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Download Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo epub

by Miranda Vickers

Little notice has been paid to the growing ethnic and religious tensions within the Serbian province of Kosovo-tensions that now pose a serious threat to the security of the Balkans. Miranda Vickers explores the roots of this conflict, and tracks the recent trajectory of Serbian and Albanian relations in Kosovo. The first third of the book outlines the history of Kosovo during the medieval and Ottoman periods, when relations between the two communities were generally good. The second part of the book examines Kosovo since 1945, when the area fell under Serbian administration in the socialist Yugoslav system. Vickers concludes by surveying the steady deterioration in Serb-Albanian relations since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1981. With careful detail, she reveals how a largely peaceful, politically driven campaign for the independence of Kosovo has recently turned to violence with terrorist attacks on Serb political and military institutions, on Albanians thought to be collaborating with the Serbs, and on Serbs themselves. In the process, the author provides a balanced account of the Serb and Albanian positions, while placing much of the blame for the current situation on the repressive policies of Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
Download Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo epub
ISBN: 0231113838
ISBN13: 978-0231113830
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Social Sciences
Author: Miranda Vickers
Language: English
Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr; 1st Edition edition (April 1, 1998)
Pages: 280 pages
ePUB size: 1350 kb
FB2 size: 1197 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 945
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Miranda Vickers does an excellent job of distilling the available primary and secondary historical and geographical material on the former Yugoslavia into a lucid and compelling book. Unlike some writers, she footnotes her sources so the reader can form his or her own opinions based on further reading.
Ms. Vickers does not provide in-depth detail because the objective of this book is to provide a synopsis. Her work supports the contention that rivalries of the various ethnic groups have waxed and waned but long been a source of bloodshed. The worst scenarios in this book involved the spilling of blood as the Serbs attempted to overthrow assorted conquerers including the Ottoman Turks, Austrians, Hungarians, Nazis and others.
Vickers says the Albanian question is extremely thorny and very old. On the one hand, the Albaninans in Kosovo seemed not to have much interest in being part of Albania proper (probably owing to the radically different and worse standards of living in Albania). On the other hand the Albanians seem not to want to be part of Serbia either, though many of them moved to Serbia.
In 1918, during the Great War, when the Albanians had sided with the enemy "Hun" and the Serbs were allies, the U.S. recognized the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo (a battle fought and lost to the Ottoman Turk invaders hundreds of years before). This recognition followed the deaths of 100,000 Serbs as they retreated before the Austro-Hungarian army through Kosovo. "The majority lay unburied, covered by either snow or mud, until only their bones were found the following spring."
By the late 1990's many U.S. leaders--for whatever reason--failed to fully appreciate the ancient hatreds. One has to wonder how history might have been different if the diplomatic approach used in the Middle East with the Palestinians and Jews had been attempted in the Balkans.
I can only assume that some of the readers below who say this book is very "anti-Serbian," etc. have simply not read the book or superficially skimmed through it. As a number of academic reviewers have noted, this book in fact gives more credence to Serbian historical claims about Kosovo than the Albanian ones. For example, Vickers tends to accept the Serbian view that most Albanians in Kosovo today are descended from Serbs who were forced to convert to Islam in the distant past. In fact, I think Vickers should be commended for really making an effort to be impartial between the conflicting claims of Albanian and Serbian nationalists. However, this effort is marred by her superficial approach: she tends to rely too much on secondary sources, and cites, often at length, excerpts from other books without critically analyzing these sources (i.e. at several points she very uncritically cites Serbian nationalist "historian" Dusan Batakovic). Although the overview of events in the last two decades is quite comprehensive and informative, there are many places where Vickers cites questionable figures or incidents of interethnic violence in Kosovo (sometimes nothing more than rumors) without backing this up with evidence. Again, it seems as though she depended too much on secondary sources and even propaganda materials published by either of the two sides. This is important, because this book, with its emphasis on recent events, could have been a very informative source for readers who want to learn more about Kosovo and why it has become a major crisis region.
I recommend the third part of this book the most. While the first two parts examine the Turk occupation, and later the progressive Albanianisation of Kosovo under socialist Yugoslavia, the third provides a detailed description of how the Albanians shifted from a peaceful resistance movement to a more violent approach. This is particularly relevant when current news feature the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) while such body started operating only after the Dayton accords, when the international powers implicity agreed on the creation of a state (the Republika Srpska in Bosnia) by means of force. Therefore the Albanians gained the impression that their peaceful movement had achieved virtually nothing and no serious international attention.
As all educated historians know even though the Albanians have direct ties to Kosova, we must look at what is happening there presently. The Albanians there have been persecuted and repressed for centuries and finally have take up arms against the "TERRORIST" state of Serbia to defend themseleves. Now that the KLA has erupted into a well organized people's army including hundreds of women, Kosova will undoughtingly be liberated from its ocuppiers. Milosevic is the only problem, which has come to be known throughout the entire international community. Little does he know, he has started a war the freedom fighters of the KLA will finish. Finally I recommed this book as a historical standpoint to an introduction of the Kosova conflict. -- Thank You -- LAVDI Dashmoreve!
It is utterly amazing to me the amount of Serbian reaction to Ms. Vickers and Mr. Malcolm. It seems that Serbs seem to hate any novel which the critics adore. First of all let me state that as someone who has actually read this book that it has a definite slant towards the Albanians, much more so that "Kosovo: A Short History." Of course I for one think that just a slant towards the Albanians is giving the Serbian nation too much credit by far. It has been repeated again and again in this century that the Serbs feed off of criticism. The delve into their siege mentality and say that the reason they are killing hundreds of thousands and raping nearly as many is because they are being forced to. NATO bombs drop so we must murder children. You cut off our electricity, we burn your grandfather alive. We don't get gasoline, you don't get your father. This is a good book, in the face of this brain dead nationalism it is a GREAT book. Facts do matter, that an image is worth a thousand words and in the past months the images we have seen from Kosovo have created prose worthy of Shakespeare.