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1. The Balkans: A Short History (Modern
2. The Balkans in World History (The
3. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through
4. History of the Balkans, Vol. 2:
5. The Balkans: From Constantinople
6. The Balkan Wars: Conquest, Revolution,
7. Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950:
8. The Balkans - A History Of Bulgaria,
9. A History of the Balkans, 1804-1945
10. The Balkans: A Post-Communist
11. The Turkish State and History:
12. The Ottomans and the Balkans:
13. The Balkan Wars (War History )
14. The Establishment of the Balkan
15. The Cambridge Ancient History,
16. Balkan Currents: Studies in the
17. Provincial At Rome: and Rome and
18. The History of the Armenian Genocide:
19. The Balkans: Nationalism, War
20. Tribes and Brigands in the Balkans:

1. The Balkans: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
by Mark Mazower
Paperback: 240 Pages (2002-08-06)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081296621X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, a zone of endless military, cultural, and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In this highly acclaimed short history, Mark Mazower sheds light on what has been called the tinderbox of Europe, whose troubles have ignited wider wars for hundreds of years. Focusing on events from the emergence of the nation-state onward, The Balkans reveals with piercing clarity the historical roots of current conflicts and gives a landmark reassessment of the region’s history, from the world wars and the Cold War to the collapse of communism, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the continuing search for stability in southeastern Europe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

3-0 out of 5 stars A little too concise.....
Even though I have lived in Germany all my life, I knew verylittle about this region of the world.
This book certainly is full of interesting information, the author no doubt is an expert.
Contrary to some reviewers, I did not find it tedious reading at all.

One draw back was the somewhat disorganized presentation, jumping back and forth in time.
The other draw back was probably forced upon the author: It is simply too concise! I believe, about 100 more pages, and the author could have done justice to the subject - like it is, it is simply too superficial.
This is a shame, as I am firmly convinced the author knows much more, than what he was allowed to write!

3-0 out of 5 stars there has got to be another book that synthesizes the Balkans history better
Wow, is the history of the "Balkan" complex!

Mazower's book "The Balkans: A Short History" is difficult to read because most of it jumps around too much.Instead of a methodical and linear description of the Balkans, the author more or less sticks to a few themes and brings in a dizzying array of examples to illustrate his theme from varying times and cultures and nations, such as Islam vs Christianity as an underlying chronic tension through the ages and the toleration of minorities that occurred under the Ottomans.Even as the book moves on to explain what happened during the first and second halves of the 20 th century it is next to impossible to keep track of all the parties, almost none of whom are fleshed out.

I still can't believe that it is impossible to write a "short" book on understanding Balkan history, but that may be so!

5-0 out of 5 stars History made comprehensible
This book packs a lot into a little.It is dense and the reader has to be committed to the topic.But for making sense of that fractious part of the world, it is must reading.The closing chapter on violence is particularly noteworthy.If you read it first, you will get an excellent idea of how balanced and careful this historian is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another of Mazower's Eye Opening History Books.
I live in the Middle East and it is a bit like the Balkans of early 20th Century.
In the introduction Mark points out that "The Balkans" is more than a geographic concept and is usually negative. As a bridge between Asia and Europe and a crossroads
has been a place for Wars and clashs right up to 1989 Fall of Communist Block and wars in Croatia Bosnia and 1999 Kosovo.
Marks writing is exciting and revealing in this Short History in a compact Format.
Read other Books by Mazower like "Dark Continent: Europe's 20th Century.
10 points from Sam.

2-0 out of 5 stars poorly organized
As many other reviewers have noted, this book is not organized very well. The beginning is very non-chronological and then as the book progresses, things start being described in chronological order. Chronology is good to someone like me who really didn't know much at all about the Balkans and thought that a book subtitled, "A short history" would be a good place to start.

So that being said, the first half or so of the book is pretty bad since it seems like it is written to someone who already has some knowledge of the region. I was hoping for a book that told you who were the important people, what they did, and when they did it. This bookdidn't have a whole lot of that. Instead you learn an awful lot about the prevalence of brigands - which was interesting to be sure, but I'm not sure how that progressed the narrative.

All and all, you do learn some history which is interesting but complicated. Not a whole lot of time is spent on the latest Yugoslav Wars which was disappointing.

A section on the relations between Ottomans and Christians and the hybrid culture that formed in the rural Balkans to be the most interesting. It is sad to see how uneducated in dogma the Orthodox laity and clergy were back in the Ottoman period. Undoubtedly in my mind, this vacuum was at least one cause of nationalism's spread in the region.

The book ends on an optimistic note that things are much better today in the Balkans - though the author's reasons are suspect: one of the reasons is that they have fewer prisoners per capita than the US - which to me means they either have fewer criminals or their criminals are never caught. ... Read more

2. The Balkans in World History (The New Oxford World History)
by Andrew Baruch Wachtel
Paperback: 176 Pages (2008-11-07)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195338014
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In the historical and literary imagination, the Balkans loom large as a somewhat frightening and ill-defined space, often seen negatively as a region of small and spiteful peoples, racked by racial and ethnic hatred, always ready to burst into violent conflict. The Balkans in World History re-defines this space in positive terms, taking as a starting point the cultural, historical, and social threads that allow us to see this region as a coherent if complex whole. Eminent historian Andrew Wachtel here depicts the Balkans as that borderland geographical space in which four of the world's greatest civilizations have overlapped in a sustained and meaningful way to produce a complex, dynamic, sometimes combustible, multi-layered local civilization. It is the space in which the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, of Byzantium, of Ottoman Turkey, and of Roman Catholic Europe met, clashed and sometimes combined. The history of the Balkans is thus a history of creative borrowing by local people of the various civilizations that have nominally conquered the region. Encompassing Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, and European Turkey, the Balkans have absorbed many voices and traditions, resulting in one of the most complex and interesting regions on earth. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars good but short
First and foremost I enjoy reading this book. It delivers what is promised on the backcover. I am a novice at "Balkan" history so this is a good book for a beginning collection. I like the positive outlook. I was a bit taken aback though that the book was not longer. So before ordering, know that it only comprises 125 pages. ... Read more

3. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History
by Robert D. Kaplan
Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-05-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.99
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Asin: 0312424930
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This new edition includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between l996 and 2000 beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war, with the removal of Slobodan Milosevicfrom powerAmazon.com Review
From the assassination that triggered World War I to theethnic warfare now sweeping Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkanshave been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place whereterrorism and genocide first became tools of policy.

This enthralling and often chilling political traveloguefully deciphers the Balkans' ancient passions and intractable hatredsfor outsiders.For as Kaplan travels among the vibrantly-adornedchurches and soul-destroying slums of the former Yugoslavia, Albania,Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece, he allows us to see the region'shistory as a time warp in which Slobodan Milosevic becomes thereincarnation of a fourteenth-century Serbian martyr; NicolaeCeaucescu is called "Drac," or "the Devil"; and the one-time SovietUnion turns out to be a continuation of the Ottoman Empire. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (122)

3-0 out of 5 stars Potted history goes east
Balkan Ghosts is a compete curate's egg: it is neither history nor travel writing, neither political analysis nor journalism, nor is it all these things together.

Its chief merit is in the prologue: a set of articles published in the 90s by Kaplan arguing for Western intervention in the Yugoslav wars. If anything, these articles were not vocal enough, but they act as a vital reminder of the abject failure of judgement and nerves of the US and EU - particularly the EU, supposedly founded to avoid such wars and atrocities reoccurring in Europe ever again. Then Kaplan says that Clinton may have been influenced by his book against intervention because it sounded the note of unsolvable, age-old hatreds. The author wrings his hands. But the paradox is that when one moves on to the section on ex-Yugoslavia, one understands Clinton. It does portray a stereotypically violent, `eternally unfathomable East'. It has either too much or too little history. Kaplan's dubious premise consists in John Reed and Rebecca West: not exactly neutral material, and written decades ago. He never pauses to question why his interlocutors - intellectuals and officials - carry on about historical events of which they have no personal experience. And he makes no attempt, beyond passing mention, to dissect the impact of communism and of the region's peculiar 1970s economic experiment.

Balkan Ghosts improves when it begins to describe Romania and Bulgaria, in which the author spent more time. It becomes more like a travel book, and the historical commentary is more nuanced, relevant, and up-to-date. Kaplan also convinces when he writes on the holocaust in the Balkan region, especially Salonika. Then the book tends to end again in caricature and cultural typecasting on Greece, though the Papandreou story is interesting. Kaplan deserves credit for having raised the alarm on brewing trouble in the Balkans. His sections on Romania and Bulgaria capture the essence of their now (thankfully) vanished post-communist scenes. But history on the Yugoslav states is better found in Noel Malcolm's Bosnia and Kosovo books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Balkan Ghosts as a travel guide
We used the book as a introduction to a trip we were taking to the Balkan countries and it gave us fantastic background information in a readable non-academic format. While it is a bit dated, the information was still pertinent because of the lack of progress in that area. A "must read" if you are thinking of visiting the area.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book. Robert D. Kaplan is an excellent writer.
I would definitively recommend this book to anybody who wants to learn more about the Balkans, and related history. The book is very well written, and makes a complex and deep subject a relatively easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and broad sweeping introduction to the Balkans
Robert Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts is more than a travel book for most of his experiences in the Balkan's were far from tourism. Rather, like Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, his book explores time and place with the precision of an anthropologist.

Kaplan points out that this area of the world seems to have a talent for starting wars and once was called `ethnic trash' by Karl Marx. Serbia is the area where Habsburg Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated, an event that sparked World War I. From here come the 20th century's first terrorists. Kaplan points out that the Balkans are not just the area where Communism meets capitalism. It is also the place where Roman Catholic meets Eastern Orthodox, where Christian meets Islam, where Rome meets Constantinople, where Habsburg Austria-Hungarian empire meets the Ottoman empire. Kaplan identifies the principal illness of Balkans which he sees as conflicting dreams of lost imperial glory. Each nation demands that its borders expand to the point at which their empire reached its heights in ancient or medieval times.

Croatia's unique history is explored, its alliance with Hapsburg Austria, and its history of conflict between Catholic and Orthodox Serbs. A fascinating part of the book is the rise of Croatia as a small nation only to become a puppet of the German Nazis. During this time murders against both Orthodox Serbs and Jews occurred. The figure of Catholic Cardinal Stepinac remains controversial to this day, for he appeared to support the fascist nationalists until their murder of Jews and Orthodox Serbs reached terrible proportions. He chastised the fascist around the fall of Nazism in World War II but was later tried as a war criminal by the communist Tito. Tensions remain to this day between Catholic Croatia and the mixed ethnic state of Bosnia where Catholics, Jews, Orthodox Serbs, and Muslims all live in suspicion of each other.

Kaplan repeatedly praises the work of Dame Rebecca West in her Black Lamb Grey Falcon. West indicates that the Turks ruined the Balkans so greatly that it has never been repaired.

Albanians descended from Illyrian tribes and their language bears no similarity to other languages. Kosovo has gone back and forth between Serbian and Albanian control. Enver Hoxha was a young Communist freedom fighter against the Nazis. At the end of World War II, Albania had lost more than 7% of their population.

Macedonia is a mix of ethnic groups. Turks, Albanians, Serbs, Rumanians, Greeks, and Bulgarians live there side by side since the days of St. Paul. Czar Alexander II's war to liberate Bulgaria from Turkey in 1877 was the first spark of modern Great Power conflict. Russians occupied the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and dictated to the defeated Turks the Treaty of San Stefano. The union of Macedonia and Bulgaria created a pro-Russian state. Germany's Bismarck set out to revise the Treaty in the Congress of Berlin. Macedonia was returned to Turkish rule upon pressure by Germany and Great Britain on the Russians. To balance the powers, Turkey got Macedonia, Austria got Bosnia, an arrangement leading to World War I. The Russian forces in Bulgaria drove the Muslims into Macedonia whereas the Austrian advance into Bosnia also drove the Muslims south into Macedonia, where the enraged Turks began terrorizing the Orthodox Christians. The relationship between Bulgaria and Macedonia has been one where Bulgaria wishes to incorporate Macedonia within their borders but has always been on the losing side of world conflicts, never allowing for integration.

Apart from forcing Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid to accept a liberal constitution, the "Young Turks" led by Pasha had no well-defined program. As with Gorbachev, Pasha and the Young Turks were determined to conserve in a loser more liberal form the Empire, which they perceived as threatened primarily by a reactionary Sultanate and near total resistance to change.The Ottoman Empire's disintegration enraged fundamentalists Muslims within Turkey. The increasingly authoritarian Young Turk regime culminated in the 1915 mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians, the century's first holocaust. This genocide was perpetrated because the Armenians demographically threatened the Muslim Turks.

Romania's language is Latinate, closer to ancient Roman. Roman legions conquered this territory in 101 AD. Romanians are closer in appearance to the Latins than to Slavs. In 325 AD Roman Christianity was brought to Romania. However invasion by Bulgarians brought in the Eastern Orthodox religion. Geographically Romania lies vulnerable between the Ukrainians and Russians and Turks.For the 14th century onward the Turks kept Romania in fear. There were uprisings against the Turks, for example Vlad the Impaler (the historical "Dracula") was a rebel against Turkish rule. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Russians invaded over a dozen times. In the 1860's the Romanians elected Karl Hohenzollern as their king. Carol I abdicated to his nephew Ferdinand, who married Princess Marie of Edinburgh, granddaughter to Queen Victoria. Queen Marie was a force behind the throne during World War I and died before her son Carol II caused havoc.

King Carol II is a colorful character, having deserted from the army, eloped with a Romanian aristocrat, then was forced to abdicate since Romanian law requires him to marry a foreigner. He marries Princess Helen of Greece and deserts her for Lupescu, his Jewish mistress. He abdicates a second time rather than return to his wife and leave his mistress.He extorted funds from casinos and deposited $50 million in foreign banks. He declared dictatorship. He supported the Legionnaires of the Archangel Michael until they turned against him because of his Jewish mistress. Hitler also told Carol that he preferred to have Codreanu as dictator of Romania rather than Carol. Carol had Codreanu and the legion leaders killed which angered Hitler. Corneliu Zelea Codreanu formed the Legion around secret nests of 13 men who drank each other's blood and vowing to commit murder if ordered. Carol formed his own Nazi party and repressed his countries 800,000 Jews. Stalin demanded Bessarabia and Hitler demanded Transylvania. Carol tired to play a double game and lost. He left Romania in 1940 in a train full of gold bound for Mexico. His 18 year old son, Michael became king. The Legion struck back, primarily at Romania's Jewish population, killing thousands. Hitler wished to obtain Romania's oil reserves. In 1947 King Michael also abandoned Romania in a train full of treasures as his father had done.

The fall of King Carol II Hohenzollern and the rise of reactionary forces in 1941 in Romania are a frightening tale. The rise of the Legionnaires of the Archangel Michael, a terrorist group that committed murder against the Jews in their country, is a terrible story and helps us realize the degree of anti-Semitism throughout Eastern Europe.

Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania for a quarter-century until the army executed him. Ceausescu outlawed abortion and birth control so that the Romanians could outbreed the Hungarians. However poverty and semi-starvation increased infant mortality rates. Badly urbanized peasants worked in factories and lived in dorms where only alcohol and propaganda were readily available. Romania was allowed to fall under Stalin's domain at the peace discussions at Yalta.

In World War II, the Romanians were on the side of the Nazis while the Jews in Romania supported the Russians. The Romanian army killed 4,000 Jews in Jassy and then the army evacuated another 12,000 that dies of thirst and asphyxiation in railroad cars. Then in 1941 and 192 15,000 Jews were deported from Moldavia into Romanian run concentration camps. In 1944 when the Russians invaded Romania, the Romanians switched sides and began fighting the Nazis. The Romanians have always fallen between three empires, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey, and Russia.

The Bulgars were a Tartar tribe. In the medieval period, Bulgaria was among the powerful kingdoms in Europe. Kings carved out empire from Albania to the Black Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains to the Aegean. In 865 Bulgaria became the first of the Slav peoples to embrace Orthodox Christianity. Byzantine Emperor Basil defeated King Samuel and had 14,000 prisoners blinded - the most horrific moment in Bulgarian history. Bulgaria then endured 500 years of Ottoman occupation. Turkish rule was bloodier in Bulgaria than anywhere else. In 1876 Turks encouraged band of Bulgarians converted to Islam to hack to death 5,000 Orthodox Christians. A Russian army swept through Bulgaria in 1877 liberating Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.

Kaplan argues that Greece must be understood through the eyes of the Balkans rather than through a Hollywood lens. He tells of Salonika - Thessaloniki in Greek -a community of Spanish Jews. In 53 AD St. Paul preached from the Synagogue. Jews from Hungary and German arrived in 1373. Following the conquest of Salonika by the Ottoman Turks, 20,000 Spanish Jews received permission to move there in 1492. By 1913 half the population of the city was Jews.The Nazis captured the city in 1941 and in five months had sent almost all the Jews to concentration camps. Of all the cities in Nazi-occupied Europe, Salonika ranked first in the number of Jewish victims: out of a population of 56,000, 54,0505 - 96.5%- were exterminated at Auschwitz.

The Greek Church was the mother of all Eastern Orthodox churches, which are treasure houses of their culture that survived the Ottoman rule. Hagia Sophia built in the sixth century AD by Emperor Justinian became the prototype for all Orthodox cathedrals, for St. Marks in Venice, and for mosques throughout Turkey. Byzantium, an empire created in AD 324, as the successor of Rome, and destroyed 1,100 years later by Ottoman Turks in 1453. During these eleven centuries, the Byzantine Empire was a Greek empire. Ottoman Turks ejected the Byzantine Greeks from Constantinople in the fifteenth century but large Greek communities survived in Istanbul and along the western shore of Asia Minor - particularly Smyrna. In 1921 the Greek army advanced into Asia Minor beyond the Greek occupied coastal areas. In 1922 Kemal Ataturk, in the midst of developing a new Turkish republic, drove the Greek army back. Greek dead numbered 30,000. Then 400,000 Turks from Greek Thrace moved into Turkey and 1,250,000 Greeks from Asia Minor went into exile in Greece, increasing the population by 20%.Refuges tripled the size of Athens. The Nazi invasion left 8% of the population dead, followed by the Greek Civil War which saw more destruction than the war against the Nazis.

Constantinople is a Greek word for a historically Greek city. The Cyrillic alphabet, used in Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, and Russia, emerged from the Greek alphabet when two monks, Cyril and Methodius, left Salonika in the ninth century AD to proselytize among the Slavs. The ultimate achievement of Periclean Athens was to breathe humanism - compassion for the individual - into the inhumanity of the East. Classical Greece of the First Millennium BC invented the West by humanizing the East.
This well written book taught me much about the Balkans and gave me an appreciation for these boiling nationalistic forces that run against each other century after century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chosen Histories Come home to Roost
This was Kaplan's, (the author of the award winning and rather incredible book The Coming Anarchy), first book. It is both a literal and a conceptual travelogue through the history of the Balkans.With the skill of an historian, and the flair and intimacy of a seasoned journalist, Kaplan captures the "chosen-ness" of the disparate "chosen histories" that have exorcised an entire region for the last seven hundred years.

In doing so, he brings vividly to life the psychodynamic theories of the brilliant Volmik D. Volkan, in his"The Pschodynamics of International Relationships." In that book Volkan, et.al., made clear that culture is nothing, if not "living collective tribal memory." The memory of the tribe is reconstructed in the present as "chosen injuries," "chosen traumas," and "chosen histories."

This book is about the "chosen histories" of all the different sides who are at "right angles" to each other in the Balkan region. Kaplan takes us on a guided, but structured tour, region-by-region, devoting a chapter to each country -- to its history, its art, its architecture, its collective dreams and hopes -- sharing intimate conversations with ordinary as well as important people on all of the various sides of past conflicts.

Altogether, this makes for a rich, layered and densely packed narrative that has the feel of walking into the same "time warp" as his subjects in their respective narrative re-creations. As Volkan predicted in both the book cited above and in his even more brilliant book "The Third Reich in Consciousness," that "chosen traumas," and "chosen insults" would be repeatedly "relived," as if they happened just yesterday: The collective nerve endings and emotions of the people remain "raw," even across generations.

In terms of volatility, the socioeconomic and political grid of multiple ethnicities, religions, races, and cross-generations grievances, the Balkans remains without a rival, as subsequent events were to prove most devastatingly.

Although it is not as theoretically sweeping or as gritty as "The Coming Anarchy," this was a deeply thoughtful and timely book, coming out just before the region exploded into the very chaos that Kaplan had so presciently predicted. It certainly put Kaplan on the map, as well it should have. Five Stars. ... Read more

4. History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century (The Joint Committee on Eastern Europe Publication Series, No. 12)
by Barbara Jelavich
Paperback: 476 Pages (1983-08-31)
list price: US$62.00 -- used & new: US$43.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521274591
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Volume II concentrates on the Balkan wars and the 2nd World War; both had their origins in the desire of nationalist circles to complete the territorial unification of their states. A substantial part of this book deals with the wartime experience, the establishment of the postwar regimes and their internal development to 1980 and the divergent paths followed by the five states [Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia] since 1945. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated at places, otherwise excellent
The scope of Jelavich's second volume of her "History of the Balkans" actually covers the last several decades of the nineteenth century and ends with the early 1980s, when it was published. No updated editions were ever published. This unfortunately makes an otherwise exemplary historiographical work somewhat dated. Jelavich's analysis of events and developments in the communist Romania, Albania and Bulgaria, as well as Greece is, however, a good summary of the history of these countries from 1945 to the early 1980s. Where the book is obviously dated is in its coverage of the former Yugoslavia: in her conclusions, the author implies a generally positive course for this country based on its relative successes until then in economic and overall social development. Nonetheless, her examination of socialist Yugoslavia does provide a view into the country's flaws, which would eventually lead to its violent collapse in 1991. Jelavich's treatment of the late 19th century, the two World Wars and the interwar is comprehensive and very informative; the author's vast knowledge of numerous primary sources and the extensive secondary literature on this region comes to the fore here. Although Jelavich's strength is her knowledge of political and diplomatic history, she provides a strong analysis of the region's underlying economic problems (which in all countries considered is the relative technological backwardness). The only weakness of this volume is the short-shrift given to cultural/social issues - thus, very little is said about literary and artistic activity, or the effects of the vast social change in Western Europe and the U.S. on the various Balkan countries. Her overall conclusion is obviously a bit dated since all of the communist regimes have since fallen. Nevertheless, this is an excellent integrated history which is broken down into logical chronological and geopolitical sections, making it also useful as a reference work.

4-0 out of 5 stars A weighty, serious tome for serious readers
This text is now a bit dated: it does not cover the tumultuous events ofthe 90s.This book, nevertheless, covers what took place earlier in the20th century with great depth and balance.Jelavich's book is for anyperson who wants a serious look into the history of the Balkans.Suchknowledge is a must and a primer for a true understanding of the"balkanization" of the Balkans in the 1990s.If you want a quick, lightread, this book in NOT for you.This book is at times heavy and hard, butis worth the effort.

4-0 out of 5 stars Biography or some more about Author
cao! I would like to found more about Author sbiography Thanks advance Boban Barbare ... Read more

5. The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism
by Dennis P. Hupchick
Paperback: 512 Pages (2004-02-21)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$20.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1403964173
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The tragedies of Bosnia and Kosovo are often explained away as the unchangeable legacy of "centuries-old hatreds." In this richly detailed, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans across fifteen centuries, Dennis Hupchick sets a complicated record straight. Organized around the three great civilizations of the region--Western European, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim--this is a much-needed guide to the political, social, cultural, and religious threads of Balkan history--with a clear, convincing account of the reasons for nationalist violence and terror.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars OK, but no footnotes
No footnotes.This is the biggest drawback of the book, as you cannot check the veracity of the author, and have to take his word for it, when the author shows some bias (e.g., he has a slight bias towards the Bulgarians it seems, as he was a former Fulbright scholar in Bulgaria).For example, the story of Basil Bulgaroktonos blinding of the Bulgarians in 1014 is deemed fiction by modern scholarship, as the story was first published in the 1200s (when blinding was common, though the author does not mention this), but the lack of footnotes means the reader cannot check the primary source of this revisionist history.

The author writes decent but not great prose (compared to nonfiction by John McPhee or Bill Bryson for example, but that's a tall order).

The author's economics are laughable (as is common with historians), for example ascribing to dependency theory (that suppliers of raw materials get exploited by advanced countries--so how do you explain the success of Chile, which depends on the export of raw materials?), but that's a minor matter.A bigger problem is that the author is sometimes inconsistent, saying that the Great Powers cannot delineate the borders of Balkan countries, as nobody can, then later saying the Great Powers got it wrong in drawing the borders--so which is it?The author makes a strained comparison between the Ottoman system of administration and the European Union, but really does not explain this analogy well.

The book glosses over the 20th century, but given the vast scope of the subject matter, the entire Balkans, that's understandable.

All in all an OK introductory book to the Balkans, and given that so few books exist on this topic it deserves four stars. ... Read more

6. The Balkan Wars: Conquest, Revolution, and Retribution from the Ottoman Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond
by Andre Gerolymatos, André Gerolymatos
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-03)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465027326
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A sweeping history of the Balkans that probes the ancient roots of the genocidal passions in modern Europe's most volatile region.

In this riveting new history of the Balkan peoples, André Gerolymatos explores how ancient events engendered cultural myths that evolved over time, gaining strength in the collective consciousnesses of Orthodox Christians and Muslims alike. In colorful detail, we meet the key figures that instigated and perpetuated these myths--assassin/heroes such as Milos Obolic and Gavrilo Princip and warlords such as Ali Pasha. This lively survey of centuries of strife finally puts the modern conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo into historical context, and provides a long overdue account of the origins of ethnic hatred and warmongering in this turbulent land.Amazon.com Review
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.

"Post–Cold 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 ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Middling
Not very well structured and, as a result, the sort of book that tends to go in one ear and out the other. Altogether a depressing treatment of a historically volatile and brutal region.

4-0 out of 5 stars Balkan wars in Balkan memory
I'm ambivalent about this book: on one hand I found it very useful; on the other, I suspect that objectively speaking it is not very good.

In reading history I often find I'm frustrated at being unable, even after digesting whatever facts are on offer, to enter very deeply into the worldviews of those I'm reading about. Thucydides has been criticized for interspersing his narrative with unhistorical speeches, but I find these enormously helpful as conveying something of the self-interpretations of the actors.

What Gerolymatos gives us here is something like Thucydides' speeches: he wants to show what the Balkan peoples themselves have made of their wars, that is, how they remember them, and how this memory shapes the ongoing conflicts. So there are certain archetypes, like the Noble Assassin, that have been inherited from the Middle Ages, and continue to be applied; there are certain unchanging sociological facts that have shaped Balkan wars for centuries, like the habit of fluid and frequent transitions back and forth between simple brigandage and guerrilla warfare and the celebration of both in popular lore.

Memory of past wars affects present ones also as wrongs to be righted and atrocities to be avenged. Gerolymatos points out, without really explaining why, that Balkan wars are not just Clausewitzian political struggles "by other means", but existential trials involving pointless-seeming cruelties and humiliations, which are then cultivated in long memories. These memories play such an important role because the Balkan peoples come so new to nationalism and national identities: for 2000 years, more or less, they had belonged to empires which came to identify subject peoples according to religion, not nationality. So the sense of common wrongs to avenge seems to have filled in for absent national traditions in the creation of modern identities.

This kind of thing was just what I had been looking for, and am grateful for finding it here. But the book is under-conceptualized, under-theorized--it isn't very clear about what exactly it is doing or why. It is inconsistent in its memory-focus, and sometimes, especially in dealing with late 19th and early 20th century wars, it just gives potted accounts of the battles themselves. It doesn't seem to contain much original historiography, so the fact that it is so hazy conceptually is a serious flaw.

2-0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor
What an exasperating book!It is so poorly organized that I hesitate to even invoke the concept of organization (it reminds me of a Jackson Pollack painting).From paragraph to paragraph and page to page, the story jumps back and forth in time.Some points are repeated multiple times for no discernable reason (most likely the author forgot that he had already made the point).Digressions are frequent; transitions are non-existent.Actually, the last three chapters are somewhat better than the first four; perhaps the author is more familiar with Balkan history post 1821.

Although individual sentences are, for the most part, written well enough, there still is too much trite and/or florid writing (and too many peculiar word choices), such as: "The Balkan mountain ranges have acted as a place of refuge for some and a remote graveyard for others. * * * These defiant hills have provided the backdrop for centuries of human turmoil.On Thursday, April 21, 1870, * * * death stalked among the craggy footpaths and thorny bushes of lower Mount Pentilicus."

There appear to be at least a few worthwhile and even astute observations and I detect no patently obvious biases (although I am not particularly knowledgeable in the area), but the book is such a mishmash that it is difficult to feel comfortable relying on any of its content.I understand that Balkan history is an extremely complicated affair, but I had hoped that this 250-page overview would provide some clarity.Alas.I suppose I now have a slightly better idea of where the river banks and the main channel are, but otherwise everything remains as clear as mud.

3-0 out of 5 stars Uneven and Biased
This is a book with strong opinions, unfortunately, most of them are anti- Turk and pro-Greek.As one can tell from his name Gerolymatos is of Greek heritage and he seldom misses a chance to make the Greeks look like the oppressed as opposed to the oppressors.He also makes everyone around the Greeks appear to be bloodthirsty savages committing rape and pillage on a grand scale.He also takes liberties, such a always referring to Salonika as Thessaloniki, making it sound like a greek town.In fact Salonika was never more than 10% Greek prior to the two world wars (see Mark Mazower's book "Salonika").

He especially skips over the later history of the Balkans by not mention- ing the Greek-Turkish War at the end of the First World War. Could it be because the Greeks were the instigators of this war, which cost them control of the traditional Greek Orthodox areas of Asia Minor?And that after the war, almost a million greeks and turks were exchanged; thereby ethnically cleansing both countries, not to mention the number of Bulgars that were forced out of Thessaly.

This does not mean that the rest of the Balkan peoples, Serbs, Croats, Muslims (Bosniaks and Albanians), Montenegrins, Bulgars, Romanians, etc. were innocent victims.Most of these groups at one time or another spent a considerable time, killing and torturing each other as a way of clearing an area for themselves.Macedonia, which is at the confluence of four different ethnic groups (Albanians, Serbs, Greeks and Bulgars) has only been saved by the intervention of the UN and NATO, and is forced (by the Greek Government) to go by the ridiculous acronym of FYROM (former yugoslav republic of macedonia) because they claim the name as part of their heritage.

Though Gerolymatos spends a good amount of time trying to explain the reasoning behind all of this ethnic hatred, what it comes down to in the end is the same problem that there is in the middle east.There are too many groups claiming the same land as their 'historical' heritage.In truth, most of the groups that are now there, are interlopers and came in and killed most of the indigenous people as they fled from the Mongols and Huns.The Bulgars especially are documented to have had a kingdom in the area around the Caspian Sea before they migrated to the Balkans.The Serbs claim Kossovo because they lost a battle there over six hundred years ago; even though even before the wars of the 1990s, they represented less than 15% of the population (the rest is mostly muslim Albanians).

So what we have here is a good deep background which for some reason ends at the beginning of WWI, hardly mentions the rest of the twentieth century until we get to the 1990s.It's reasonably good for what it does, but not for what it doesn't do.

Lastly, the true major failure of this book is its' lack of maps.The only one included is the boundaries of 1913 just after the two Balkan Wars, and then many of the towns mentioned are not included.It makes no sense to be discussing movements of armies when you don't understand what it means in the way of geography.I know that Gerolymatos teaches in Vancouver, BC, Canada, but I can't believe that Canadians are any better at geography than the average American.It's always helpful to see what you are reading about without having to find an atlas first.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not sufficiently anti-Serb to suit the Ministry of Truth
The inclusion of several pages of photographs of the civilian victims of the 1999 NATO attack on Serbia in a book that otherwise barely mentions the Kosovo war betrays the author's pro-Serbia bias, implying that Serbs are human beings too. This is doubleplusungood, comrades, and smacks of thoughtcrime. All ranting aside, this is an informative but not very well organized survey of Balkan history. There are interesting accounts of various episodes such as the Battle of Kosovo and the death of Ali Pasha, but it never really hangs together. The account of the 1912-13 Balkan Wars themselves is merely a chapter of dull military history. However, I read it all the way through, which I never do with a truly bad book. Read it and then look in the bibliography for more comprehensive Balkan histories. ... Read more

7. Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950: From Imperial Borderlands to Developing Nations (Theories of Contemporary Culture)
by John R. Lampe
 Hardcover: 752 Pages (1982-06-01)
list price: US$54.95 -- used & new: US$42.86
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Asin: 0253303680
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Western economic historians have traditionally concentrated on the success stories of major developed economies, while development economists have given most of their attnetion to the problems of the Third World. The authors of this pioneering work study a part of Europe neglected by both approaches. Modernizing patterns in Balkan economic history are traced from the sixteenth century (when the territory was shared by Ottoman and Habsburg empires), through the nineteenth century (when they emerged as independent states), to the end of World War II and its aftermath. Despite present differences in economic systems -- Greece's private market economy, Yugoslavia's planned market economy, and the centrally planned economies of Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania -- the authors find that shared origins and common subsequent experiences are ample justifications for treating the area as an economic unit. Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950 will be a major case study for development economists and will provide historians with the first analytical and statistical study to survey the entire region from the start of the early modern period.

... Read more

8. The Balkans - A History Of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Rumania, Turkey
by David Mitrany
Paperback: 408 Pages (2008-06-27)
list price: US$31.45 -- used & new: US$30.79
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Asin: 1409767310
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Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork. ... Read more

9. A History of the Balkans, 1804-1945
by Stevan K. Pavlowitch
 Hardcover: 375 Pages (1999-05)
list price: US$102.00
Isbn: 0582045851
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An account of Balkan history (modern Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania), this text covers the period from the first major nationalist rising against the Ottoman rulers in 1804 to the aftermath of World War II. ... Read more

10. The Balkans: A Post-Communist History
by Robert Bideleux, Ian Jeffries
Paperback: 640 Pages (2006-12-04)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$36.64
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Asin: 0415229634
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The Balkans: A Post-Communist History is a country-by-country treatment of the contemporary history of each of the Balkan states: Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosova.

This survey focuses on political and economic continuities and changes since the 1980s. It includes brief overviews of the history of each state prior to the 1980s to provide the background to enable readers to make sense of the more recent developments. The book has a distinctive conceptual framework for explaining divergent patterns of historical change. This shifts the emphasis away from traditional cultural explanations, especially cultural and national stereotyping, and instead concentrates on the pervasive influence of strongly entrenched vertical power-structures and power-relations.

The Balkans is an excellent companion volume to the successful A History of Eastern Europe, by the same authors. This is an invaluable book for all students of Eastern European history.

... Read more

11. The Turkish State and History: Clio Meets the Grey Wolf (Institute for Balkan Studies)
by Speros, Jr. Vryonis
 Hardcover: 131 Pages (1992-09)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 0892415320
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Turkification of Gobineau
The most remarkable information in this book--and there is a great deal of remarkable information here--is the revelation that Kemalism established the "Turkification of Gobineau's theory of the racial, and therefore civilizational, superiority of the Aryans."

Ataturk established the Turkish Historical Thesis (Turk Tarih Tezi) and the Sun Theory of Languages (Gunes Dil Teorisi). The former holds that the history of Turkeyas known today doesn't consist merely of Ottoman history, but is much older and in fact dispersed culture to all nations, including the Greek classical nation, the Hittites, the Chinese, the Romans and all European nations. The latter holds that Turkish was the first language ever spoken by humans, and is the foundation for all other languages, be they classical Greek and Latin, Romance languages or even Anglo-Saxon tongues.

By way of these theories, the Turkish educational system still, today, teaches that Turkish society is supremacist, and that it is from Turkish history and language that all other culture and languages flow. One can according to these theories allow that there was, for example, a beautiful Greek civilization, but at the same time, one holds that this was not independent, but a derivative of the Turkish culture and history.

What is even more astounding is that there are those historians, including Bernard Lewis, who make apology for this supremacist line.

Since the European Union is now considering whether Turkey should join its ranks, it would be highly beneficial for all European citizens--but especially European officials--to read this short but powerful book. To the extent that the racist teachings exposed herein are still taught today in Turkey, and are still regarded as truth by the mass of educated Turks, this book is a warning against Turkish admission to the EU.

--Alyssa A. Lappen

4-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
This book addresses the way the modern Turkish state deals with history.
Its first part focuses on a book by a former prime minister of Turkey (T. Ozal) titled "Turkey in Europe". This part of Vryonis's book is the one I'm most skeptical about. The purpose of "Turkey in Europe" was to survey the history of the Turkish people from about 7000 BCE to today and from that to deduce that Turkey has a historic claim to EU membership. As expected, a book dealing with such a large period cannot be possibly
documented and researched in a scientific way, even if written by a professional historian (not the case with Ozal). Indeed, "Turkey in Europe" has never been treated in this way.
One then wonders about the importance and relevance of a detailed analysis of its errors by a historian of Vryonis' stature. A more interesting approach would have been to view the book in the context of modern geopolitical confrontations rather than that of intellectual debates.
Fortunately, this is the approach in the remaining two part of the book. The second part studies two theories that have played an important role in the emergence of modern national Turkish conscience (one anthropological and the other linguistic). Again Vryonis spends more time on the content of these two theories than they deserve. However, that's more relevant than the analysis of Ozal's book because these are theories that are broadly spread in the Turkish society.
The strongest (and surprisingly timely) part of the book is, in my opinion, the third one dealing with the attempts of the Turkish government to manipulate US scholarship and, more generally, the US public opinion. The historical background of these attempts is described and documented painstakingly, the degree to which they have been successful is assessed and the role of third parties is analyzed (people prominent in the last
events in Iraq figure here, even though the book was written in 1991).
The book is very well written and the prose often passionate (something natural when the topic is genocide denial, justice on crimes against humanity etc.) and the documentation and argumentation is compelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Turkish state promoting fraudulent theories
This book is a review by Prof. Vryonis of a book that was authored in French by the late prime minister of Turkey, Turgut Ozal. The apparent aim of the book is to make propaganda about Turkey, Turkish history, the language etc. that is so incredible that it could not possibly be believed by anyone even passingly familiar with history. Vryonis does a great job deflating this incompetent job of chauvinism and bungled attempt at historical revisionsim. Ozal goes down as just another Turkish politician who gave his people a bad name. A must read for all those interested in learning the dark side of modern Turkey.

1-0 out of 5 stars A strident and profoundly biased view of complex questions.
In this book, Mr. Vryonis speaks for an institute whose avowed purpose is to propogate a particular version of history, a version which demonizes all things Turkish. In short, it's an unhelpful contribution to a complex--even Balkan--set of problems and an oversimplification of aquite complicatedhistorical legacy.Look for more objective books if you need background onthese questions:this one is a rant.

5-0 out of 5 stars How the Turkish State Victimizes History
The author, a well known scholar, provides an excellent analysis of how the modern Turkish state, ever since its founding in 1923, has worked intensively, though incompetently, on distorting history.

This is doneby reviewing a recent book written in French by the assistants of the latepresident Ozal of Turkey, in order to convince the Europeans that Turkeyshould be allowed to enter the European Union.

Mr. Ozal, turnedhistorian, attempts to persuade the readers of his book of such things as:all Greek history is in fact Turkish history; all history stems from theTurks and could not be possible without the contribution of the Turks; alllanguage stems from Turkish etc.

In the second part of the book, Dr.Vryonis examines how the Turkish state is buying influence in the UnitedStates by bankrolling the work of corrupt American scholars to parrot such"theories" as those in Mr. Ozal's book and by endowing chairs ofTurkish Studies in American universities.

The chief characteristic ofTurkish civilization when it comes into contact with other civilizations isthat an orgy of taking and usurpation develops -- that is the Turks takingfrom the other civilization. The current book -- superbly documented withTurkish as well as international sources -- shows that this culturaltendency to usurp and appropriate extends not just to material wealth andto the genes of theforcibly Turkified populations, but -- beyond that --to the history of the peoples the Turks come into contact with.

In ourtimes this tendency is manifested by the Turkish state denying the identityof 20% of its population which is Kurdish and by its insistence to refer tothem as "mountain Turks" while prohibiting public speech orpublications in Kurdish.

The book should be read by all, but especiallyby those who believe that Turkey is a Western nation. Distortion of historyand manipulation of national identity is not a particularly western value. ... Read more

12. The Ottomans and the Balkans: A Discussion of Historiography (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage)
Library Binding: 445 Pages (2002-03-01)
list price: US$185.00 -- used & new: US$180.97
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Asin: 9004119027
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This discussion of historiography concerning the Ottoman Empire should be viewed in the context of the discipline's self-examination, which has been encouraged by recent conflicts in south-eastern Europe and the Middle East. The contributors analyze the fashion in which the historiographies established in various national states have viewed the Ottoman Empire and its legacy. At the same time they discuss the links of 20th-century historiography with the rich historical tradition of the Ottoman Empire itself, both in its metropolitan and its provincial forms. The struggle against anachronisms born from the nationalist paradigm in history doubtless constitutes the most important common feature of these otherwise very diverse studies. Throughout, the contributors have distanced themselves from the nostalgia for "the past greatness" of certain rulers of yore, and aimed for a detached, source-based assessment of historical developments. They have made a conscious effort to debunk ancient myths, although, human weakness being what it is, their successors probably will accuse them of being responsible for new myths in their turn. ... Read more

13. The Balkan Wars (War History )
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-06-22)
list price: US$3.99
Asin: B003TO5JV4
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The interest in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 has exceeded the expectations of the publishers of this volume. The first edition, which was published five months ago, is already exhausted and a second is now called for. Meanwhile there has broken out and is now in progress a war which is generally regarded as the greatest of all time—a war already involving five of the six Great Powers and three of the smaller nations of Europe as well as Japan and Turkey and likely at any time to embroil other countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, which are already embraced in the area of military

This War of Many Nations had its origin in Balkan situation. It began on July 28 with the declaration of the Dual Monarchy to the effect that from that moment Austria-Hungary was in a state of war with Servia. And the fundamental reason for this declaration as given in the note or ultimatum to Servia was the charge that the Servian authorities had encouraged the Pan-Serb agitation which seriously menaced the integrity of Austria-Hungary and had already caused the assassination at Serajevo of the Heir to the Throne.

No one could have observed at close range the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 without perceiving, always in the background and occasionally in the foreground, the colossal rival figures of Russia and Austria-Hungary. Attention was called to the phenomenon at various points in this volume and especially in the concluding pages. ... Read more

14. The Establishment of the Balkan National States, 1804-1920 (History of East Central Europe) (v. 8)
by Charles Jelavich, Barbara Jelavich
Paperback: 374 Pages (2009-01-13)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$23.00
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Asin: 0295964138
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Offers a synthesis of the evolution of the people of southeastern Europe up to their national independence. ... Read more

15. The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 1: The Prehistory of the Balkans, the Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries BC
Hardcover: 1059 Pages (1982-09-30)
list price: US$288.99 -- used & new: US$213.45
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Asin: 0521224969
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Volume III of The Cambridge Ancient History was first published in 1925 in one volume. The new edition has expanded to such an extent, owing to the immense amount of new information now available, that it has had to be divided into three parts. Volume III Part 1 opens with a survey of the Balkans north of Greece in the Prehistoric period. This is the first time such a survey has been published of this area which besides its intrinsic interest is important for its influence on the cultures of the Aegean and Anatolia. The rest of the book is devoted to the tenth to the eigth centuries B. C. In Greece and the Aegean the main theme is the gradual regeneration from the Dark Age and the emergence of a society in which can be seen the beginnings of the city-state. During the same period in Western Asia and the Middle East the Kingdoms of Assyria and Babylonia rise to power, the Urartians appear, and in Palestine the kingdoms of Israel and Judah flourish. In Egypt the country's fortunes revive briefly under Shoshenq I. The final chapter in this part deals with the languages of Greece and the Balkans and with the invention and spread of alphabetic writing. ... Read more

16. Balkan Currents: Studies in the History, Culture and Society of a Divided Land (Monographs in Balkan Studies, 1)
 Hardcover: 143 Pages (1998-02)
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Asin: 0941690822
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17. Provincial At Rome: and Rome and the Balkans 80BC-AD14 (CLASSICAL STUDIES AND ANCIENT HISTORY)
by Ronald Syme
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2000-01-01)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$85.92
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Asin: 0859896323
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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'Anthony Birley and his Dusseldorf team have done a fine job in editing and presenting Syme's manuscript-clearly a considerable responsibility . . .This is a fascinating book, and can be highly recommended . . . it deserves attention as an historiographical gem, of enormous interest and importance in helping us understand Syme's development to become one of the greatest modern authorities on imperial Rome.'- Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 00.06.14

'Retrieval, reconstruction and publication of work long ago discarded by deceased scholars can be a matter for regret when better consigned to oblivion.Not so here.Many will enjoy the clear and taut arguments unencumbered by a mass of redundant annotation.Syme had a matchless talent for illuminating the nuances of Roman high society through close attention to origins, marriage, relationships and the working of patronage.Here it is deployed to illustrate the advance of new men under the Julio-Claudians, a theme to which he returned later more than once but perhaps never with the verve and brilliance of this inaugural essay.'- JACT Bulletin 29 (Summer 2001) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Overdue
Expensive book. Syme started this book back in 1939. It was suppose to be his first book, but ended up shelving it. Some 60 years later a profesor from Germany (Anthony Birley) took on the project of dusting off Syme's original manuscript and a bunch of unpublished papers on the region which is the second title of this book. Syme died in 1989, but not before leaving all of this material to have one more book published posthumously. I read only one other Syme book (Emperors and Biography) and despite the prose being a little dated it was a good read. The Provincial at Rome is the first 120 pages of this book and is an excellent survey of the Roman Senate. He also covers the time leading up to Augustus, but I have read much better books on the early Empire. He does have an interesting take on the justification of Augustus' rule as compared to that of Julius Caesar. The last 70 or so pages is about Rome's involvement in the Balkans and that is why I read this book. I have seen very little written about Rome and the Balkans. Syme was one of the few historians with published works on the subject. However, even Syme is only able to "outline" the history. He has some detail on Macedonia, Dardania, Illyricum, and a great chapter on Caesar's plan to carve-up Dacia and Partha. A good read, but dry in parts. It takes a real Roman history nut to read this stuff. It has a couple good maps. The best part is the editor's choice to use footnotes instead of endnotes. It's so much easier to read footnotes. ... Read more

18. The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus
by Vahakn N. Dadrian
Paperback: 480 Pages (2004-02)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$23.50
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Asin: 1571816666
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The Armenian Genocide, though not given such prominent treatment as the Jewish Holocaustwhich it precedes, still haunts the Western world and has assumed a new significance in the light of "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia. This study by the most distinguished scholar of the Armenian tragedy offers an authoritative analysis by presenting it as a case study of genocide and by seeing it as an historical process in which a domestic conflict escalated and was finally consumed by global war. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Author used Forgeries!
The author Vahakn Dadrian (who is clearly biased because he is an Armenian nationalist and receives grants from the Armenian government) has used the forgeries called the Aram Andonian (an Armenian's forgeries) documents. These forgeries were used throughout the book to prove a thesis that the Ottoman Turks who allowed religious freedoms and minority rights to the Armenians were somehow evil masterminds comparable to the Nazis--this is absurd. His work is not scholarly; it is filled with propaganda, deceit, unverifiable information, and references to KNOWN forgeries. Anyone who buys the book is wasting their money and time by a grumpy nationalist.

1-0 out of 5 stars the history of Armenian genocide.V.N. Dadrian
I found it very baised toward to his own background nation. he implements that Armenians are Crafty and peace loving people.He never mentions in 1840 city of Maras, Ottoman military outpost, 400 Officer and solders taken prisoners by 5000 armenian moband theirears and noses cut off and tortured to deadth (Before 1878-1894-1896-and so on.)City of Van murderings before July 10 1915- And after Russion armies invation of Eastern provinces. Never mensions killing their own patriach in Istanbul , cause he did not agree with dashnac organization. Could be a very good book if he was objective. Unfortunatly failed.

1-0 out of 5 stars The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus
It is amazing that Armenians can rewrite history based on forged documents and lies. Armenians were some of the richest Ottoman citizens that held high positions in the government. They believed the lies of colonial European powers, such as Russia, Britain, France, with the promise of an independent state, and attacked the Ottoman Army from the rear. Armed with the weapons given to them by the Allies, they massacered hundreds of thousands of unarmed innocent Turkish civilians. While the Turkish men were at war fighting at many theathers of war, the Armenian men stayed home, because they were exempt from military service. "They raped any Turkish women they found. They extracted the babies from expecting Turkish mothers with their bayonets. They stuffed the innocent Turkish elderly men, women, and children,into their mosques and burnt them alive. Even Russian generals at the scene, who witnessed these heinous acts, called them the most barbarous race they had ever seen". The Ottoman government re-located them out of the war zone, in self defence. Any other country would have punished them much more severely for these treasonous and barberous acts. Calling this relocation a genocide is disingenous, at the very least. The rewiver is saddened by loss of life suffered by the Armenians during the re-location process. Most of the deaths were caused by attacking Kurdish and Circussian bandits for revenge and booty. The number of Armenian deaths have been greatly exaggerated. The Ottoman Government was unable to protect them any better, because the country was in turmoil, at the time, due to the great war.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book.
I had heard a lot about this book and I just finished reading it, I am quite familiar with the subject matter but in my oppinion this is the best. I think this book is a great contribution to the historical understanding of the Armenian Genocide and of Genocide in general. It's an extremely well researched book. The authors wide reading in the relevant sources in Turkish, Armenian, German, French and English, has no parrallel. I highly reccommend this book to anyone interested in this subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Scholarship
This study took an interesting approach, despite its title it has little about the actual implementation and excecution of the Armenian genocide instead covering topics such as: the Abdul Hamit Massacres, the Adana massacres, the bank Ottoman raid, Islam's bent for domination which implies inferiority for non-muslims dhimmis such as Armenians, German complicity, the failure of European humanitarian intervention due to their vested and colonial interests, the Young Turks, how the precarious situation of Armenians constantly massacred and vulnerable with little weaponry or outside diplomatic assistance made them contrary to Balkan Christians take the route of asking for reforms and protection within the Ottoman Empire instead of seeking their independence as they were in an existential crisis where they decided upon the failed project of seeking protection from a Turkish system that thrived on repression and oppression, the Kemalist invasion of Russian Armenia, a comparison of the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide, the Turkish post-war tribunals that failed to punish the key players of the Armenian genocide(but these trials did provide proof of the intent to destroy the Armenians), the role of impunity during and after the genocide and earlier massacres in the failure to punish muslims for their crimes and how the implacable Kemalists along with European vested interests made sure there was little in the way of punishment, among other topics. Chapter 14 entitled: "The Implementation of the Genocide" only spans from page 219-235 in the edition I read(second revised edition 1997). Such an approach to this study makes ensures that it is well covered why the Armenian genocide occurred, which is more important than drudging page after page about the actual genocide and its implementation, which would have gotten tedious as this book is over 400 pages.

The scholarship of Dadrian shines throughout the work, he cites countless works in Turkish, Armenian, German, French and English and the work is very well referenced with a plethora of footnotes. This man has been studying the Armenian genocide for decades and it shows, I doubt much is written in the languages he can read about the subject that he has not already read, and most of it seems cited in this work. How Turkish historians and other historians can deny the Armenian genocide shows to anyone who has read this work their complete lack of honor and decency, to comment on history with no other desire than to extricate Turkish society and state from their mis-actions. Dadrian uses Austrian and German diplomatic archives at a time when they were Ottoman Turkey's wartime allies, he references the memoirs of architects and implementators of the genocide where they incriminate themselves, he cites the Turkish trials after the war to punish the Young Turks published in the official Turkish government gazette at the time(Takvimi Vekayi), Ataturk's speeches, eyewitnesses, Allied diplomatic archives, Turkish historians such as Refik and Akcam, and Turkish sociologist Ismail Besikci, who attest to the reality of the Armenian genocide. With such evidence how can one deny the Armenian genocide, and claim to be honest or better yet, a member of humanity? ... Read more

19. The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-1999
by Misha Glenny
Hardcover: 726 Pages (2000-05-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670853380
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In a timely, passionate survey of Balkan history since the early nineteenth century, Misha Glenny chronicles the essential background to the recent terrible events in this war-torn region. No other book covers the entire region or provides such profound insights into the roots of Balkan violence or explains so vividly the origins of modern Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania. Glenny's compulsively readable account brings the culture of different nationalisms to life in a narrative studded with sharply-drawn set pieces and colorful portraits of kings, guerrillas, bandits, generals and politicians.

Glenny shows how throughout history great-power interference in the region has been catastrophic for the peoples of the Balkans and how so-called ethnic hatreds have often been intensified by misguided diplomats in distant capitals, creating states, allocating populations, and redrawing borders--invariably with deadly results. It remains to be seen, Glenny argues, whether the most recent Western intervention will have a more benign outcome.Amazon.com Review
The history of the Balkan states, like that of so much of theworld, has for centuries been marked by ethnocidal fracases, savagewars of conquest, and periods of eerie calm. The mountainous region'sshifting alliances and divisions have long puzzled outside observers,writes journalist MishaGlenny, the author of The Fall ofYugoslavia: "For many decades, Westerners gazed on these landsas if [they were] an ill-charted zone separating Europe's well-orderedcivilization from the chaos of the Orient."

Those outsiders, Glenny suggests, have been the source of much of theBalkans' misery. In only the last two centuries, the territory hasbeen contested by the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires, the Third Reich,and the Allies, all of whom exploited and exacerbated existing ethnicconflict. (The Nazi occupiers of Croatia, he writes, even had to reinin the fascist Ustase militia for fear that their campaign againstSerbs and Muslims would only strengthen resistance to their puppetgovernment.) And, he continues, attempts to quell the recent conflictin Bosnia have created problems of their own. He argues that war willbreak out anew the moment international troops are withdrawn and thatthe Dayton Agreement is too "full of anomalies and frictions" tostand. The intervention in Kosovo has been no better, he adds, and theAllies' misguided efforts are sure to yield only further bloodshed ifthe only objective is to remove Slobodan Milosevic from power. "Shouldthe West fail to address the effects, not merely of a three-month airwar in 1999, but of 120 years of miscalculation and indifference sincethe Congress of Berlin, then there will be little to distinguishNATO's actions from any of its great-power predecessors," Glennyconcludes.

Glenny's provocative book sheds much light on recent Balkanhistory--and on the region's likely future. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (41)

2-0 out of 5 stars third-rate history
Misha Glenny is a reporter. And the book comes across less as a book of history than a bunch of unrelated articles written newspaper style glued together. Its amaturish, lightweight and usually focused on the wrong things. There is no organization or flow to the book other than a vague attachment to chronology. And the writing style is bad IMO.

Major events in Balkan history are often given almost no coverage. The coverage of the Assassination Crisis that led to world war one is no more than a few pages long with the main point somehow inexpicably being that we will never know the truth of what happened. The 1990s Kosovo war between Nato and Serbia is reduced to almost nothing as well. All we get is a bunch of speculation at a distance as to what leaders on the sides were supposedly thinking.Cyprus gets maybe five pages.

And while the book is long and aspires to be comprehensive, there are gaps in almost every national chronology. Bulgaria ceases to have a history once the communists are in power. The military regime falls in Greece and Greek history ends. Often what counts as history in the book is what the mainstream european newspapers covered. If they cared about it in London, Misha cares about it. Otherwise it might as well not have happened. It doesn't even manage to describe the events leading to the creation of Yugoslavia with any sort of clarity. Yugoslavia just sort of appears out of nowhere when Wilson and his 14 points show up.

His coverage of Austria's time in the Balkans is biased and wrong. Its too harshly critical of Austrian rule while it bends over backwards to excuse every sort of bad event in the balkan nations. He doesn't like Greeks much either. He plays up the old saw about the Greeks being Turkish collaborators to give a negative account of the Greek wars of independence.

A comprehensive history of the balkans covering 200 odd years is an ambitious project. But its also very difficult and requires careful thought as to structure and narrative before the writer begins. The book is a case study in the results in absence of that careful thought. I can remember few times when so little was said in so many (700+) pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Balkans by Misha Glenny
Glenny had an incredibly formidable task before him when he set out to write this dense history of the Balkan peninsula. It is one of the least-known and researched parts of the world, is relatively small, and is populated with different groups of people who are ostensibly similar but are separated by profound differences. It is a melting pot on mach-5, a tempestuous collection of countries and cultures prone to poverty and violence for a multitude of reasons and at any given time, as its ancient and recent history has reflected. Not to downplay its misfortune, but at the very least from a historian's point of view it would make for a fascinating subject and, hence, fascinating reading.

Unfortunately, the book is a collection of facts and quality reportage, but little else. The facts are laid out, the names, motivations, and consequences are delineated and explored, and a sound argument is made for the state of the Balkans in the modern world due to outside forces using the area as their private checker pieces, void of any respect for the region's individual and collective autonomy. But the book is too dry to make it as fascinating as it has every right to be. It doesn't breathe. Battles begin, end, perspectives change and heighten, but it's all written in a tone that is difficult to latch onto, making finishing the book an arduous task. And this is from someone who is highly interested in the area and did their best to pay attention throughout. Admirable in its intentions but too sterile in its execution, this is recommended for those already well-versed in the history of the area.

3-0 out of 5 stars Information-packed: Lots of Facts on an Exciting Topic
The best word that comes to mind to describe The Balkans is, "dense." I picked it up several years ago and was fascinated to learn about a part of the world cast in so much mystery and intrigue. Glenny illuminates that intrigue--down to the last, exquisite detail, and the detail often weighed down the narrative. For an amateur historian like me, I easily became lost among all the strange names and events.

Nevertheless, The Balkans gave me a good survey of the history of the region from 1800 onward; and, as the subtitle, War, Nationalism, and the Great Powers suggests it did a good job--an excellent job--of explaining his subject in terms of the world powers' policies and their effects on the Balkan nations.

The book read more like a history text at times, though, which doesn't do credit to the drama that has unfolded in that part of the world over the past two hundred years. I recently returned from a year-long deployment to Kosovo--right in the heart of the Balkans--and I know how vibrant and energetic the cultures are. I wish that energy came out more in Glenny's book.

I recommend this book for those who want a lot of information packed into a few hundred pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, should be used as a textbook in school trough Balkan states
As I come from Macedonia,one of the most troublesome Balkan states, I definitively think that this awesome book should be use as a basic textbook in schools trough most of the Balkan states, because it is so precise, full of informations and history accounts. I was astonished of this work of Mr. Glennys', especially from the precise details of the history accounts, some of which are purposely (or unpurposely) omitted from the history textbooks in the Balkans.
Therefore I would definitively recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the history of Balkan states, and, of course, the meaning of the present situation in this European region. And, I hope, that this book could give some hints in resolving the problems, or at least better understanding, in the Balkans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and informative
A simply excellent book. The way Glenny uses actual Balkan phrases to get his point across instead of lazily attempting to use an English substitute is fantastic. Also I found the book to be very accurate. ... Read more

20. Tribes and Brigands in the Balkans: A History of Northern Albania
by T. J. Winnifrith
 Hardcover: 200 Pages (2010-11-23)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$39.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1845116100
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Empires, tribal leaders, Communists, religious conflict and any number of wars: these have been the realities of life in Northern Albania for centuries. In this rich and comprehensive history, T.J. Winnifrith examines the many different elements that have shaped this independent and little-known region of the Balkans.
There has always been a fundamental division between the South of Albania and its mysterious, romantic North Â- more feudal, more tribal, more Catholic and more prone to Austrian and Italian influence; less affected by Greece, both ancient and modern, medieval Byzantium or the Orthodox faith. Northern Albania also has a more savage climate and landscape than the south of the country and its inhabitants have traditionally had little respect for law and authority while remaining greatly in thrall to an ancient honour code Â- the kanun Â- demanding blood feuds and terrible revenge.
Tribes and Brigands in the Balkans traces the history of this ruggedly beautiful region, frequently disturbed by both invaders and internal strife yet retaining a distinct national identity and character. From its origins in the ancient kingdom of Illyria and the Roman province of Illyricum, through Byzantine and Ottoman rule, the granting of Albanian independence in 1912, the rise and fall of Communism to its current fragile democracy, Northern Albania can be seen as a cultural crossroads Â- especially remarkable given its mountainous and difficult landscape.
... Read more

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