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The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The tragedies of Bosnia and Kosovo are often explained away as the unchangeable legacy of "centuries-old hatreds." In this richly detailed, expertly balanced chronicle of the Balkans across fifteen centuries, Dennis Hupchick sets a complicated record straight. Organized around the three great civilizations of the region--Western European, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim--th ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 21st 2004 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published January 1st 2002)
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It's a little dry, but this is the book to read if you want to understand why the Balkans are like they are. Basically nothing has changed in the centuries since it they were inhabited.

An interesting and telling fact that I got from the book is that the Ottoman Empire established what it called the "millet" in the area in which the various religious groups were pretty much responsible for their own governing. These "millets" were only for non-Muslims, since the Muslims controlled everything. Fr
Zachary Moore
A solid introductory work to Balkan history from the middle ages up to the collapse of communism. I had tried to read some material on this subject before, but had always been put off by works that either gave too much detail or brushed aside earlier periods to rush into the 19th and 20th centuries, but I found this book gave the proper scope for a general history. The reader gets a good idea of the sweep of events and can place together the evolution of the various medieval Slavic states, early ...more
Dry but informative. More balanced than many other surveys of Balkan history, Hupchick's main premise is the role of nationalism in creating the Balkan states as they are now known, but he doesn't let it overwhelm his text (like many others do). Aside from the dull style and sometimes rambling format, its only major drawback is the short shrift it gives to WWII and the Communist era versus earlier periods. Likewise, after deconstructing the idea that is "the Balkans" Hupchick creates an overall ...more
Not the easiest or smoothest of reads but I felt this was a very informative and wide ranging survey on the history of the Balkans. I definitely won't ever read it cover from cover again, but i will keep it in my library for when i need to check or look up a fact about the Balkans.
This is a very comprehensive survey of Balkan history. It moves through several periods, but does not skimp on details. Also, the maps are extremely useful. It took me a long time to read, because it is so dense, but it was still worthwhile.
Nick Wallace
A very useful general history of the Balkans from the late Roman period to the present. The pace is good, especially when you consider the twists and turns of the various ethnic and religious groups of the region.
There is alot of information in this book that sadly is about all it has going for it. The text is just dry fact after fact. No quotes, nothing to break up the monotony.
A little hard to get through, but fascinating history, if you can read it all.
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