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Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation Paperback – February 1, 1997


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Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation + The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, Third Revised Edition + Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (February 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140262636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140262636
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

. . . one of the finest volumes to come out of the war . . . -- The New York Times Book Review, Chris Hedges

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Customer Reviews

It is very detailed without drowning the reader in information.
Chris Friesen
Anyone trying to understand what is happening in Kosovo right now would be well advised to read this book.
A Customer
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in learning more about this topic.
lester

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Ephemeral on January 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Like most of the reviewers I am a veteran Balkanist, and am impressed by the quality of both research and writing in this , I found it even easier to use than Mischa Glenny's excellent study of War & Nationalism.
My caveat is the obvious one, it takes very much the 'Guardian report from embattled Sarejevo' approach to the Bosnian conflict. The Serbs are caricatured as villains and the Muslims as heroes/victims, and the Croats relegated to an overly minor role, rather than key players. It also takes this line (a bit)with the break-up of Yugoslavia, where extremist Serb statements are extensively quoted as if representative of Yugoslavia's Serb polity, while similar stuff from Croats or Albanians is carefully put in its correct context as not speaking for the majority. The lies and misdeeds of Serb politicans are likewise accurately deconstructed, while those of the other sides tend to be taken uncritically at their own word. My own experience of living in Bosnia during 1990 was of a community for whom no sides extremists actually spoke, but were polarised against their will by war and the fear of war. The trouble is that a a historian it is easy to be caught by self-fulfilling prophecies, extremists can both talk and ignite a war which engulfs whole communities, it should not be taken as proof they were somehow articulating a whole community's desire for war all along!
Overall a useful contibution, especially in terms of chronology of who said what, and provided its bias is taken into account, well worth reading.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By vuk mrvic on March 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Being closely affected by the entire catastrophy of the last 12 years in Yugoslavia I have read almost everything avaliable on Amazon and in the bookstores pertaining to the subject. This is the Mother Goose of all the books on the last 12 years in the region. One realizes this because all other books quote this one quite often. They are usually recycled or paraphrazed parts of Laura Silber's book. The book is cold and unemotional the way a book about such an event should be. It didnt leave anything out and the sequence of events is perfect. Everything that came after this books publishing was either forshadowed or is just an effect of things in this book. On the other hand if one wants to read books by clowns who were responsible for everything allow me to recommend Slobodan Milosevics' "Years of decisions", Holbrookes "To end a War" (sic. but only when my Q rating is really high), Zimmermanns "Origins of a catastophe"(sic. was blind but now can see). Read this book, understand what and how went on and hold your own against any expert on the subject.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
I became involved in the Bosnian crisis in a professional capacity as an intelligence analyst and briefing officer at the headquarters, U.S. European command, and served in Sarajevo with the initial NATO Peace Implementation Force (IFOR). I have been studying and following the history of this area and events in Bosnia ever since. I am familiar with many of the events in the crisis and personalities involved, and found this to be an outstanding summary of the process of the disintegration of Yugoslavia. The portion of the book covering the rise of Milosevic and the departure from Yugoslavia of Slovenia is particularly well done. The coverage of the Bosnian war is a bit cursory, and takes the perspective of the conventional wisdom of the international journalistic community. I know from talking to UNPROFOR officers and others who were there that the Muslims were not totally innocent victims and the Serbs universally evil monsters. With that small caveat, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone trying to understand the entire Yugoslav crisis. It is meticulously researched and documented. Anyone trying to understand what is happening in Kosovo right now would be well advised to read this book.
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82 of 108 people found the following review helpful By pred02 on May 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
As most other reviews stated, this book is easy to read, and it provides a detailed description of the events throughout the Croatian and Bosnian War (1990-1995) This book is supplemented by the highly popular BBC series - "Death of Yugoslavia," which is perhaps the most-known documentary on the war. The documentary follows the book quiet closely, with an inherent strength of BBC reports having interviews to most of the major players - Milosevic, Tudjman, Stambolic, Izanbegovic, and others (most of which are in jail or dead now anyways).

Nonetheless, this book has a strong anti-Serb thesis, which, I suppose, it needs in order to be conclusive. In other words, if there are no good guys and bad guys, the Laura Silber would create an incomplete work. But for someone who wants to get a good insight of the war in Balkans, it cannot be looked through the lenses of "black and white," as this book tries to convey.

It is important for readers to know that the accounts of the war are carefully selected and edited in the anti-Serb fashion. For example, the ethnic cleansing atrocities, when described in detail, are almost always pertaining to the Serbs. But when it comes to the Croats and the Muslims, the book overlooks their actions during the war. In addition, the book provides little evidence of the involvement of the bigger powers - EU and USA.

For example, early chapters go into great depth talking about the pointless shelling of Dubrovnik, talking about Montenegrins peasants getting their "revenge" to fulfill their jealousies against the prominent Croatian population of Ragusa.
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