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The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804-2011by Misha Glenny
Synopses & Reviews
On the day that Paris fell to the Nazis, R. G. Waldeck was checking into the swankiest hotel in Bucharest, the Athene Palace. A cosmopolitan center during the war, the hotel was populated by Italian and German oilmen hoping to secure new business opportunities in Romania, international spies cloaked in fake identities, and Nazi officers whom Waldeck discovered to be intelligent but utterly bloodless. A German Jew and a reporter for Newsweek, Waldeck became a close observer of the Nazi invasion. As King Carol first tried to placate the Nazis, then abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Waldeck was dressing for dinners with diplomats and cozying up to Nazi officers to get insight and information. From her unique vantage, she watched as Romania, a country with a pro-totalitarian elite and a deep strain of anti-Semitism, suffered civil unrest, a German invasion, and an earthquake, before turning against the Nazis.
A striking combination of social intimacy and disinterest political analysis, Athene Palace evokes the elegance and excitement of the dynamic international community in Bucharest before the world had comes to grips with the horrors of war and genocide. Waldeckand#8217;s account strikingly presents the finely wrought surface of dinner parties, polite discourse, and charisma, while recognizing the undercurrents of violence and greed that ran through the denizens of Athene Palace.
A newly revised and updated edition of an award-winning BBC correspondent's magisterial history of the Balkan region
This unique and lively history of Balkan geopolitics since the early nineteenth century gives readers the essential historical background to more than one hundred years of events in this war-torn area. No other book covers the entire region, or offers such profound insights into the roots of Balkan violence, or explains so vividly the origins of modern Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania. Now updated to include the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, the capture of all indicted war criminals from the Yugoslav wars, and each state's quest for legitimacy in the European Union, The Balkans explores the often catastrophic relationship between the Balkans and the Great Powers, raising some disturbing questions about Western intervention.
This unique and lively history of Balkan geopolitics since the early nineteenth century gives readers the essential historical background to recent events in this war-torn area. No other book covers the entire region, or offers such profound insights into the roots of Balkan violence, or explains so vividly the origins of modern Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania. Misha Glenny presents a lucid and fair-minded account of each national group in the Balkans and its struggle for statehood. The narrative is studded with sharply observed portraits of kings, guerrillas, bandits, generals, and politicians. Glenny also explores the often-catastrophic relationship between the Balkans and the Great Powers, raising some disturbing questions about Western intervention.
About the Author
The longtime central European correspondent for the BBC World Service based in Vienna, Misha Glenny has lived in and worked all over the Balkans. His books include The Rebirth of History and The Fall of Yugoslavia, winner of the 1992 Overseas Press Club Award for Best Book on Foreign Affairs.
Table of Contents
1 A confederacy of peasants
Rebellion and revolution, 1804–66
2 The realm of ruins
Reform and decay, 1839–78
3 A maze of conspiracy
The southern Balkans, 1878–1914
4 The empire of illusions
The northern Balkans, 1878–1914
5 A house of wars
War and peace, 1914–24
6 The palaces of deceit
The royal dictatorships, 1923–41
7 City of the dead
Occupation, genocide, liberation, civil war, 1941–49
8 Prisons of history
Communism and militarism, 1949–89
Epilogue: The Balkan Vortex
Nationalism, war and NATO, 1989–99
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History and Social Science » Europe » Eastern Europe » Balkans