Readers following the unfolding war in Kosovo through newspaper and television coverage may well ask why ethnic Albanians and Serbs are struggling so violently to command the small region. Kosovo, Malcolm explains, is the birthplace of Serbian nationalism; the defeat of Serbian forces there in 1389 by Turkish troops became emblematic of the fall of the Serbian empire, as it led to Turkish domination of the Balkans. Contemporary warriors of Serbia are, in Malcolm's eyes, evidently attempting to reverse the course of history by reclaiming the land from its Turkish conquerors--but in the absence of the Turks, they'll take it from the Albanians (the largest ethnic group among Kosovo's inhabitants) whose ancestors converted to Islam when the Turks ruled the region. Malcolm's lucid text shows again and again that the ethnic conflict in Kosovo is less a battle over bloodlines and religion than it is one over differing conceptions of national origins and history. "When ordinary Serbs learn to think more rationally and humanely about Kosovo, and more critically about some of their national myths," he concludes, "all the people of Kosovo and Serbia will benefit--not least the Serbs themselves." --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In a nutshell: If you know very little about Kosovo (as was the case with me), you will get a very good introduction to its history starting from the Middle Ages and up to WWI or... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bryan Byrd
A book of great importance for those who wish to understand the young country of Kosova. Have read the book as soon as I found it on the bookstore shelf and very often refer to it... Read morePublished 4 months ago by FVehapi
It was good as far as it went, and for historic background but I need something that covered the region after 1999.Published 7 months ago by Robert W. Becker
Probably the most fair and independent research ever done on this little corner of the Balkans.
It should be mandatory reading on all history school books of the Balkan... Read more
A great writing that keeps the subject interesting. I read his history of Bosnia as well and was just as entertained while learning.Published 16 months ago by H. Hall
I gave this book five stars for the reason I described in the title to this brief review. Noel Malcolm's Kosovo: A Short History covers Kosovo's history since around the 850s. Read morePublished 17 months ago by DC87
The author probably makes a sincere attempt at objectivity, but it is clear that he has a deep affection for the Albanian people that has colored his work. Read morePublished 18 months ago by John Desmond