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The Battle of Kosovo 1389: An Albanian Epic

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1848850941
ISBN-10: 1848850948
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'The construction of national identities in the Balkans has been a fascinating process of creativity and destruction, of enrichment and impoverishment, for the history of the ethno-linguistic groups who once shared a common past. The Battle of Kosovo 1389 vividly illustrates this tragic duplicity, which continues even today in the region among Albanians and Serbs, as well as other ethnic groups, and can often descend into a history of insults and injuries. In contrast Anna Di Lellio suggests how, through the confrontation of different narratives of the same past, it is possible to build a postnationalistic narrative.' - Fatos Lubonja, author of Second Sentence: Inside the Albanian Gulag; 'Anna Di Lellio has afforded us a rare insight into an alternative - Albanian - tradition of the Battle of Kosovo. This valuable collection, meticulously translated, edited and commented, represents a labor of love that is simultaneously of great importance for all students of the Balkan past.' - Ivo Banac, Bradford Durfee Professor of History, Yale University; 'A superb volume with a fluent, close and eloquent translation. The Battle of Kosovo 1389 is a remarkable feat of synthesis - of interest to folklorists, linguists, anthropologists, Ottomanists and those who are interested in movements in contemporary history.' - Harry Norris, Professor Emeritus, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

About the Author

Anna Di Lellio is Lecturer at the Graduate Program in International Relations at the New School University in New York and at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication in Prishtina.  She is the editor of The Case for Kosova: A Passage to Independence. A sociologist, journalist and policy analyst who has worked in and on Kosovo for the past ten years, she holds a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

Robert Elsie is a writer, translator, interpreter and specialist in Albanian studies. He has worked on Albanian culture and history for thirty years. Among his numerous publications, the translation of the Albanian classic, Gjergj Fishta’s The Highland Lute (I.B.Tauris), represents perhaps the most remarkable achievement.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (July 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848850948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848850941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,741,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Milos C. on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, which is a valuable tool in shedding new light on understanding and interpretation of one of the most important myths in the Balkans, which realtes to the Kosovo Battle in 1389. I appreciate the effort that author made in challenging and questioning the usual prejudices regarding Serbian nationalistic interpretation of Kosovo Battle myth through critical analysis of an epic poem, but also through putting things into contemporary perspective. The book helped me a lot in my own research on state-building in the Balkans, nationalism and collective identity. A GREAT read!

PS.

I'm shocked by some reviews found here, a lot of Serbian nationalists are trying to degrade the book in their reviews (even though they haven't read it), which is really comical and scary in the same time. They still believe that Albanians are not capable for even writing poetry... Serbian nationalism and fascism towards Albanians is just horrific. Don't pay attention to that, read the book, you'll not regret it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AG on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Di Lellio truly brings fourth a story that has been never been told globally about Albanians, their poetry, and history which often go untold. I highly recommend this exceptional work, a truly work of art. I applaud Di Lellio for her work and hope people don't miss out on this must read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By finnegan's wake on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As an author, the most rewarding experience after researching for and publishing a book, is to see readers engage with it critically. What is critical engagement? In a very basic sense, it is to grasp the claims the book raises and evaluate how persuasive the author is in undermining those claims. Skimming through the reviews for Di Lellio's book, it seems puzzling that several commentators can't even state the argument, willfully misrepresent it, or in the worst case, appear to not have read beyond its title.

Let me begin by stating what this book does not claim to do, as it is clearly voiced by the author. This book is not about establishing a new "objective" basis for facts. It does not attempt to "rewrite" history in the sense that it provides evidence of previously unknown data. Neither does it try to establish the Albanian narrative of the battle, told through the epic songs, as the ONLY way of reading the 1389 event. What's more, with a heightened sensibility for how events are narrated and made sense of, di Lellio is highly reflexive about her own "objectivity", something that falls short in many accounts on the Balkans.

So what then does the book do? To put it bluntly: 1389 is a thing of the past, and the sources of telling the story could not be any more varied and politicized. By focusing our attention on the Albanian epos on the battle (a source previously unknown to the English speaking world) the author is not simply adding yet another voice to the "multiplicity of voices" that exist on the event. She does so much more and here it is where I see her invaluable contribution to the scholarship on the Balkans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Biljana on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What a great piece of work! I truly enjoyed this book. The topic was not completely unknown to me, but Di Lellio’s analysis and style opened new levels of interpretation of what I thought I already knew as a historian. Outstanding work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Brilliant work! This book is simply amazing. Very inspiring! I've learned a lot. Highly recommend it.I'm studying in the Balkans, and this book helped me a lot in my understanding of complex relations and (mis)usage of historic myths.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Toma Peiu on April 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Congratulations to the author, she did great job in going into the very heart of the problems that haunt the region for centuries. Balkan’s scholars and broader public need to adopt similar critical approach to what only seems to be truth about their history and relations
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jovana on April 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I see that this book already sparked debate through comments and conflicting reviews, which is an additional reason for me to express my opinion about it: an interesting and well written work, I enjoyed it very much
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lana on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This was a really good and valuable read for me. It changed my perspective on many different aspects about Kosovo Battle myth that I wasn’t aware of before. Very interesting and remarkable work!
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