Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 30, 2007
|New from||Used from|
History To Repeat & Some To Not
Check out these featured history titles.Learn more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
West wrote on the brink of World War II, when she was "already convinced of the inevitability of the second Anglo-German war." The resulting book is colored by that impending conflict, and by West's search for universals amid the complex particulars of Balkan history. In the end, she saw the region's doom--and our own--in a double infatuation with sacrifice, the "black lamb and grey falcon" of her title. It's the story of Abraham and Isaac without the last-minute reprieve: those who hate are all too ready to martyr the innocent in order to procure their own advantage, and the innocent themselves are all too eager to be martyred. To West, in 1941, "the whole world is a vast Kossovo, an abominable blood-logged plain." Unfortunately, little has happened since then to prove her wrong. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Surely one of the great books of our century.” —Diana Trilling
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I have to say that I was most fascinated by her discourses on Yugoslav history. Balkan history can be a challenge because most of us in the West really don't understand the people or places involved. A section on the assassination of Franz Ferdinand runs on forever and never becomes boring. In fact, I became so enraptured of this event that I started reading other works concerning the assassination. Even though there are some problems with West's interpretation of history, her accounts are so well written that it makes the reader want to go out and read more about these events.Read more ›
West is at her best as a reporter. She has a truly brilliant eye for detail, for simply seeing how the people lived, what they wore, how they worshipped and what they did with their days. Her images, particularly of the remote communities and the many churches and religious shrines that she visited, are particularly well rendered. Although the book lacks photographs or drawings, West's very considerable talents for description are such that the reader really gets a feel for a large number of diverse places within the Balkans.
She also does an excellent job illuminating a great deal of the history of the region, both relatively modern history (meaning modern at the time the book was written -- 1941) and more ancient history. Modern history at the time West wrote meant dealing with the Balkan wars, the series of rebellions by which the vestiges of the Ottoman empire were overthrown in the 19th and early 20th centuries. West devotes particular attention to the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914, which precipitated World War I, an event that at the time of the writing of the book was still relatively recent in the world's memory, and the facts of which were still somewhat controversial.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This intimidatingly long book amazingly, magically almost, gives you more than what you put into it. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Tojo
￼In the space between the two world wars Rebecca West and her husband travelled through the Balkans extensively. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jung@heart
Wonderfully written. A great combination of traveling in Yugoslavia circa 1939 and extensive historical background on the area as well as political and cultural commentary.Published 2 months ago by Robert Minish
This is certainly one of the best books I have ever read. It kept appearing in articles here and there, then finally I walked into a library and found it on the New Arrival shelf. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Max Nightingale
Book is great, but printing is small, hard to read. I bought the ebook so that I can enlarge the print.Published 4 months ago by Writer/Reader
Lives up to its reputation as a travel book classic. Don't be intimidated by the length, it comes in very readable shorter sectionsPublished 4 months ago by Glenna Holaday
"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, s*** detector" - Ernest Hemingway.
Evidently Rebecca West didn't have one of those. Read more