is a brief but telling account of Serbian history which attempts to show the continuing impact of events that are hundreds of years old (most notably the 1389 battle of Kosovo) on the psyche of the Serbian people and on determining the nature of the West's Balkan involvement. There is a dangerous tendency here that, instead of using History's inherent urge to explication, such accounts can shift responsibility for modern crises in (ex)Yugoslavia (most importantly the effect of 1970's debt on the country, bungled Western intervention in the state, the greed and power-hungry politics of small men intent on stirring up ethnic hatred to bolster their power bases etc.) onto immutable historic facts. To say that bad things happen now because bad things happened once is to at once speak a truism and, at the same time, refuse to confront the changeable policies that build on that suffering here and now.
Heavenly Serbia is cognisant of this danger and its final chapter shows how modern myths and misunderstandings helped foster the conditions for both recent Balkan wars. This fascinating work shows us both that history is not inevitable and that its lessons must be acted upon--not simply invoked. --Mark Thwaite
`Anzulovic is to be commended for having produced an intellectual tour de force. The energy with which both Serb nationalists and moral relativists can be expected to attack this book will serve as the greatest confirmation of its importance.' (Ethnic and Racial Studies)