History of the Balkans, Vol. 1: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Joint Committee on Eastern Europe Publication Series)

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521274586
ISBN-10: 0521274583
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History of the Balkans, Vol. 1: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Joint Committee on Eastern Europe Publication Series) + History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century (Joint Committee on Eastern Europe Publication Series) + The Bridge on the Drina (Phoenix Fiction)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...the best work on Balkan history that has appeared so far and should become standard reading for historians, politicians, and all those interested in the survival of Europe."--International Review of History

Book Description

The major emphasis of Volume 1 is on the movements for national sovereignty, the revolutionary activity associated with them, and the place of these events in the international relations of the day for the major nationalities of the Balkan region. Volume 2 deals primarily with events in the 20th century. A large portion of this volume is devoted to wartime experiences, the establishment of postwar regimes, and their internal development to 1980.
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Product Details

  • Series: Joint Committee on Eastern Europe Publication Series (Book 12)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 29, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521274583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521274586
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Edward Bosnar on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although published in the late 1980s with no updated editions in later years, Jelavich's masterful "History of the Balkans" is still by far the best introduction to contemporary Balkan history. This first volume traces the developments among the various Balkan peoples as they moved into modernity and formed independent nation states. Jelavich begins with a short and very informative introduction to Balkan history up to the end of the 17th century, i.e. the time when Ottoman power in the region seriously began to wane and the role of the Habsburg Monarchy and Russia (and later all of the major European powers) in the region became crucial. The author focuses mostly on the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan nationalities under Ottoman rule, the Bulgarians, Greeks, Romanians and Serbs, and the Albanians to a lesser extent, as it was among these people that the first revolts occurred and the first nation states were formed in the Balkans. Even so, Jelavich provides excellent analysis of the main currents in the Habsburg Monarchy's Balkan possessions, mainly the Croatian lands but also Vojvodina and Transylvania with their large Serbian and Romanian populations. Perhaps the main thing that comes out of this volume is that Ottoman rule in the Balkans was not as oppressive as it was often later portrayed (i.e. the notorious "Turkish yoke" of national(ist) historiography in the Balkans). It was in fact this empire's decentralized governing institutions, tolerance of non-Islamic religious communities, and general inefficiency that made possible a great deal of local autonomy among the Balkan peoples and proved conducive to the nationalist uprisings of the 19th century. Also important is Jelavich's repeated emphasis on the region's general poverty.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Jelavich clearly knows her stuff, and this (and its successor volume) serve as an excellent general study. However, the writing style is very dry and can be difficult and a little boring to read. Further, the work is a bit dated, neglecting all of the extraordinary events after the mid-80s. The bibliography is very good, though keep in mind obviously no recent works are there. Citations are a bit sparse, making it difficult to pursue a line of thought further.
This is overall a good book, but readers interested in first learning this subject absolutely should start with Stavrianos' "The Balkans since 1453." It's even more dated, but is unbeatable as a general study on the region up to about 1950.
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By James Beller on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Serbian assassin helped start WWI and I suspect that is about all most of us know about that region. Yet the Balkans have been invaded and occupied by Russia, France, The Ottomans, The Habsburgs,and others. Balkan history is a complicated tale of three hundred years of conflict. I researched the subject on Amazon and found an author who has spent much of her life studying and writing the history of this area. History of the Balkans, Vol.I: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries gives a splendid history of not just the Balkans, but of the power struggles between the great powers of the day. Reading this book and its companion volume 2 gave me a much stronger understanding of the factors leading to WWI and WW II and the ongoing conflicts that continue there today.
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