Spies, Scandals, and Sultans is the first English translation of a fascinating and acidly critical portrait of the Ottoman capital of Istanbul during the days of the Sultan Abd al-Hamid. This is the first time that the text, written by an Egyptian journalist and politician, has been available since 1896. The text of the Arabic original is prefaced with an extensive introduction in which the author's life is discussed and the highly controversial contents of the book are contextualized and evaluated for their accuracy against other contemporary accounts of life in the Ottoman capital.
Roger Allen is professor of Arabic and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an editor of several journals, including the Journal of Arabic Literature, Literature East & West, and Middle Eastern Literatures and was the Arabic editor for the series of encyclopedia volumes, World Literature in the 20th Century. He lives in Philadelphia.