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The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia
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The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  147 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Journalist Tim Judah’s 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 do
Paperback, Third Edition, 368 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Yale University Press (first published March 27th 1997)
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Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I stopped reading this book soon after the astoundingly stupid line, "His control over the empire disintegrated after his death." An astute editor might have caught such a problem with logic.
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK, I admit - I skimmed the last half of this book. It started out so promising; less about wars/leaders, and more about the people and how events impacted them. Then, it devolved into an ultra-detailed history of the 1990's war. Yawn.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book covers the history of the Serbs from their beginnings as an ethnic nation, up to the present day. Although the emphasis is clearly on the last 25 years.

The book does not dwell for too long on events that were well reported elsewhere. The two world wars and the Srebrenica massacre are discussed but only briefly.

The author asks interesting questions about nationalism. He discusses the artificial propping up of nationalistic spirits by politicians, journalists and poets. He also discusses
Ashley Sasnett
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely involved. I cannot imagine what it entailed to put this book together. It is really really good. I found it balanced which is to say the author does not engage in sweeping indictments but is still critical. Tito was the exception not the rule and the modern Yugoslav experiment was destined to fail. Makes one worry about the stability of many of our artificially created nation-states. Or is it just me?
Very good book on the history of the Serbs and the background of the Balkan wars of the 90's written by a British journalist who worked and lived in Yugoslavia for several years as a Balkan correspondant. It was written before the Kosovo war, which makes it interesting. The last couple of chapters are less focused. For a book written by a journalist, I must admit that the medieval history of Serbia chapters are probably the best I have ever read.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read, I was glad to get an American writer's view of Serbia, and I thought it was well done. He really explains how much the Serbians suffered because of their leaders mistakes. He had a crazy chapter about the inflation that had record breaking levels. He also explained how the Serbs eventually left Serbia and the army because of the unfulfilled promises of their leaders. Informative.
Bruce Crown
Academic historical account of the Serbs. Well put together and detailed. Though it is an American's take on the modern day conflicts and history, we're hard pressed to find English books about nations where their intellectuals do not engage in English.
iain meek
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A complex history of a complex region- they all seem to be mad or at least fixated on righting historic wrongs but each group has a different view of history.

Well written- but confusing due to all the strangely named characters.

thanks to City of London libraries
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written history with some journalistic flair.
Tucker Jones
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the single greatest book about Serbian history that I've read, and I've read quite a few.
Christopher Roth
A nice overview. One cannot understand Bosnia, or Kosovo, or Macedonia, without understanding what "Serbia" is. Well argued and insightful, with lots of useful historical summary.
Hlynur Ómar
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Jonathan Wolshuck
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Tim Judah is a reporter and political analyst for The Economist, and has written several books, mainly focussing on Serbia and Kosovo. A graduate of the London School of Economics and of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University he worked for the BBC[1] before becoming the Balkans correspondent for The Times and The Economist. During the Kosovo war he broadcast widely and wrote ...more
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