The Balkans by Mark Mazower
A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)

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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. Subject to violent shifts of borders, rulers and belief systems at the hands of the world's great empires--from the Byzantine to the Habsburg and Ottoman--the Balkans are often called Europe's tinderbox and a seething cauldron of ethnic and religious resentments.
Much has been made of the Balkans' deeply rooted enmities. The recent destruction of the former Yugoslavia was widely ascribed to millennial hatreds frozen by the Cold War and unleashed with the fall of communism. In this brilliant account, acclaimed historian Mark Mazower argues that such a view is a dangerously unbalanced fantasy. A landmark reassessment, The Balkans rescues the region's history from the various ideological camps that have held it hostage for their own ends, not least the need to justify nonintervention. The heart of the book deals with events from the emergence of the
nation-state onward. With searing eloquence, Mazower demonstrates that of all the gifts bequeathed to the region by modernity, the most dubious has been the ideological weapon of romantic nationalism that has been used again and again by the power hungry as an acid to dissolve the bonds of centuries of peaceful coexistence. The Balkans is a magnificent depiction of a vitally important region, its history and its prospects.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Mark Mazower

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MARK MAZOWER is the Ira D. Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century, The Balkans: A Short History (which won the Wolfson Prize for History), Salonica: City of Ghosts (which won both the Duff Cooper Prize and the Runciman Award), and Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe. He has also taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, Sussex University and Princeton. He lives in New York.
Published December 18, 2007 by Modern Library. 240 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The author begins with a discussion of the geography, noting that mountains “have made commerce within the region more expensive and complicated the process of political unification” and showing that even the rivers are not suitable for commerce or communication.

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Publishers Weekly

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The Balkan wars of the 1990sDwhich Mazower persuasively calls a civil warDreinforced the meaning of the word Balkan: the meaning that has little to do with geography or even ideology, yet everythi

Oct 30 2000 | Read Full Review of The Balkans: A Short History ...

Publishers Weekly

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The main challenge of this work is to denounce this one-dimensional Western stereotype and to approach the crisis of the Balkan lands ""without seeing them refracted through the prism of `the Balkans.'"" Mazower, professor of history at Princeton and author of Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth C...

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The New York Review of Books

The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804–1999.

Jan 11 2001 | Read Full Review of The Balkans: A Short History ...

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