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Croatia: A Nation Forged in War; Second Edition Paperback – Sep 10 2001

3.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (Sept. 10 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300091257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300091250
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #904,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Left in tatters after the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, the new country of Croatia has served as a troubled crossroads between East and West since the Dark Ages. Veteran journalist Marcus Tanner set out to write the recent history of this nation, but found it impossible to cover the 1990s without referring to World War II, and impossible to write about that period without going back even further. So he begins his account in the 7th century, covers Croatian history in a brief but thorough manner, and spends the final third of his book describing how Croatia regained its sovereignty in 1992. A glut of books on the Balkan War give short shrift to this intriguing story. Tanner corrects this problem with a fine and unique contribution. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Croatia declared itself an independent state in October 1991, the remnant of Yugoslavia reacted by invading and shelling towns such as Dubrovnik. Tanner was a correspondent in the Balkans from 1988 to 1993 for the London Independent and witnessed these events firsthand. His book covers the full recorded history of Croatia since the first Slav settlers in the seventh century A.D., but the period of World War II and after makes up half the work. No supporter of the Croats, Tanner presents incidents when they have behaved less than ideally. The narrative style is very sparse and condensed, presenting much detail in each chapter. A good survey of a region still much in the news, this work provides needed background for the current events in the region. For academic and larger public libraries.?Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover
The book was informative, but it did not go into great detail. The period of 1918-41 was glazed over in a few pages, and the extent of Serbian tyrrany and crimes were not fully covered. The massacre of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators on Ban Jelacic Square (where democratic Croatian protesters were gunned down by the Serbian genedarmerie occupation police) on December 5, 1918, was not mentioned, nor the Brusane massacre, nor the Sinj massacre; nor the extent of Serbian domination and hedgemony in the police and military, as well as the brutal repression of ethnic, civil, human, and national rights. One cannot just breeze over the banning of all free speech, press, assmebly, and culture; nor the Serbian police force's beating, jailing, and liquidation of the democratic opposition. Unfortunately, Lampe, Judah, Tanner, and many others do; by doing so, they commit the fallacy of denying the antecedent. Mr. Diljas accuses Tanner of using "predominately Croatian and pro-Croatian sources;" well, can Mr. Diljas tell us who those sources are? If that downplays the legitimacy of the book, how would Mr. Diljas explain the legitimacy of his books (being that he is a Serb and a Communist) and books written by Serbs and Communists over this past century. Thus, it would be that Mr. Diljas and most books written about Croatia and the ex-Yugoslavia (and all of the former Republics) were not and are not free of Serbian nationalistic and Communist idealistic romanticism, and should be read with Critical reserve.
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Format: Paperback
Mr Tanner sets out to dissolve a nation's thousand year history and crystallize it into a three hundred page book.The fact that he attempts to do this by cramming in as much detail as he can possibly muster results in a cursive, factual catch-all leaving little room for analysis or explanation.
Having said this, Mr Tanner is to be praised for the undoubted erudition of his research. Detail piles upon detail, fact upon fact. The reader soon realises that here is history of the "this happened,followed by this, resulting in this" genre. The danger in presenting us with this wealth of historical minutae is that it too frequently makes for laborious consumption and all too often results in literary indigestion. This is particularly so when Mr Tanner negotiates the post-medieval, pre-19th Century period of Austro-Hungarian imperialism. Disappointingly, he fails to enlighten the reader as to any relevance that this period may have to the fierce nationalism so much in evidence today.
We are all aware of the cataclysmic events of recent Balkan history. Such hatred, brutality and blind ethnic partisanship is crying out for sound, unbiased analysis. Unfortunately, Mr Tanner does not provide us with this analysis though he does at least try to present his facts in an objective, unbiased manner. For instance, he even-handedly devotes one page to the horrors perpetrated by the Croatian Ustashe at Jasenovac and a further page to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Croats by the (largely Serbian) partisans at Bleiberg.
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Format: Hardcover
By his own account, British journalist Marcus Tanner did not set out to write a history of Croatia from the seventh century. He intended to write an account of the recent war with the Serbs. However he found he could not do so without locating the seeds of the conflict in the 1940s, which are rooted in the politics of the 1920s, which were engendered by the nationalism of the 1840s, and so on. What he ultimately produced is a useful 300-page overview of Croatian history. And he still managed to write about the recent war, devoting 80 pages to events since 1990.
The common view that Tanner is not sufficiently critical of unsavory elements in Croatia's past is justified. His discussion of the horrors of the World War II-era Jasenovac concentration camp is cursory; he comments on the main political football - the debate about the numbers and identities of the victims - but fails to describe the political context surrounding the camp or the lives of the people within it. His praise for Tudjman as a noble, if overzealous, nationalist who successfully steered his country to the fruition of the 'thousand-year-dream' is insufficiently honest about his neo-fascist and sometimes nonsensical policies. Today Tudjman's HDZ party is a quasi-democratic regime rooted in corruption and repression. The war is over, the Croats won. Now is the time for nurturing democratic institutions.
From a journalist with such a tactile understanding of the region, "Croatia" includes few of the primary source interviews and observations that were so interesting and enlightening in other recent books about the Balkans by British journalists (Misha Glenny, Laura Silber). Instead Tanner weaves together secondary sources and analyses by other experts.
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