The Balkans: A Short History

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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.
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About the author

Mark Mazower is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, London, and a former professor of history at Princeton University. He is the author of several books, most recently Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Modern Library
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Published on
Dec 18, 2007
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780307431967
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Eastern
History / Modern / 19th Century
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is a comprehensive survey of European history from the coup d'etat of Napoleon Bonaparte in France to the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo, which led to the First World War. It concentrates on the twin themes of revolution and nationalism, which often combined in the early part of the century but which increasingly became rival creeds. Going beyond traditional political and diplomatic history, the book incorporates the results of recent research on population movements, the expansion of markets, the accumulation of capital, social mobility, education, changing patterns of leisure, religious practices, and intellectual and artistic developments. The work falls into three chronological sections. The first, starting in 1800 (rather than the more usual 1815) follows the build-up of the revolutionary currents which were eventually going to erupt in the `Year of Revolutions' 1848. The second, from 1850 to 1880, deals with the golden age of capitalism, the successful culmination of struggles for national unification, and the threat of anarchism. The concluding chapters look at the social and political stresses caused by socialism and national minorities, at new attempts by government to order society, imperial rivalry, and the descent into a war which was to mark the end of nineteenth-century Europe. For this third edition, Dr Gildea has substantially revised the text and maps, and completely updated the bibliography. Newly-added introductory sections guide the reader through the wealth of material in each chapter. The new edition also includes for the first time a full Chronology of the period, a list of leading state ministers, and family trees for all the major dynasties.
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