The Sublime Post: How the Ottoman Imperial Post Became a Public Service

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Yale University Press
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About the Author
Choon Hwee Koh is assistant professor of history at UCLA. Born and raised in Singapore, she has lived and studied in Lebanon, Iran, India, and Türkiye.
"Combining meticulous multilingual archival research with sophisticated social theory, what at first glance might appear as an encapsulated institutional study offers a fundamentally novel understanding of Ottoman state and social evolution during 350 years. A landmark achievement, with wide Eurasian implications."--Victor Lieberman, University of Michigan

"This is a transformative analysis of empire, territory, and bureaucracy. The innovative focus on information infrastructures and system breakdown makes it a must-read for anyone interested in technologies of statecraft."--Majed Akhter, King's College London

"With meticulous research and analytical insight, Choon Hwee Koh penetrates the capillaries of the Ottoman postal system and impressively describes how the state thickened its authority by involving ordinary people."--Cemal Çetin, author of Ulak Yol Durak (Messenger Road Station)

"Koh shows how the Ottoman central government delegated tasks to a diverse set of local intermediaries and monitored them in developing and maintaining a postal system across the large empire. This richly documented book should be required reading for those trying to better understand the growing capacity, resilience and limitations of early modern states."--Şevket Pamuk, Bogaziçi University