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Dubrovnik: A History [Paperback]

Robin Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 12.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Jan 2006
Since emerging as a settlement in the seventh century, Dubrovnik held a significant position beyond what could have been expected of this tiny city-state. Its merchants, trading throughout the huge Ottoman Empire, enjoyed privileges denied to other Western states. A politically skilled and commercially enterprising ruling class took every opportunity to maximise the Republic's wealth. Dubrovnik also faced the extreme dangers posed by Venetian aggressors, Ottoman plotters, a terrible earthquake in 1667 and, finally, the will of Napoleon. In 1991-92, the city survived the besieging Yugoslav army, which heavily damaged but did not destroy Dubrovnik's cultural heritage. This book is a comprehensive history of Dubrovnik's progress over twelve centuries of European development, encompassing arts, architecture, social and economic changes and the traumas of war and politics.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Saqi Books; New edition edition (31 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863569595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863569593
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


*'Detailed, scholarly and eminently readable, Dubrovnik is a triumph of book production. This is a splendid volume.' Literary Review 'There are few introductions to the city's past available to general readers ... Harris's splendid study meets this need admirably.' TLS 'Learned, fluently written and lavishly illustrated.' The Sunday Telegraph 'A fascinating and scholarly account.' The Daily Telegraph 'A triumph to set beside those of the great journalists.' Michael Foot, Tribune 'Harris offers up an intense look at a curious world. Truly fascinating.' Good Book Guide 'Unravelling the complex history of Dubrovnik takes skills of a high order, and Robin Harris has these.' Professor Norman Stone 'Splendid ... the book about Dubrovnik we have all been waiting for.' Dr Noel Malcolm, author of Bosnia: A Short History and Kosovo: A Short History 'Robin Harris has written a splendid and discerning history of Croatia's Adriatic pearl.' Professor Ivo Banac, Yale University --Reviews

The Sunday Telegraph

Learned, fluently written and lavishly illustrated.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete history 28 Oct 2008
This is an excellent book detailing evrything you want to know about the history of this beautiful area. I really enjoyed the well-researched and well-written details of all aspects of the Ragusan Republic making my holiday in the area that much more rewarding.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and calm 25 Oct 2012
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As I came from this particular region it is very important to me to deal with a book written in balanced and calm manner. Harris maybe has not the same wonderful stil as JA Fine (which is by the way, cited very much in this book) but the book is easy to read and enriched with enough details which is easy to remember. The book cover a huge period of time and what is also important one can find a lot of historical material dealing with and related to the hole region not only Dubrovnik. Because there is not enough reliable literature on the history of the Balkans and the former Yugoslavia, in particular, any such exception should be red in order to finally gain the true picture about the plight of the region. Dubrovnik by R. Harris is one such example.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great. 8 May 2013
By James Lyon - Published on Amazon.com
Although Harris packs the book with lot's of details and facts, what should be a fascinating volume about the "Pearl of the Adriatic" ends up sounding to a large extent as if he is simply repackaging the dry phraseology of Communist-era scholarship. The lack of detailed maps hurt the book also. Had I not visited Dubrovnik well over 60 times, I would have been unfamiliar with the position and importance of many of the events described. Nonetheless, the work is sweeping and all-encompassing, and covers over 1,000 years of history in one swoop. Perhaps the best passages concerned the vivid descriptions of the earthquakes and their aftermaths. The exploration of social life was also fascinating, even though it raised more questions than it answered. All in all, it is the best book out there about Dubrovnik at present and I would highly recommend it for anyone who is beginning to study the region.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 17 Aug 2014
By Peter from Adelaide - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A very scholarly tome. Beatifully written, although you need to know Dubrovnik to understand this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubrovnik - history of a unique republic on the Adriatic coast 14 Oct 2012
By Pasko - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
DUBROVNIK - A HISTORY - a book written by Robin Harris is a complete history of Dubrovnik (aka Ragusa) - almost one thousand years old and a unique medieval republic on the southeast coast of the Adriatic sea. Dubrovnik reached its highest point between the 15th and 17th centuries thanks to its maritime trade on the Adriatic, the Mediterranean and all over the world where they sailed with their home-built sailing boats called Argosies. Dubrovnik did not have an army but balanced its position between Venice and the Otoman empire with smart diplomacy and by paying tributes. D. is the cradle of the Croatian literature and language. Today it is a world known tourist resort and it is on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today during the season it is crowded with tourists coming to see its architecture, city walls, and cultural heritage. Mr. Harris' book is a complete story, easily readable and involving the readers into its exciting history. Congratulations to the author.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable and engrossing retelling of a fascinating, and little-known former European statelet 9 Mar 2013
By Christopher Deliso - Published on Amazon.com
In Dubrovnik: A History, British author Robin Harris sets out, in his own words, to create for the first time “a modern, well-sourced and readable account of the history of the Ragusan Republic” (p. 17). Documenting the triumphs and travails of over a millennium’s worth of complex and interconnected events is a big job, but the author proves more than up to the task. The result is a very useful guide to a remarkable little city with a storied but relatively unknown past.

Luckily the history of Dubrovnik, which until 1808 existed as the independent Republic of Ragusa, is well preserved and voluminous. With the exception of some manuscripts and books destroyed during the Yugoslav wars and, especially, during the conflagrations resulting from the catastrophic earthquake of 1667, Dubrovnik’s official state documents survive in 7,000 volumes “and about 100,000 separata” (p. 11). Harris draws on this archive as well as numerous scholarly monographs in order to provide a comprehensive account of key events, characteristic features and institutional transformation occurring over the centuries.

(This is a partial review excerpt. The full review is available at Balkanalysis.com).
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