Turks referred to Vienna. The ensuing siege pitted battle-hardened Janissaries wielding 17th-century grenades against Habsburg armies, widely feared for their savagery. The walls of Vienna bristled with guns as the besieging Ottoman host launched bombs, fired cannons, and showered the populace with arrows during the battle for Christianity's bulwark. Each side was sustained by the hatred of its age-old enemy, certain that victory would be won by the grace of God. The Great Siege of Vienna is the centerpiece for historian Andrew Wheatcroft's richly drawn portrait of the centuries-long rivalry between the Ottoman and Habsburg empires for control of the European continent. A gripping work by a master historian, The Enemy at the Gate offers a timely examination of an epic clash of civilizations.

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What the Critics Say

"This is not a work of popular history for the casual reader, but scholars and students of history would benefit greatly from this well-researched account of 17th-century Ottoman-Hapsburg political power." (School Library Journal)
"Wheatcroft offers an outstanding blow-by-blow description of the siege, which in the end was decided through a combination of luck and several critical Ottoman blunders." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Important part of European History

This is a reasonably balanced retelling of the last act in Turkish attempts to expand their empire westwards into Christendom. The writer attempts to strike a balance between appreciation of the military expertise of the Turks which, though different, matched that of their Western opponents, while at the same time trying to explain why certain decisions were made which contributed to the victory for the Christians. It was definitely not a war between courageous Christians and savage but cowardly foreigners.

The reading gets a 4 only because I cannot stand the author saying "4 July" rather than "on the fourth of July" each time a date appears!
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- M. Earwicker

An important history and a good production.

This is well worth your time and attention. I suggest reading Andrew Wheatcroft's earlier Hapsburg book first.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-09-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios