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The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book examines the relationship between national history, identity, and politics in twentieth-century Macedonia. It focuses on the reverberating power of events surrounding an armed uprising in August 1903, when a revolutionary organization challenged the forces of the Ottoman Empire by seizing control of the mountain town of Krusevo. A century later, Krusevo is part of the Republic of Macedonia and a site for yearly commemorations of 1903. In the course of the intervening hundred years, various communities have vied to establish an authoritative account of what happened in 1903--and to weave those events into a longer and wider narrative of social, cultural, and national evolution.

Keith Brown examines how Krusevo's residents, refugees, and exiles have participated--along with scholars, journalists, artists, bureaucrats, and politicians--in a conversation about their vexed past. By tracing different approaches to understanding, commemorating, and narrating the events of 1903, he shows how in this small mountain town the "magic of nationalism" by which destiny is written into particular historical events has neither failed nor wholly succeeded. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, and unity still rub against tales of treachery, score settling, and disaster as people come to terms with the legacies of imperialism, socialism, and nationalism. The efforts of Krusevo's successive generations to transcend a past of intercommunal violence reveal how rival claims to knowledge and truth acquire vital significance during rapid social, economic, and political change.

Synopsis:

"Brown's book is well written, theoretically informed, and based on significant new archival and ethnographic research. As Clifford Geertz points out, good anthropology makes small facts speak to large issues. This is precisely what Brown does. Exploring how a variety of people, all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, attempt to deal with 'the awkward details of the past,' he offers us an understanding of the contested nature of categories of collective identity."--Loring Danforth, Bates College

"Solidly anchored in both field and archival research in Macedonia, Keith Brown's book is an important and timely contribution to the comparative study of nationalism. One of its strengths is the careful and original documentation of the controversies that lie behind the conception and construction of national images and monuments, particularly as these concern the tensions between internationalist, nationalist and local visualizations of liberation. It provides the testimonies and analysis necessary to get beyond the truism that national identities are 'constructed,' as well as 'deeply felt,' to a real understanding of the interactions between local and supralocal forces at work in the realization of both individual and collective projects of identity-formation. The complex conjunction of local populations and state regimes in the Macedonian case effectively serves as a model for querying national identities more generally."--Laurie Kain Hart, Haverford College

Synopsis:

This book examines the relationship between national history, identity, and politics in twentieth-century Macedonia. It focuses on the reverberating power of events surrounding an armed uprising in August 1903, when a revolutionary organization challenged the forces of the Ottoman Empire by seizing control of the mountain town of Krusevo. A century later, Krusevo is part of the Republic of Macedonia and a site for yearly commemorations of 1903. In the course of the intervening hundred years, various communities have vied to establish an authoritative account of what happened in 1903--and to weave those events into a longer and wider narrative of social, cultural, and national evolution.

Keith Brown examines how Krusevo's residents, refugees, and exiles have participated--along with scholars, journalists, artists, bureaucrats, and politicians--in a conversation about their vexed past. By tracing different approaches to understanding, commemorating, and narrating the events of 1903, he shows how in this small mountain town the "magic of nationalism" by which destiny is written into particular historical events has neither failed nor wholly succeeded. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, and unity still rub against tales of treachery, score settling, and disaster as people come to terms with the legacies of imperialism, socialism, and nationalism. The efforts of Krusevo's successive generations to transcend a past of intercommunal violence reveal how rival claims to knowledge and truth acquire vital significance during rapid social, economic, and political change.

About the Author

Keith Brown is Assistant Professor at the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He is coeditor of The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures ix

Preface xi

Notes on Transliteration and Pronunciation xvii

Chapter One

Introduction 1

Chapter Two

A Double Legacy: Macedonia's Yugoslav and Balkan Histories 22

Chapter Three

"Crowded Out by a Plethora of Facts": Distance and Experience in Western Narratives of Kru. sevo 51

Chapter Four

Tipping Points: The Transformation of Identities in Kru. sevo 79

Chapter Five

Between the Revolutions: Life in Kru. sevo 1903-1944 103

Chapter Six

Buying the Memories: Collectivization, the Past and National Identity 126

Chapter Seven

History Stated: The Making of a Monument 153

Chapter Eight

Local Truths: Rereading 1903 the Kru. sevo Way 181

Chapter Nine

On the Brink of a New, Old World: Recasting Solidarity After Yugoslavia 211

Chapter Ten

Conclusion 234

Glossary and Acronyms 251

Notes 255

Bibliography 277

Index 295

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691099958
Author:
Brown, Keith
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Eastern Europe - Yugoslavia
Subject:
Nationalism
Subject:
Macedonia
Subject:
Kruésevo
Subject:
Eastern Europe - Balkan Republics
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Macedonia History 1878-1912.
Subject:
Kru'sevo (Kru'sevo, Macedonia) - History
Subject:
World History-Eastern Europe
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
bk. 1
Publication Date:
March 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
13 halftones. 4 maps.
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Europe
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$40.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691099958 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Brown's book is well written, theoretically informed, and based on significant new archival and ethnographic research. As Clifford Geertz points out, good anthropology makes small facts speak to large issues. This is precisely what Brown does. Exploring how a variety of people, all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, attempt to deal with 'the awkward details of the past,' he offers us an understanding of the contested nature of categories of collective identity."--Loring Danforth, Bates College

"Solidly anchored in both field and archival research in Macedonia, Keith Brown's book is an important and timely contribution to the comparative study of nationalism. One of its strengths is the careful and original documentation of the controversies that lie behind the conception and construction of national images and monuments, particularly as these concern the tensions between internationalist, nationalist and local visualizations of liberation. It provides the testimonies and analysis necessary to get beyond the truism that national identities are 'constructed,' as well as 'deeply felt,' to a real understanding of the interactions between local and supralocal forces at work in the realization of both individual and collective projects of identity-formation. The complex conjunction of local populations and state regimes in the Macedonian case effectively serves as a model for querying national identities more generally."--Laurie Kain Hart, Haverford College

"Synopsis" by , This book examines the relationship between national history, identity, and politics in twentieth-century Macedonia. It focuses on the reverberating power of events surrounding an armed uprising in August 1903, when a revolutionary organization challenged the forces of the Ottoman Empire by seizing control of the mountain town of Krusevo. A century later, Krusevo is part of the Republic of Macedonia and a site for yearly commemorations of 1903. In the course of the intervening hundred years, various communities have vied to establish an authoritative account of what happened in 1903--and to weave those events into a longer and wider narrative of social, cultural, and national evolution.

Keith Brown examines how Krusevo's residents, refugees, and exiles have participated--along with scholars, journalists, artists, bureaucrats, and politicians--in a conversation about their vexed past. By tracing different approaches to understanding, commemorating, and narrating the events of 1903, he shows how in this small mountain town the "magic of nationalism" by which destiny is written into particular historical events has neither failed nor wholly succeeded. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, and unity still rub against tales of treachery, score settling, and disaster as people come to terms with the legacies of imperialism, socialism, and nationalism. The efforts of Krusevo's successive generations to transcend a past of intercommunal violence reveal how rival claims to knowledge and truth acquire vital significance during rapid social, economic, and political change.

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