At the end of the 20th century people spoke as if the Balkans had plagued Europe forever. But 200 years earlier, the Balkans did not exist. It was not the Balkans but the Rumeli that the Ottomans ruled, the formerly Roman lands that they had conquered from Byzantium, together with its Christian inhabitants.
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. In this highly acclaimed short history, Mark Mazower sheds light on what has been called the tinderbox of Europe, whose troubles have ignited wider wars for hundreds of years. Focusing on events from the emergence of the nation-state onward, The Balkans reveals with piercing clarity the historical roots of current conflicts and gives a landmark reassessment of the region’s history, from the world wars and the Cold War to the collapse of communism, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the continuing search for stability in southeastern Europe.
In this account of the region Mark Mazower dispels current Western cliches and replaces stereotypes with a vivid account of how mountains, empires and religions have shaped its inhabitants' lives. As a bridge between Europe and Asia it has been exposed to a constant incursion of nomadic peoples across the centuries. Mazower's narrative ranges broadly both in time and in space, treating the former Turkish domains in Europe as part of a common if complex historical inheritance.
|Publisher||Orion Publishing Co|