Paper House: The Ending of Yugoslavia

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Timely and incisive, A Paper House powerfully evokes what was once Yugoslavia and gives a cogent analysis of its violent disintegration, which has become headline news the world over. In the summer of 1991, Yugoslavia died amidst a hail of cluster bombs and mortar rounds. The nation that had once boasted of forging a middle ground between Western capitalism and Eastern communism was unable to preserve its own existence. While two factions were willing to die for independence, two others were willing to die to ...
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Overview

Timely and incisive, A Paper House powerfully evokes what was once Yugoslavia and gives a cogent analysis of its violent disintegration, which has become headline news the world over. In the summer of 1991, Yugoslavia died amidst a hail of cluster bombs and mortar rounds. The nation that had once boasted of forging a middle ground between Western capitalism and Eastern communism was unable to preserve its own existence. While two factions were willing to die for independence, two others were willing to die to keep the state together; the rest of the people were caught in the middle. But the catastrophe of 1991 had been in the making for decades, and its roots can be traced back to centuries-old conflicts over power and territory among the several nations that made up the former republic. Since 1987 Mark Thompson has lived and traveled throughout Yugoslavia as it lurched ever deeper into crisis, investigating its politics, history, and culture. From his encounters with politicians, writers, rock musicians, die-hard nationalists and famous ex-dissidents, as well as ordinary people on buses, trains, and in pubs, Thompson has written a profound and personal account of this complex land.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More travelogue and historical essay than street reporting, this rich but convoluted chronicle covers journalist Thompson's experience in Yugoslavia from 1987 to 1991. Traversing Yugoslavia's regions, from Slovenia in the north to Macedonia in the south, Thompson (now London correspondent to a Slovenian magazine) offers impressionistic pictures of this complex, tragic land rather than a chronological account of Yugoslavia's fall into civil war. While the narrative can be confusing, Thompson's meanderings have taught him far-ranging lessons about, for instance, the historical weight of Yugoslavia's peculiar brand of socialism and the reasons that development aid in the 1950s and 1960s made Montenegro friendly to neighboring Serbia. He includes several memorable anecdotes: a Slovenian journalist discourses on Yugoslavia's frequent presence in James Bond books and long-time dissident Milovan Djilas talks of how the Balkans ``are full of evil.'' A personalized view of a multinational region that, Thompson observes, ``as a state . . . was unique and eventually impossible.'' (Nov.)
Margaret Flanagan
A journalist chronicles his personal and professional odyssey through Yugoslavia as the multinational federation forged out of political, economic, and strategic necessity crumbled. Since 1987, Thompson, the London correspondent of "Mladina" magazine in Slovenia, has traveled extensively throughout the six republics and two autonomous provinces that constituted post-World War I Yugoslavia. As the author examines the social and cultural evolution of each individual nation in both historical and contemporary contexts, it becomes increasingly apparent that the dissolution of the artificially created state was indeed inevitable. Thompson's narrative succeeds in lending a certain clarity and comprehension to an utterly chaotic and confusing sociopolitical arena. A timely contribution to the analysis of a geographically isolated conflict with global implications.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780091746193
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square
  • Publication date: 12/1/1992
  • Pages: 288

Table of Contents

A Note for the American Edition
Preface
What Was Yugoslavia? 1
1 Slovenian Spring 3
2 Istran Summer 60
3 Bridges of Bosnia 90
4 The Dark Side of Europe 125
5 Montenegro: 'Favoured Above Millions' 147
6 Clear Sky over Serbia 186
7 Behind the Curtain 235
8 The Drunken Geese of Croatia 252
9 Yearning for the South 304
Epilogue 314
Appendix: Danilo Kis on Nationalism 337
Acknowledgements and Notes 343
Index 347
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