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Between Serb & Albanian - A History of Kosovo [Paperback]

Miranda Vickers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 May 2001
This history of the contradictory aims and interests of Kosova's two peoples, the serbs and the Albanians, focuses on the underlying social and cultural factors in the seemingly intractable conflict. The narrative ranges from the Battle of Korsova in 1389 to the present state of affairs.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (18 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231113838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231113830
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,278,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book 17 Jun 2013
By eskima
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
detailed history about kosovo and I think, quite balanced and objective, this is basic reading for everyone who wants to learn about country
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a new information for my old country 27 Feb 2010
Serbs and Albaniens , Ottomans, are not familiar to erudites living in the Iberian Peninsula. Therefore it's most important to be more familiar with eastern countries we hardly know in many historical details. Looking at the future, as Portuguese, we get aprehensive withe the same incidentes in history as before.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chuckle! 11 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Let me begin by saying that I don't believe this book deserves the five star rating I have given it. Ms. Vickers is not a top tier writer and she definately has sympathies towards the Kosovars. What she is successful at though is painting a picture of moderm Kosovo. She slashes and burns her way through history but as she describes the modern happenings her book blooms. You won't find many books detailing the rise of Albanian resistance in the early 80's or the shadow government of the early 90's. For that she deserves credit. She explains why this passive resistance was needed and why, eventually, it failed and was replaced by a more militant creed. For those of you out there who come across this page do not pay attention to the 1 star ratings. It does not deserve them. It doesn't deserve my 5 star rating either, but raising it's average a bit might draw some new readers. I would give it between 3-4 stars depending on why you are reading it. If you are interested in a much better novel of Kosovo read Noel Malcolm's "Kosovo: A Short History."
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most lucid synopsis on the history of Kosovo... 2 Jun 2000
By Dianne Foster - Published on
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peripheral Yugoslav issue? 18 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on
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.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to the Kosovo problem. 27 May 2000
By William H. Putnam - Published on
I've been following and working on the Kosovo situation for over two years. I have read many books and articles on the Balkans and especially Kosovo. I first read Ms. Vickers book in the Fall of 1998. Her writing is clear and concise. She does not confuse the writer with useless terminology that only academics dabble in to demonstrate how "intellectual" they are. Ms. Vickers book is, for the most part, impartial and represents discrepancies on both sides. All sides in Kosovo have myths about their past, this is something not uncommon to nations and people throughout the world. Ms. Vickers demonstrates how these myths have led to Serbian Nationalism and to Albanian reactionarism and the effects these beliefs have had on Kosovo. So, in closing, if you want to gain an understanding into how the events in Kosovo developed, then read Ms. Vickers book.
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful - but for whom? 15 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on
The book is historically informative but clearly biased. Among other things, it suffers from two flaws. First, it does hardly mention the other minorities that used to live, more or less peacefully, in Kosovo (before NATO decided to install the KLA as its puppet regime, that is). Second and in relation to the first flaw, it occasionally falls for the propaganda-claim that in the 1990s Kosovo's inhabitants were 90% Albanian, a claim that Vickers herself flatly contradicts by saying that an estimated 400.000 Albanians (most of them from Kosovo) had left Yugoslavia already by 1993. But the numbers game is rather fishy business in any case, since its function has been the support of the exclusive Albanian claims on the province.
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