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The Serbs: History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia
Synopses & Reviews
Journalist Tim Judahs classic account, now brought fully up to date to include the overthrow of Miloševic, the assassination of Zoran Djindic, the breakaway of Kosovo, and the arrest of Radovan Karadžic.
Praise for the first edition:
"A lively and balanced history of the Serbs."—Aleksa Djilas, New York Times Book Review
"Judah writes splendidly. . . .The story he tells does much to explain both the Serb obsession with the treachery of outsiders and their quasi-religious faith in the eventual founding, or rather reestablishment, of the Serbian state."—Mark Danner, New York Review of Books
"Judah's book is probably the best attempt to date to explain the calamitous situation of the Serbs today through a meticulous consideration of the Serb past."—David Rieff, Toronto Globe and Mail
Tim Judah was Balkans correspondent for the London Times and the Economist, and has been a frequent contributor The New York Review of Books.
This wide-ranging, scholarly, and highly readable account opens with the windswept fortresses of medieval kings and a battle lost more than six centuries ago that still profoundly influences the Serbs. Judah describes the idea of "Serbdom" that sustained them during centuries of Ottoman rule, the days of glory during the First World War, and the genocide against them during the Second. He examines the tenuous ethnic balance fashioned by Tito and its unraveling after his death. And he reveals how Slobodan Milosevic, later to become president, used a version of history to drive his people to nationalist euphoria. Judah details the way Milosevic prepared for war and provides gripping eyewitness accounts of wartime horrors: the burning villages and "ethnic cleansing", the ignominy of the siege of Sarajevo, and the columns of bedraggled Serb refugees, cynically manipulated and then abandoned once the dream of a Greater Serbia was lost. This first in-depth account of life behind Serbian lines is not an apologia but a scrupulous explanation of how the people of a modernizing European state could become among the most reviled of the century. Rejecting the stereotypical image of a bloodthirsty nation, Judah makes the Serbs comprehensible by placing them within the context of their history and their hopes.
In a wide-ranging, scholarly, and highly readable account which begins with a battle lost more than six centuries ago--Judah examines the tenuous ethnic balance fashioned by Tito and its unraveling after his death. Presenting the first in-depth account of life behind Serbian lines, Judah also provides a scrupulous explanation of how the people of a modern European state could become among the most reviled of the century. 40 illustrations.
About the Author
Timothy Judah was Balkans correspondent for the London Times and the Economist reporting from Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia.
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