Mark Mazower, Salonika: City of Ghosts (Harper Perennial, 2005), 525 pages, $24.95. Charles King, Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2011), 336 pages, $39.95. Philip Mansel, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean, (John Murray, 2010), 470 pages, $24.99. The Eastern end of the Mediterranean functioned as a distinctive trading hub linking Asia and Europe. Western Europeans called it the Levant. Three books have recently appeared tracing the history of five of the region’s leading cities, Mark Mazower on Salonika in Greece, Philip Mansel on Beirut, Alexandria and Smyrna, and Charles King on…
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