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Paper House: The Ending of Yugoslavia

Paper House: The Ending of Yugoslavia

by Mark Thompson

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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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Trafalgar Square
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5.51(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)

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