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Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History

Автором Robert D. Kaplan

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Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History

Автором Robert D. Kaplan

оценки:
4.5/5 (23 оценки)
Длина:
489 pages
7 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781466868304
Формат:

Описание

From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date" (The Boston Globe), Kaplan's prescient, enthralling, and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic.

This new edition of Balkan Ghosts includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between 1996 and 2000 beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war, with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power.

Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781466868304
Формат:

Об авторе

Robert D. Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, is the author of more than a dozen books on travel and foreign affairs that have been translated into many languages. They included Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus and Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History.

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Что люди думают о Balkan Ghosts

4.3
23 оценки / 17 Обзоры
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  • (4/5)
    I've read it twice and plan on another read. It's clear Kaplan loves this part of the world, so it's a subjective travelogue, but he also writes as reporter and detective, digging for truth by talking to people and reading histories. In this passage he writes of Bucharest, but it sums up everywhere he writes about: "Walking around Bucharest...I realized that, despite the most maniacal attempts to erase the past, the ghosts of local history met me square in the face." Robert Kaplan, 'Balkan Ghosts', pg 184
  • (4/5)
    I liked the way he wrote the book, like a trip journal. I also liked the picturesque person he met during his journey.
    I would organize the book in a different way: less about Greece and Romania and more about the former Yugoslavia republic.
    Pity that is not up date and some of the facts (e.g. the former Greek minister Andreas Papandreou
  • (5/5)
    I wish I were an expert in the history of the Balkan Peninsula, but I am not. However, upon reading Kaplan's wonderful book, I believe I've been nicely schooled in the basics. As appropriately subtitled, the book is truly "A Journey Through History." The book (journey) has four main parts: 1) Yugoslavia, 2) Romania, 3) Romania, and 4) Greece. Nearly all the major cities are visited in the journey and along the way we are introduced to many characters who provide life to the sights, sounds, and smells that are encountered.A strength of the book is Kaplan's weaving quotations and/or examples from many different authors. Hence, in addition to Kaplan's own interpretation of history, we are treated to insights and sometimes emotions of other authors. The bibliography lists over 140 books and articles.For me, the book served a means of introducing me to people, places, politics, and religions, over many hundreds of years, for a part of the world that is historically important, complex, and poorly understood. I bookmarked the "Map of the Balkans" on page xvii of the prefatory pages and referred to it often as I journeyed through the remainder of the book. In addition to the fine bibliography, there are 19 photos and an excellent index.
  • (4/5)
    I think it's sad what social media has come to - scroll down and read the comments. Reviews from at least 3 different 'users' literally say the same thing. They even begin the same way "I wish I were an expert in..." then proceed to give you a detailed breakdown of what's in the book. Fake..all fake. Bots generating fake reviews of fake books of fake travels into fake countries that don't really exist. Sad.
  • (4/5)
    My library contains many books on the interface between travel and history, and one of my favourite authors in this genre is Robert Kaplan, who wrote "Balkan Ghosts" (1993). The book contains several parts, one of which deals with Kaplan’s trip through Romania in 1990, just after the overthrow of Ceausescu. The author takes you on an almost playful journey through Romania’s history, meanwhile traveling from Bucharest to the Danube Delta, to Iasi in Moldavia, to the painted monasteries in Bucovina, and then into Transylvania. Everywhere he meets interesting people who share not only their hospitality, but also their often differing views, which Kaplan manages to put in the relevant context. The picture he sketches is of a country full of past issues, from ethnic conflicts and peasant exploitation to war crimes and communist-party power abuse. Issues that, by 1990, obviously had not yet been dealt with. It will be interesting to see whether that has changed at all, in the past 25 years. The Bulgaria part, the result of several short visits in the 1980s and -90s, is less coherent, and as such less illustrative for a country in change. Kaplan’s contribution covers a number of Bulgaria-specific issues without being able to sketch the overall context. Still, a good book, from the time Kaplan was young, and not yet famous.
  • (5/5)
    Even though published 17 years ago, Kaplan’s portrayal of his travels throughout the Balkan Peninsula is still a revelation to most Western readers. In this more-than-a-travel memoir or travelogue, Kaplan describes the not often understood histories and peoples of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and the countries of former Yugoslavia. Kaplan shows why Communism failed in the Balkans; it did nothing to end the historical tensions. This is not an easy book to read as the atrocities committed by all parties are disturbing but Kaplan’s depictions are balanced and without generalities. (This is just one of the many books I am reading before traveling to Croatia.)
  • (5/5)
    I wish I were an expert in the history of the Balkan Peninsula, but I am not. However, upon reading Kaplan's wonderful book, I believe I've been nicely schooled in the basics. As appropriately subtitled, the book is truly "A Journey Through History." The book (journey) has four main parts: 1) Yugoslavia, 2) Romania, 3) Romania, and 4) Greece. Nearly all the major cities are visited in the journey and along the way we are introduced to many characters who provide life to the sights, sounds, and smells that are encountered.A strength of the book is Kaplan's weaving quotations and/or examples from many different authors. Hence, in addition to Kaplan's own interpretation of history, we are treated to insights and sometimes emotions of other authors. The bibliography lists over 140 books and articles.For me, the book served a means of introducing me to people, places, politics, and religions, over many hundreds of years, for a part of the world that is historically important, complex, and poorly understood. I bookmarked the "Map of the Balkans" on page xvii of the prefatory pages and referred to it often as I journeyed through the remainder of the book. In addition to the fine bibliography, there are 19 photos and an excellent index.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this background to the Balkan War, but not as much as the book "The Fracture Zone" by Simon Winchester.
  • (5/5)
    this is a history of the balkan strife, but reads like one of the best travelogues ever. kaplan has a real gift in bringing this area to life, with its passions, its hurts and its haunts, while pitting it all in a modern context.
  • (5/5)
    Robert D. Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts is the most haunting book I've ever read. The history of the Balkans is told through traveling narrative in such personal detail that each region, each ethnicity comes alive. Although I first read the book 10 years ago, passages still appear in my dreams today.
  • (4/5)
    Didn't know much about the Balkans, but Kaplan drew me in.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent picture of the region. It did what a good book should, piqued my curiosity to learn more about the subject and the author.
  • (5/5)
    Traveling through post-Cold War Greece and Yugoslavia, Kaplan documents contemporary life in the Balkans as well as the centuries of ethnic hatred that led to civil war. His study of recent Greek history is also revealing, especially for a younger reader like me - I'm not old enough to remember that Greece was once a hotbed for international smuggling and the drug trade. Kaplan gets bonus points for weaving his descriptions of the past and present together and writing long historical tracts in an entertaining way.
  • (3/5)
    Good read - but after you read Kapuscinski all other travelogues pale by comparison.
  • (1/5)
    This is one of the worst books to read if you want to understand the former Yugoslavia. Yes, it is at times beautifully and compellingly written. But Kaplan's obsession with "history" (in fact a distorted and very narrow slice of history as written by an Englishwoman) blinds him to what was really going on. Instead we get a book of the crudest caricatures and myths about the Balkans. The only reason to read this book is to familiarize yourself with one of the worst books on the topic.
  • (3/5)
    Well written, but tendentious and full of the worst kind of "ancient hatreds" nonsense. Docked a star for helping make the Balkans worse back in the '90s; politicians shouldn't be allowed to read Kaplan's books.
  • (5/5)
    A classic in integrated travel,history,and political writing. Kaplan wanders through southeastern evoking the ghosts of the Ottoman empire to explain current and possible future political and social conditions in eastern Europe.