At the end of the 20th century people spoke as if the Balkans had plagued Europe forever. But 200 years earlier, the Balkans did not even exist. It was not the Balkans but the "Rumeli" that the Ottamans ruled, formerly the Roman lands that they had conquered from Byzantium, together with its Christian inhabitants. To Westerners too, familiar with classical regional terms such as Macedonia, Epiros and Dacia, the term "Balkan" conveyed little. In this account of the region, Mark Mazower dispels current Western cliches and replaces stereotypes with a vivid account of how mountains, empires and religions have shaped its inhabitants' lives. As a bridge between Europe and Asia it has been exposed to a constant incursion of nomadic peoples across the centuries. Mountain ranges made farming hard and political control almost impossible, and allowed small communities to live side by side through to the end of the 20th century. Empires based on religion not ethnicity shaped customs and beliefs in ways that did not entirely vanish with the coming of modernity.
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Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, a zone of endless military, cultural, and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In this highly acclaimed short history, Mark Mazower sheds light on what has been called the tinderbox of Europe, whose troubles have ignited wider wars for hundreds of years. Focusing on events from the emergence of the nation-state onward, "The Balkans reveals with piercing clarity the historical roots of current conflicts and gives a landmark reassessment of the region's history, from the world wars and the Cold War to the collapse of communism, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the continuing search for stability in southeastern Europe.From the Back Cover:
“A gem of a book, packed with illuminating information.” —The New York Review of Books
“An invaluable resource for anyone hoping to gain an initial understanding of Balkan history.” —The New York Times
“An excellent primer on the region’s history.” —The Economist
“A highly suggestive analysis of an inexhaustible subject.” —Publishers Weekly
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Book Description Weidenfeld & Nicolson., London, 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st UK Ed.. Short but up-to date and well researched introduction to the complex and always compelling history of the Balkans. 160p. bibliography. index. Bookseller Inventory # 25098
Book Description Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Limited, London, United Kingdom, 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 160 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 311418