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Albania: The Rock Garden of Southeastern Europeby Faik Konitza
Synopses & Reviews
Catapulted from totalitarianism to free market capitalism in 1991, Albania emerged from half a century of isolation to find itself an anomaly in Europe: a third world country economically, but first world in terms of education, literature and the arts. How has Albania transformed since then? Clarissa de Waal here explains Albania's 'transition' from Communism via the experiences of a diverse range of families, highland villagers, urban elite and shanty dwellers - whose lives she has followed since 1992. De Waal shows that whilst the archaic world of customary law continues to pervade highland life, and squatters on state farmland live under constant threat of eviction, members of the ex-communist elite in Tirana embrace rentier capitalism. Albania, it seems, is a country wracked by contradictions.
With unparalleled insights into the region, this book is a unique history told from the perspective of the participants. It will inform and engage all those interested in Albania and south-east Europe, and prove essential reading for students and specialists.
Faik Konitza was one of the great figures of Albanian intellectual culture in the early twentieth century and a keen supporter of the Albanian Nationalist cause, yet little of his work is readily available in English. This important new edition presents Konitza's short history of Albania up to the exile of Ahmet Zogo - "King Zog" - in 1939 together with some of Konitza's other key writings, analyzing of the character of the Albanian people as well as their language, literature and religion. The wealth of material included in the book and Konitza's captivating style make this carefully selected anthology essential reading for all those interested in Albanian and Balkan history. For the non-specialist, it provides an enjoyable, accessible introduction to Albanian history and to Albanian culture in the early years of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Faik Konitza (1875-1942) was a leading Albanian writer who is credited with inventing modern Albanian prose style. His literary review Albania was the focal publication of Albanian writers living abroad.
Jason Tomes is Lecturer in British History at Boston University.
Table of Contents
Introduction * That Strange Land - Albania * Albania: The Rock Garden of Southeastern Europe * Racial Strains * The Albanian People: Clues to their Life and Character * The Picturesque Fustanella * Fighting Qualities * Beys and Bayraktars * Language and Literature * Religion * Farewell to Zog's Albania
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History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present