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The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World Hardcover – November 5, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0691043579 ISBN-10: 0691043574

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Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Loring Danforth humanizes the Macedonian conflict, shows us real people as they live this conflict, and makes clear that, despite its unique features, this struggle over ethnic and national identity is shared with other groups throughout the world. A good, rapid read filled with the fruit of firstrate, onthescene digging into people's lives. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

Honorable Mention for the 1997 Senior Book Award of the American Ethnological Society

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1996

"Danforth, an anthropologist, takes one through the ferociously juxtaposed claims and counterclaims, and he explains why the issues set people off with such intensity by fitting the case into modern anthropological thought about national identity, ethnic nationalism, and the role of culture....Danforth struggles mightily to maintain his scholarly detachment amid one of the more explosive topics in the universe, and for the most part he succeeds."--Foreign Affairs

"A significant contribution both theoretically to the study of ethnic and national identity and specifically to those interested in Balkan politics."--Adamantia Pollis, American Political Science Review

"A superb case study both of the conflict between nationalism and ethnic aspirations and of the curious parallelisms in their development. . . . It is a level-headed, humane, and very timely political intervention in a quarrel that continually threatens to become more than a war of words."--Journal of Modern Greek Studies

"[An] engaging, original, timely, and conscientiously written study. . . . This is a well-written work and a major contribution to the study of national consciousness and nation-building."--Philip Shashko, American Historical Review

"Loring Danforth humanizes the Macedonian conflict, shows us real people as they live this conflict, and makes clear that, despite its unique features, this struggle over ethnic and national identity is shared with other groups throughout the world. A good, rapid read filled with the fruit of first-rate, on-the-scene digging into people's lives."--Lou Panov, The Boston Book Review
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 5, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691043574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691043579
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,859,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

All the FACTS listed above can be verified and researched!!!!
A. Argyros
The term "Macedonia" COULD HAVE BEEN commonly used by both Slavs and Greeks, only if the Slavs agreed to it being used to describe geography alone.
Stergios G. Kaprinis
Greeks are acting "silly" , and "childish" nowadays , and very tyranic in the past , as the writer mentioned it many times in his work.
G. Petrovski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bob Newman VINE VOICE on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
When Yugoslavia broke up in the early `90s, the southernmost republic of that former country declared itself independent with the name "Macedonia". Assuming this name caused a great international ruckus, mainly due to Greek refusal to accept a neighbor with that name. They didn't like their neighbor's name, they didn't like their flag, and they denied that this patently obvious nation (as opposed to `state') even existed. Why was this ? Who are Macedonians ? Where do you find them ? And who, after all, has the right to define who you are ? The answers to all these questions are exceedingly complex, but if you read Danforth's book, you will come away with a far better understanding of the matter. (and I should add, it would help if you don't belong to any of the nationalities dealt with in the book !!)

Macedonia was an ancient region, north of the Greek city states. As far as I understood, originally they were not Greek, but absorbed Greek culture enough so that by the time Alexander the Great (also known as "Alexander of Macedon", remember ?) launched on his world conquests, the Macedonians brought their adopted culture to many parts of the ancient world. The Greeks never tired of claiming him as their own exclusively. After the end of Alexander's brief hegemony, Macedonia faded to a region, never playing much part in world affairs. In the sixth and seventh centuries A.D., Slavic settlers moved in, mixing with Bulgarians from further east. As today's Macedonians readily admit, they are descended from these people, not from ancient Greeks. From the 1300s and 1400s, the area became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgarians all broke away from Turkish rule in the 19th century, claiming as their own the lands still held by the Ottomans.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Since the breakup of Yugoslavia sociocultural anthropologists have attempted to provide interpretations and descriptives of both Macedonian ethnicity and the complex Macedonian Question. Objectivity however, is a shortcoming common to most of these studies, not only with respect to history but also with respect to the development of contemporary Macedonian culture. Unfortunately while Danforth aspires to feign neutrality, any individual familiar with the literature would readily recognise the bias in fact and argument. Accordingly we see how employing anthropologically based arguments and perspicacious historic information Danforth "deconstructs" Greek claims of exclusivity with respect to Alexander the Great. However when the equivalent Macedonian process is undertaken, and for which the facts are plain, Danforth is so circumspect that most readers may struggle to differentiate between Macedonian nationalistic "constructs" and Danforth's "deconstructs". The more misanthropic reader might even conclude Danforth is actually supporting "reconstructs". For example the Miladinov brothers identified themselves as Bulgarian throughout their lives. This is self-evident from their letters, their poetry, and from all material describing their lives. Yet not once does Danforth state that the Miladinov Brothers self-identified only as Bulgarians, and devoted their lives exclusively to the Bulgarian national revival.Read more ›
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29 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Stergios G. Kaprinis on May 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Danforth suggests a solution to the problem by urging both Slavs and Greeks to accept the term "Macedonian" as a national description for the first, and a geographical description for the latter. This "solution" is plainly stupid. As you know, Western Thrace is part of Greece and Eastern Thrace is part of Turkey. Both Greeks and Turks frequently use the term "Thracian", and it is perfectly fine with each other, because "Thracian" only has a geographical meaning, not a national one. The term "Macedonia" COULD HAVE BEEN commonly used by both Slavs and Greeks, only if the Slavs agreed to it being used to describe geography alone. But what we see here, is that the Slavic population of the geographical Macedonia has "abducted" the name and the history of ancient and medieval Macedonia, and customized them to fit their need of becoming a nation separate from the Bulgarian one. This is unacceptable by us Greeks, it is a violation of our collective soul. I also find it extremely annoying that according to Mr. Danforth, only Halkidiki and the island of Thasos appear to have been inhabited by Greeks in the past. This is a horrendous lie that proves how much he has been influenced by Slavic propaganda. This book will gratify Slavic nationalism and do nothing to reveal the truth.
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14 of 24 people found the following review helpful By reader on December 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
History is still alive because of our interpretations and analysis. However, Academic politics are so poisonous only because there is so little at stake and this is what the author has done cunningly.

To claim that Ancient Macedonians were not part of the Hellenic civilization is beyond madness. Answering in a socratic dialogue; If the Ancient Macedonians weren't Greek, why should we consider the Ancient Spartans as Greek although they fought the most decisive battle against the persians at Thermopylae? Furthermore, if Ancient Macedonians were considered as Barbarians, why would they fight with the Greeks against the Barbian Persians and spread Hellenic ideals? Before some misinformed people of the Ancient Greek civilization say that Ancient Macedonians fought and conquered Ancient Greek city-states, this was also the case with the Ancient Spartians who fought the longest war with Ancient Athens. (Could we say that the Northern states in USA are different to Southern states cause of the American civil war in 1861-1865?) The list can go on that proves with both archeological sites and sources that the Ancient Macedonians were part of the Ancient Hellenic civilization but i would be getting off the topic. However, the author has not been able to present a single source that proves that the Ancient Macedonians spoke something other than Greek but only misinterprets the sources. Not even a coin.

Based on this assumption, that the Ancient Macedonians weren't Hellenic, the author has written this book. Unfortunately, the author has overlooked that a slavic minority appeared in the region one thousand years after Alexander the Greats death. During that time, no one must of lived there according to the author because the only evidence found was in Greek context and not slavic.
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