From the ashes of former Yugoslavia an independent Croatian state has arisen, the fulfilment, in the words of President Franjo Tudjman, of the Croats' "1000 old dream of independence". Yet few countries in Europe have been born amid such bitter controversy and bloodshed: the savage war between pro-independence forces and the Yugoslav army left about one-third of the country in ruins and resulted in the flight of a quarter of a million of the country's Serbian minority. In this book a journalist who witnessed much of the war from Sarajevo and Zagreb traces the rise, fall and rebirth of Croatia from its medieval origins to today's tentative peace. Marcus Tanner describes the creation of the first Croatian kingdom; its absorption into feudal Hungary in the middle age; Croatia's reduction to a tiny sliver of territory after the Ottoman invasion; the absorption of this fragment into Habsburg Austria; the evolution of modern Croatian nationalism after the French Revolution; and the circumstances that propelled Croatia into the arms of Nazi Germany and the brutal, home-grown "Ustashe" movement in the World War II. Finally, drawing on interviews with many of the leading figures in today's affairs, Tanner explains the failure of Tito's communists to "kill home rule by kindness" by turning Yugoslavia into a federal state, and Yugoslavia's violent implosion after his death.
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Published March 27, 1997
by Yale University Press.
History, Travel, War.