||"The Western world stereotypically associates Ottoman or 'Turkish' prisons with images of torture, narcotics and brutal sexual behaviour. Now, Kent F. Schull argues that these prisons were actually a site of immense reform and contestation during the 19th century. Schull shows that prisons were key components for Ottoman nation-state construction and acted as 'microcosms of modernity' for broader imperial transformation. It was within the walls of these prisons that many of the pressing questions of Ottoman modernity were worked out. By juxtaposing them with the reality of prison life, Schull investigates how state-mandated reforms affected the lives of local prison officials and inmates. He shows how these individuals actively conformed to, contested and manipulated new penal policies and practices for their own benefit."--Publisher's website.