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Bosnia and Hercegovina: A Tradition Betrayed Hardcover – April 15, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0231101608 ISBN-10: 0231101600 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; First Edition edition (April 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231101600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231101608
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,139,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Donia and Fine are two of the few established American historians of Bosnia. Readers will appreciate their skillful collaboration, for their book at once interprets the region's complex religious history, defends its distinctiveness against claims of Serbia and Croatia, and demonstrates its people's use of religion as a 'code' of identity rather than as a source of conflict . . . Its purpose and clarity assure it a secure place in the literature of southeastern Europe. -- Review

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glenn J. McCaskey on March 3, 2000
This could be a useful source on several different levels, but there are some problems in the text that may confuse the average reader. The book is designed for readers to better understand the basics of the Balkan Crisis. However, the reader must understand a good deal of history (a little more than a college survey in Western history) in order to fully comprehend the method the authors use to describe Bosnian History. Furthermore, the book contains too many generalizations and not enough details. Evidence is rarely given to support their conclusions or defend their position from other theories. Definitions on some key pharses are lacking in the text itself when the reader encounters it for the first time. A glossary is provided but the information there should be mirrored, at least partially, in the body of the text. I do hold that the authors are well studied and educated, and that their conclusions *seem* correct. But I need some documentation and evidence that should be contained in their arguements in order to trust in their conclusions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gale A. Kirking on January 1, 2003
A good, popular history, written by two leading experts. Their story begins in the Middle Ages and ends in early 1994. I personally like Noel Malcom's short history a bit better, but this one is also good. Donia and Fine, like Malcom are critical of the international community, accusing its representatives of issuing "idle threats" and "(distorting) the nature of the conflict to justify inaction." (I would give it another half star, if it were possible for me to do so.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1998
WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR THAT HAS FULLY EXPERIENCED BOSNIAN ENVIRONMENT DURING POST WORLD WAR TWO PERIOD HE IS TELLING ABSOLUTELY UNBIASED STORY ABOUT THE THREE NATIONS THAT LIVE ON BOSNIAN TERITORY . WHAT I LIKED THE MOST AS A BOSNIAN CITIZEN IS THAT THE AUTHOR HIMSELF AS AN AMERICAN DEDICATED HIS TIME AND WILL TO SPEND BIG AMOUNT OF TIME IN THE REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AS A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR WHICH HELPED HIM TO FULLY UNDERSTAND BOSNIAN MENTALITY.
*****
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The history of Bosnia and the Third balkan War have both mystified the American public. Few Americans take the time to understand that Bosnia's history and its inter-ethnic relations between Croats, Serbs, and Muslims are quite complex. Many subscribe to the myth that "Serbs, Croats and Muslims have been killing each other for thousands of years. Why worry about it now?" Ray Bradbury,had said during a program of "Politically Incorrect" that such was the tragic case of Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Donia and Fine's book systematically, clearly, and convincingly pointed out that such was not the case in Bosnia. They pointed out that Serbs, Croats, and Muslims basically got along well with each other for centuries. The people of Bosnia converted not only to Islam during the Ottoman occupation, but to Catholocism and Orthodoxy as well. Certainly, Muslims received better political treatment during the occupation from the Porte, but Croats (Catholics) and Serbs (Orthodox) were not as malignantly treated as the vitriolic nationalist Milosevic would like the world to believe.
Serbs and Croats did not become antagonistic with one another until 1878, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire occupied Bosnia. This occupation drove a wedge between them and by the early twentieth century, some minor bloodshed occurred between Croatian and Serbian nationalists in Zagreb. Even still, it was not even close to the genocide of the Third Balkan War.
However, hundreds of thousands of Serbs were killed during the German and Italian occupation of Bosnia during Workd War II. (Some Serbs say 1 million, some Croats cite 200,000 as the figure.)One can safely argue that the twentieth century was the only century for bloodshed between the peoples of the Bosnia.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on December 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Robert J. Donia and John V.A. Fine make clear a couple of points on the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and to do that, they dig the history of Bosnia from an independent Catholic kingdom to Ottoman overlordship, Austro-Hungarian overlordship, Serbian-dominated royal Yugoslavia, the fascist Independent State of Croatia under Ante Pavelic, Socialist Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito, to the independent Bosnia that was torn apart by ethnic strife.
Those of you who saw American Marines on TV saying, "Oh, these people have been fighting each other for thousands of years," should clearly realize their ignorance of Balkan history. Clearly, ancient history is not a prerequisite for grunts.
Another interest point is how the Ottomans classified their Slavic subjects. They did so under religion, i.e. Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim, or Jew. They were more favourable to the Orthodox Slavs, as the Orthodox patriarch in Constantinople was under their thrall, so in civil complaints, guess which Christian the judge favoured more?
The other dimension to categorizing by religion was how the people identified themselves. Most nationalities think, "I'm German," or "I'm British." In this case, the logic goes something like this: "I'm Orthodox, therefore I'm Serb" or "I'm Catholic, therefore I'm Croat" or "I'm Muslim [in religion], therefore I'm Muslim [nationality]". Interesting indeed.
But let's not forget the main point: it wasn't until the Austo-Hungarian Empire took over the Balkans that the religious animosities flared up. Before, people of all three religions got along just fine. Oh, and guess what? The Serbs and Croats got their names from Iranian tribes who migrated to the region. These tribes became Slavicised and that was that.
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