The Balkan Wars: Conquest, Revolution and Retribution from the Ottoman Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond

The Balkan Wars: Conquest, Revolution and Retribution from the Ottoman Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond

by Andre Gerolymatos
     
 

When it comes to the Balkans, most people quickly become lost in the quagmire of struggle and intractable hatred that consumes that ancient land today. Many assume that the genesis of the past ten years of atrocity in the region might have had something to do with Tito and his repressive Yugoslav regime, or perhaps with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914.

…  See more details below

Overview

When it comes to the Balkans, most people quickly become lost in the quagmire of struggle and intractable hatred that consumes that ancient land today. Many assume that the genesis of the past ten years of atrocity in the region might have had something to do with Tito and his repressive Yugoslav regime, or perhaps with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914. The seeds were really planted much, much earlier, on a desolate plain in Kosovo in 1389, when the Serbian Prince Lazar and his army clashed with and were defeated by the Ottoman forces of Sultan Murad I.In this riveting new history of the Balkan peoples, André Gerolymatos explores how ancient events engendered cultural myths that evolved over time, gaining psychic 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-including the assassin/heroes Milos Obolic and Gavrilo Princip and the warlord 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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Vito F Sinisi
What is it about the area which encompasses Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia that has condemned it to suffer through centuries of warfare and strife? Can the ongoing struggle that's stretched from the ancient Ottoman Empire to the "ethnic cleansing" of the 1990's ever be halted? Historian Andre Gerolymatos takes a searching look at this troubled region.
Kirkus Reviews
A useful historical overview of "a centuries-long theater of the macabre." Gerolymatos (Hellenic Studies/Simon Fraser Univ.), a specialist on guerrilla warfare and espionage in the Balkans and Greece, examines the problems of religion, nationalism, and romanticized history in the ever-smoldering southeastern corner of Europe. Western policy analysts, he writes, mostly ignored these three potent forces after the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia, only to be surprised by the virulent civil war and splintering of the peninsula in ethnic-based states that followed. "Post-Cold War Europe and North America," he remarks, "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." Some of those battles loom large in the Balkan mind but have been overlooked or forgotten in Western history; one, which Gerolymatos carefully reconstructs, is the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian archduke Franz Ferdinand at the hands of a Serbian anarchist in 1914, an event that sparked WWI. Ferdinand had it coming, Gerolymatos suggests, if only because he ventured into Sarajevo on the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, when Ottoman Turks slaughtered the flower of Serbian knighthood and opened the peninsula to Muslim domination for the next five centuries. Such resounding defeats and massacres have "shaped at least part of the identity and commonality of each nation, tribe, or group in the Balkans." One of the most recent was the Serbian loss of Kosovo and Bosnia to UN and NATO forces, making them "de facto satellites of the United States"-and perhaps candidates for annexation into aGreater Albania, the thought of which troubles non-Albanians throughout the region. An even-handed survey for anyone bewildered by recent events in a once-remote pocket of Europe. Author tour

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465027316
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/03/2002
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.06(d)
Lexile:
1510L (what's this?)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >