The year is 1913. Balints father asks him to abandon his brilliant political career to help save the embattled family conglomerate and the thousands of workers whose livelihoods depend on it by expanding into the lucrative Ottoman empire. Reluctantly, Balint accepts and sets off for Smyrna with an old school friend to bid for a large contract to build railway lines in western Anatolia. But Balint soon realises he has joined a predatory pack of European firms who are ripping the decaying Ottoman empire apart to feast on its meat. The Germans are finishing their ambitious Berlin to Baghdad railway to complete their stronghold over Ottoman Turkey and strengthen their position in the forthcoming World War. The French, the British and the Italians all have massive profits to protect and do not look kindly upon newcomer Balint. The Ottomans themselves are beginning to resent these rapacious Europeans and their limitless appetite. With allies like snakes, implacable enemies, and deceit in unexpected corners, what Balint expects to achieve in Smyrna and what he discovers turn out to be opposites. And with World War I threatening to engulf Turkey, navigating his way to success becomes an increasingly complex…and improbable exercise. In this innovative novel, finance, politics, business and philosophy create conflicts of awesome proportions. Set in a time when empires & states sink into oblivion, new countries spring up from monarchies that melt, and governments and cultures disappear amid crisis and war, this historical novel provides a radically new angle on the story of how man has always been a wolf to man.
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