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Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia. Today's headlines could have been written in the 1800s or in the 1400s. Conflict has raged unabated in the Balkans for hundreds of years and always, writes historian André Gerolymatos, over the same tired issues: nationalism and religion.
"PostCold War Europe and North America are at a complete loss to understand why these small countries are hostages to the past and seem so willing to fight the same battles all over again," writes Gerolymatos. This book attempts to offer answers, as Gerolymatos explores the ethnic and religious tensions that plague the peninsula--and that have been used by foreign powers (whether Ottomans, Hapsburgs, or NATO) to extend their hold on the Balkans. Along the way he examines events that have little meaning for outsiders, but that have signal importance for the region: the Battle of Kosovo and the strategically more significant Battle of Marica, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, the collapse of Yugoslavia. Gerolymatos offers a useful essay for anyone who would seek to understand contemporary events in southeastern Europe, events with deep and bitter roots. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The ethnic hatreds, war, and near genocide that have destroyed the former Yugoslavia over the past decade have their roots in events, perceptions, and myths that go back at least seven centuries. Gerolymatos, professor of Hellenic studies at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, has written a stimulating, engrossing, but ultimately discouraging history of the Balkan peoples since the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. In that battle, the flower of Serbian aristocracy fell to the onslaught of the Ottoman Turks; the resultant myths and hatreds that grew out of that defeat have inspired nationalist fervor and stoked ethnic hostilities up to the present time. Gerolymatos is a fine writer who interweaves fascinating vignettes about quirky personalities into the broader narrative, and his readers learn a great deal about the basis of the ethnic hatreds that still dominate the region. Yet, as Gerolymatos implies, knowledge of the causes is not enough to foster understanding, since the people of the Balkans seem willing to remain imprisoned by their past. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gerolymatos argues that the Kosovo myth functions as a prism through which Serbia would forever understand its struggles with outsiders (Gerolymatos 8). Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jacob
Mainly about the Greeks, some on Albania, little on the other Balkan countries.Published 11 months ago by Peter Ford
It has been a few years since I read any books about the Balkan Wars, but it has been an era of history that has long interested me because of the seeming futility of time to have... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Nathan Albright
This was the first book I have read on history of the Balkans. Even though I retired a career in the Air Force navigating B-52s, at the time I retired (1994) the Balkans wern't... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Trainman95630
I will grant that this work covers a lot of ground and a considerable period of time but it is replete with error and bias.Published on December 27, 2012 by arable
After reading several books on the Balkans, I believe the confusing history becomes clear after reading these books (in this order): The Balkan Wars by Gerolymatos, The Balkans: A... Read morePublished on November 24, 2011 by LD
I can always judge how good a book is by how fast I read it. So, it gets four stars. I read it pretty fast, but not 5-star fast... Read morePublished on December 4, 2010 by book fan
Not very well structured and, as a result, the sort of book that tends to go in one ear and out the other. Read morePublished on August 23, 2008 by NOYDB