1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
The problem with myths in post-modern society, Nov 28 1999
I was well impressed by this book. Unfortunately, I am a bit troubled by the negative reviews that a number of other reviewers have given this book. No doubt, many of them are from people of Serbian or Orthodox decent. Regretablly, even some of the most open-minded Serbs and Greeks that I know tend to downplay the ugliness that is a part of our past, probably because it is a threat to their sense of identity in some way. I guess every culture has that though to some extent, I am ashamed of America's failure to come to terms with the genocide against Native Americans over the last 500 years, and the conditions they live today. Many Americans may just find it too troubling to come to terms with the fact that this nation was partially built on the blood of its indigenious peoples (as well as African slaves). That is a dark side of America's past many would rather forget. The same hold's true for Serb's and their history.
The author did a very impressive job exposing the deep roots of Serbia's national myths, which has fed an exlusivist ethnic based nationalism derived from a medieval rather than modern notion of a nation. I found his evidence very persuasive in most respects.
However, I do agree with many of the critics though that the book was weaker for failing to stress much on the Ustasa regime and the atrocities committed by the present day Tudjman-HDZ regime, which played a signifcant role in the current polarized climate (in other words, Milosevic and Serbs are not to be blamed entirely, although they are of primary responsiblity for the region's suffering). However, that does not mean this book is not without scholarly merit. Afterall, the book was about Serbs and their myths, not Croats, Bosniaks or Albanians.