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Who Are the Macedonians? 2nd ed. Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0253213594
ISBN-10: 9780253213594
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

HUGH POULTON is a former researcher on Eastern Europe for Amnesty International, specializing in the Balkan countries. His publications include The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict.

Hugh Poulton is a former researcher for Amnesty International, specializing in the Balkan countries. His publications include Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish Republic and The Balkans: Minorities and States in Conflict.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; 2nd ed. edition (April 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780253213594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253213594
  • ASIN: 0253213592
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,209,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by JAMES GOW in International Relations, Volume XIII, No 4, April 1997. In the shadow of war in Croatia and Bosnia, there has been a worry in the minds of those engaged in matters of European security and international relations: Macedonia. One of the five states to emerge from the dissolution of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, the country has been both a relative success and a quiet concern. It has been a relative success because major armed conflict has been avoided and, despite economic disarray, there has been notable political stability within the country with both local and national elections being held and repeated without any of a set of potential internal crises developing.
This has been so in spite of difficulties presented internationally by the country's southern neighbour, Greece, which has impeded its entry into international bodies because of an objection to the use of the name `Macedonia' - as a result, the temporary designation of `former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia' (FYROM) has been adopted as a compromise enabling the new state to take its place at the United Nations, inter alia. The potential for crisis, against the background of war elsewhere on the territories of the former Yugoslavia, and the difficulties presented by Greece have made Macedonia the focus of significant international attention in the 1990s. It is therefore welcome that Hugh Poulton has filled a crucial gap in the contemporary literature by providing a commendable introduction to the subject.
The title itself is a matter of some importance.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gwilym on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written book explaining the background of the Macedonians in a neutral and well documented way. Unfortunately, any book written by a neutral observer on the Macedonian question is bound to receive a high number of negative reviews. In this case, 10 one-star reviews from Greek nationalists who (judging by their comments) didn't even open the book but use the space here to propagate for their own view is keeping the rating rather low. Don't let this deter you from reading the book, it is precisely because it is neutral and well-balanced that it is not liked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Apostolou on April 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
For a subject that arouses such extreme passions, Poulton's "Who are the Macedonians?" is an impressively dull read. The problem is that Poulton simply tries to cover too much; from Neolithic archaeology to the consequences of the 1999 Kosovo war. Within this, Poulton covers three subjects: geographic Macedonia (in which he includes parts of Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Albania), the ethnic Macedonians, and the independent Macedonian state. The result is a useful reference book aimed at the specialist rather than the casual reader. The section on ancient history is a sensible digest, but Poulton himself admits that Alexander the Great is irrelevant when analyzing contemporary Macedonia. As Poulton knows, nationalists will always twist the past to suit their political agendas. The book's strength is its frankness, both when dealing with outlandish nationalist claims and government brutality, be it Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian or Yugoslav. Although Poulton acknowledges the existence of a Macedonian ethnicity, he occasionally uses the Greek-favoured terms "FYROM" and "Slav Macedonians." Although largely chronological, the book also confusingly tries to focus on specific ethnic groups, countries and political movements. An account of the Greek conquest of Thessaloniki in 1912 and Greek attacks on the city's Jews precedes the section on the Balkan wars. Similarly, the Stalin-Tito split of 1948 comes before a section on Greece during the Second World War and the Civil War.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Blah on June 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am neither Macedonian, Greek nor Bulgarian, so I do not have an ax to grind like many of the other reviewers do. Poulton's book merely tries to present the question of Macedonian nationalism in the backdrop of current prevailing nationalist theory. Currently, scholars consider nations to be imaginary constructions of identity perpetuated by the national myths of a shared cultural heritage. (For background reading in nationalist theory, I suggest reading Gellner's Nations and Nationalism and Anderson's imagined communities.)
Poulton successfully lays out the current competing theories surrounding the debate on Macedonian national identity. For this, his work is quite instructive as it presents the material in a clear and concise manner that is accessible to the layman as well as the expert. However, beyond this there is little to commend the work. The research is not that extensive and could have contained much more detail. In addition, it adds little to the overall academic debate as it does not present any groundbreaking theory. If you are layman only interested in learning a few facts about the general issues surrounding Macedonian identity, this is an easy and quick read. If you are a specialist looking for insight into the larger nationalist debate, look elsewhere.
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