The tragedies of Bosnia and Kosovo are often explained away as the unchangeable legacy of "centuries-old hatreds." In this richly detailed, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans across fifteen centuries, Dennis Hupchick sets a complicated record straight. Organized around the three great civilizations of the region--Western European, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim--thThe tragedies of Bosnia and Kosovo are often explained away as the unchangeable legacy of "centuries-old hatreds." In this richly detailed, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans across fifteen centuries, Dennis Hupchick sets a complicated record straight. Organized around the three great civilizations of the region--Western European, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim--this is a much-needed guide to the political, social, cultural, and religious threads of Balkan history--with a clear, convincing account of the reasons for nationalist violence and terror....
|Title||:||The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism|
|Number of Pages||:||512 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism Reviews
A solid introductory work to Balkan history from the middle ages up to the collapse of communism. I had tried to read some material on this subject before, but had always been put off by works that either gave too much detail or brushed aside earlier periods to rush into the 19th and 20th centuries, but I found this book gave the proper scope for a general history. The reader gets a good idea of the sweep of events and can place together the evolution of the various medieval Slavic states, early modern Ottoman provinces and state borders following the various national wars of the 19th and 20th centuries with the help of the maps provided and the clear prose found throughout the book.The book also does a good job dividing its subject matter into digestible chapters, usually of around 20-30 pages at a time. The author also consciously tries to shift focus throughout the region rather than fixing the story on one state or ethnic group and giving only occasional mention to others.This book is definitely a good choice for anyone wishing to get a good broad overview of the history of the region for its wide yet inclusive scope and clear prose. It also contains extensive bibliographies after each section for those interested in delving deeper into the subject matter.
It's a little dry, but this is the book to read if you want to understand why the Balkans are like they are. Basically nothing has changed in the centuries since it they were inhabited. An interesting and telling fact that I got from the book is that the Ottoman Empire established what it called the "millet" in the area in which the various religious groups were pretty much responsible for their own governing. These "millets" were only for non-Muslims, since the Muslims controlled everything. From these millets the current conflicts grew. The area wasn't settled as countries, it was settled as religions.So when the Western Romantic idea of nationalism was brought to the area, "nations" were established more on the basis of how many of which religion lived in that area. The only true "nationalists" were the Serbs who felt that the entire peninsula should belong to them, including Greece.This is another area of the world where the Great Powers, especially Britain got involved and drew arbitrary lines to denote various countries.Poor Greece is actually a Balkan country, but she discovered that she could capitalize on her classical past to gain the support and financial aid of the Western nations. I thought they basically had a direct route from classical Greece down to today.There are a few surprises in here that make it worth reading. The Greek part is one. Also, Transylvania has not always been Romanian and, in fact, is not ethnically a part of Romania. It came to that country through some of those "deals" that Western countries and Russia concocted according to their "wise" understanding of the area.Another good reason to read this is that this is a very little-known area of the world. Many people probably don't know where it's located, let alone anything about it. I have a tutoring student who is a refugee from Kosovo and he was amazed that I knew the country and some of the Balkan history. You should learn some too.
Dry but informative. More balanced than many other surveys of Balkan history, Hupchick's main premise is the role of nationalism in creating the Balkan states as they are now known, but he doesn't let it overwhelm his text (like many others do). Aside from the dull style and sometimes rambling format, its only major drawback is the short shrift it gives to WWII and the Communist era versus earlier periods. Likewise, after deconstructing the idea that is "the Balkans" Hupchick creates an overall impression that the thing that unites the nations of the region is their shared Ottoman past. In analyzing it from a broad perspective, it is the relative smaller space devoted to WWII and the Cold War era, which arguably have had a greater impact on the current states in the region, that runs counter to the "Ottoman heritage" premise, and perhaps why he did not focus on it so much.
This is a very comprehensive survey of Balkan history. It moves through several periods, but does not skimp on details. Also, the maps are extremely useful. It took me a long time to read, because it is so dense, but it was still worthwhile.
Not the easiest or smoothest of reads but I felt this was a very informative and wide ranging survey on the history of the Balkans. I definitely won't ever read it cover from cover again, but i will keep it in my library for when i need to check or look up a fact about the Balkans.
A very useful general history of the Balkans from the late Roman period to the present. The pace is good, especially when you consider the twists and turns of the various ethnic and religious groups of the region.
A little hard to get through, but fascinating history, if you can read it all.
There is alot of information in this book that sadly is about all it has going for it. The text is just dry fact after fact. No quotes, nothing to break up the monotony.