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In this update of a 1997 edition, Cuvalo (Joliet Junior Coll.), who is both an academic expert on the Balkans and a native of the region, treats his complex subject with breadth, depth, and clarity. While he does not neglect earlier periods, the most intensive sections of this dense volume deal with the complex sociopolitical aftermath of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which helped put an end to the civil war in the region. The work follows the standard format of the publisher's "Historical Dictionaries of Europe" series, which includes a chronology from antiquity to the present, a detailed introduction of the geography and history of the country, an alphabetical dictionary of 300 entries, and an up-to-date bibliography so extensive that it occupies nearly a quarter of the book and has its own table of contents. Additional sections on spelling, acronyms, and abbreviations provide important support for the English-language reader. Entries for organizations are alphabetized by the English translation of their name first, while publications such as newspapers are alphabetized by the original language name first.
—Nadine Cohen Baker