Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History
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Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History

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by Robert D. Kaplan
     
 

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From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful

Overview

From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date" (The Boston Globe), Kaplan's prescient, enthralling, and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic.

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 Milosevic from power.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. That November, while the world danced in the rubble of the wall, a journalist named Robert Kaplan was in Kosovo watching a riot between ethnic Serbs and Albanians. The future, Kaplan wrote, was not in a reuniting Germany but in a fragmenting Yugoslavia. In Yugoslavia, Kaplan saw the impending collapse of nation states and the rise of a Hobbesian jungle of gang wars, tribal slaughter and ideological jihads. Kaplan, of course, was right.” —Porter J. Goss, Director of Central Intelligence
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Journalist Kaplan's vivid, impressionistic travelogue illuminates the Balkan nations' ethnic clashes and near-anarchic politics.
Library Journal
This updated edition of Kaplan's 1993 original includes six new pieces written between 1996 and 2000. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312424930
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
05/01/2005
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
239,928
Product dimensions:
5.49(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.73(d)

Meet the Author

Robert D. Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, is the author of more than a dozen books on travel and foreign affairs that have been translated into many languages. They included Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus and Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History.

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Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
JusticeMakaveli More than 1 year ago
Kaplan has become one of my favorite writers for his engrossing travelogues/histories/socio-political commentaries. This is the book that rocketed him to fame when Bill Clinton was seen carrying a copy while mulling over the decision of whether to involve the United States in Kosovo. This is probably not Kaplan's best, but its still worth a read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I made the mistake of reading Kaplan's 'Eastward to Tartary' before 'Balkan Ghosts'. I think 'Eastward' is a far superior book. Otherwise, 'Balkan Ghosts' provides a great perspective on the situation in the Balkans in the early-1990's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best thing about the book is that if someone wanted to go to the balkans this would be a good book to read. It would help gain a basic understanding of the problems in that the balkans have. The most disappointing thing is that the book is a bit hard to follow. One paragraph discusses history and the next one a local that the author ran into.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Kaplan introduces us to the balkan peninsula with a good general overview of the region. But for a scholar or someone who is familiar with the region, the book wouldn't be much of a mindbender. However, some countries are very weel described (Romania and Greece), while others like Yugoslavia are barely mentioned. I still recommend this book for those who are just discovering this wonderful fraction of Europe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book a few years ago and frequently read parts of it over. It was a refreshing, engrossing story that encouraged me to pursue more information regarding the histories of these countries. Let's face it, this is not a researched historical volume, it is a travelogue/journalism/socio-political writing. But it serves as an excellent primer for individuals who are dabbling in history. It was enjoyable, thought-provoking, and at least in my case encouraged me to read more about Balkan and Middle Eastern history. His writing was fair and non-condemning and in my opinion, balanced.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Balkan Ghosts' is an impressionistic tour de force of the Balkan. It doesn't come near Rebecca West's masterpiece 'Black Lamb and Gray Falcon' - but it is a travelogue in the same tradition. The author, who is acquainted with certain parts of the Balkan, crosses these tortured lands just prior to the Yugoslav wars of secession. His prognoses are accurate, his depiction of ancient ethnic enmities sweeping, his pessimism justified in hindsight. But too many important aspects are neglected or papered over. The responsibility of the West, the interplay of big powers, the ineptitude of international organizations, the forces of democracy and ethnic reconciliation in the region, religious co-existence and much more besides. Though one sided and biased, it is a must read - if only to understand what influenced the American administration of Bill Clinton in the formulation of its Balkan policies. Sam Vaknin, author of 'After the Rain - How the West Lost the East'.